Check out Stephen Stamp’s Three Stars of NLL Week 10 on IL Indoor following two National Lacrosse League games this past weekend. Expect a lot more starpower this weekend with six games on the Week 11 schedule starting on Friday night with the first-place Toronto Rock visiting the Buffalo Bandits.
“When the month of March opened, the Toronto Rock were 8-1, they had beaten every team in the league except the Colorado Mammoth, and they had the National Lacrosse League’s leading scorer and reigning player of the month in Josh Sanderson,” Stamp writes. “One week later, they are 9-1, they’ve beaten every team in the league, and they have the league’s leading scorer and reigning player of the month in Rob Hellyer. Also, their putative backup goalie, Nick Rose (he has four decisions to Brandon Miller’s six), is leading the league in goals against average and save percentage. His lead in the latter category is a large one, .027 over the runner-up, who just happens to be Miller. There’s not much that isn’t going well for Toronto right now, which is reinforced by them nabbing two of this week’s IL Indoor NLL 3 Stars.”
Shawn Evans, Calgary Roughnecks
2 goals, 6 assists
Evans just keeps putting up points, but you know he’s a lot happier about the 8 he put up this weekend than about the 8 or more he scored in five other games this year, because this weekend they led the team to a win, just Calgary’s second of the season. Evans is leading the league in points per game and he’s on pace to obliterate John Grant Jr.’s single-season record of 116 points by 20. He’ll need to average 5.3 points in his last nine games to break the record. Things like that have a way of getting tougher as a season progresses, but he’s in very good shape to break the mark at this point.
Nick Rose, Toronto Rock
46 saves on 55 shots, .836 save percentage
Probably the only reason their isn’t a goalie controversy in Toronto is because both Rose and Miller are such positive team guys that neither would complain about not being the number 1 guy. They are both playing well enough to be the full-time starter. Rose, who has started only three of Toronto’s 10 games but picked up the win against New England in relief, clearly gives the Rock the best 1-2 tandem in the league.
Stephan Leblanc (Toronto): 4g, 4a. It would be easy not to notice amid the pyrotechnics being flashed by Hellyer and Josh Sanderson that Leblanc is having arguably his best season in the NLL as well…Mike Poulin (Calgary): 41 saves, .804 save percentage. Very good numbers for Poulin, but more importantly a huge boost to his confidence and the team’s confidence in him. It’s not a stretch to say he’s been awful for most of the year—his GAA of 13.67 and save percentage of .690 after this weekend show he’s been way off his game—but Poulin has the ability to be an elite goaltender and the Roughnecks need him to be one again to come all the was back from their terrible start and compete for the Champions Cup again…Mark Matthews (Edmonton): 2g, 5a. Matthews has been the epitome of consistency this season, with between 5 and 8 points every game…Joey Cupido (Colorado): 1g, 8LB, 4CTO. Cupido extended his league lead in caused turnovers (he now has 24, 6 more than a trio of other playes) and is the leading scorer among defensive players with 9…