Every so often I peek into my National Lacrosse League stock market portfolio to see what team and player are on the rise or whose value has temporarily dipped. Here’s how I see things entering Week 8:
How could I go anywhere except for Buffalo? The orange and black attack pulled off the upset of upsets last weekend as they marched into the hostile SaskTel Centre.
After losing to previously winless Vancouver, the Bandits were ultimate underdogs in trying to best the undefeated Rush at home. Another defeat would’ve also sunk them two games under .500.
Buffalo overcame a 6-0 first quarter deficit to rally and shock the lacrosse world with an overtime victory that put the club right back in the thick of the East Division race. The challenge for coach Troy Cordingley’s crew moving forward is finding consistency and avoiding an emotional let down after their bye week.
Following a red hot 2-0 start to the season the Knighthawks have lost their past four and find themselves last in the East. Check this out – Rochester combined for 38-goals over the pair of victories, and totaled 37 across the four losing efforts.
This is still a very young franchise with gobs of talent across the floor plus a world class goaltender in Matt Vinc. The back-to-back losses to Toronto and New England a couple weeks back really escalated the recent tailspin.
Good news for the K-Hawks is that they are on a bye, which will give the collective unit more time to gel. I’m still bullish on this team and redemption is on the horizon.
After six years with the Rush organization Aaron Bold was shipped to New England in an offseason deal. The veteran netminder’s statistics were still solid, however, it seemed like perhaps both sides needed new scenery.
The move for Bold has worked out incredibly well. He’s helped lead the Black Wolves to a 4-1 record and has allowed 11 or fewer goals in every outing except the loss to Saskatchewan. Amongst starting goalies with five or more games played Bold is dominating. Second in save percentage (.788) and third in goals against average (11.15).
An important test awaits the backstop Friday as he faces the potent Rock offense on Saturday night.
The entire Stealth performance in 2017/18 is puzzling coming off of their first playoff berth since being in Vancouver last season. Rhys Duch can be clumped in with several underachievers on the club who collectively should be well above their current 9.4 goal per game average.
In his nine previous NLL campaigns Duch has never delivered less than 33 goals…think about that type of scoring consistency. Through five matchups he sits at only three tallies and 11 total points. Vancouver’s struggles go much deeper than the 31-year old forward, but a big night Friday from the sniper could help start a Stealth turnaround.
Andy McNamara has been a play-by-play commentator for the NLL on TSN, NLLTV.com, and world lacrosse tournaments since 2011. He’s also a sport talk host and anchor on TSN 1050 sports radio. Follow Andy on twitter @AndyMc81.