Which National Lacrosse League players made the biggest difference for their teams this past weekend? Stephen Stamp from IL Indoor weighs in with his Three Stars of NLL Week 12. Find preview below and follow the link for the full story on Inside Lacrosse.
“It seems somehow fitting that John Grant, Jr.’s point to move him into second place on the National Lacrosse League’s all-time scoring list came on an assist of a Jeremy Noble goal,” Stamp writes. “While Junior continues to show that he’s not ready to hang ’em up because he’s still one of the best scorers in the game, Noble marks one of the young players to whom he’ll be passing the torch of leading scorers eventually, and is yet another of the game’s potential stars who grew up watching Grant’s magic on the floor. How cool is it that Noble scored 7 points in his first career game using a stick head that Grant gave him (you can hear more about it on Boxla Beat)? While neither of them quite made the featured spots in this week’s IL Indoor NLL 3 Stars, it felt appropriate to open the column with them, given Junior’s big milestone.”
Anthony Cosmo, Buffalo Bandits
44 saves on 52 shots, .846 save percentage
Cosmo deserves this spot on the merits of his play Saturday, but he’s also here partly as a makeup for not cracking the big 3 spots last week. While I stand by the validity of last week’s 3 Stars, Cosmo was a strong candidate to be one of them. As loyal reader David Kirk pointed out in an email, the offensive guys tend to get most of the attention in lacrosse coverage. “What more does a goalie have to do to get into the weekly three stars?” David legitimately asked. Cosmo made 51 saves in Buffalo’s loss to Toronto in Week 11 and added 5 assists, only 1 of which came on a short pass to a defender who went up and did the rest while the other 4 were on exquisitely played long outlet passes. While David does have a bias as the father of an NLL goalie (Evan Kirk) and defender (Mike Kirk), he has a point, too. The guys stopping the ball from going in the net deserve some love, too.
Curtis Dickson, Calgary Roughnecks
4 goals, 7 assists
It’s awfully easy to be seduced by the big numbers, though, and Dickson put up numbers as big an anyone on the weekend. When Dickson gets assists he tends to get them in bunches. He’s got 25 on the season and 13 of them were registered between Friday’s game and Calgary’s February 7 game against Buffalo. It only makes Dickson’s remarkable shooting ability all the more dangerous when oppoenents know he’s a credible threat to set up a teammate, as well.
Aaron Bold (Edmonton): 43 saves, .827 save percentage. Another great game between the Rock and Rush on the weekend, but a very different game than the 16-15 OT thriller from a few weeks ago. This time Bold and Toronto’s Brandon Miller were both on their games, helping to make it a lower-scoring but equally exciting affair…Dane Dobbie (Calgary): 6g, 2a. After the rarity of a goalless game the week before against Rochester, Dobbie re-found his scoring tough…Brett Hickey (Toronto): 3g, 3a. A little perspective on the breakout year Hickey is having—his career goal total coming into 2015 was 5; this season he has 8 hat tricks…Mark Steenhuis (Buffalo): 3g, 3a. Helping Buffalo build some momentum, which with four of their last five games against sub-.500 teams they may well carry into the playoffs…Jeremy Noble (Colorado): 4g, 2a. With 13 points in his first two games, Noble may just work his way into rookie of the year consideration despite only playing half the season…Mark Matthews (Edmonton): 2g, 5a. Didn’t have the best shooting night but still potted a pair of important goals and a handful of assists, including a smart pass to Nik Bilic on the tying goal…John Grant Jr (Colorado): 1g, 5a. Moved to second in all-time NLL scoring and he looks like he’s far from done…Rhys Duch (Vancouver): 3g, 2a. Became the Stealth’s career leader in goals…Joey Cupido (Colorado): 3g. Cupido leads the league in caused turnovers, but the really startling statistic in his line…