The Warriors continue their three-game home stand this weekend against the San Diego Seals on Saturday night.
It may not have been expected, but through Week 6 of the 2019 NLL season, the expansion Seals (2-2) are ahead of the Warriors (1-4) in the West Division Standings. With the Seals playing two games this weekend, the later of which will be against the Warriors in Rogers Arena, the home team will hope to make up ground on the new Seals.
“A lot of teams have had great second half runs,” Warriors head coach Chris Gill said. “For us, it’s just about focusing in and realizing that we can still do a lot of damage. Four teams make the playoffs in the west and one team doesn’t, so you’ve got to get yourself in the playoff race. That’s our goal.”
Only one-third through this season, the Warriors will not be thinking about each game as a must-win, but key divisional matchups like this one can begin to shape the standings.
“The [playoff-seeding] could come down to the final month of the season in both divisions. We have to take care of what is right in front of us and start getting a win or two.”
Before the team can start thinking about winning ball games, there are still adjustments that must be made. Warriors goaltender and the young defence that stands in front of him are slowly coming into their own.
A bigger concern would be if the offence remains limited unlike in their season-opener against the Calgary Roughnecks. The team had 10 different goal scorers that opening-night. In their last three games they’ve only had as many as six scorers.
“We have to keep building on our chemistry on offence,” said Gill. “We’ve got a lot of new faces on this offensive group. I’ve been on teams as a player and as a coach where you get that chemistry right away and it’s easy; it hasn’t been as easy for us to build that chemistry but we’re getting there.”
One advantage the Warriors might have to build chemistry on offence is attacking a likely tired Seals defence who is playing their second game in as many nights. It may seem like a trap-game for the Warriors, but Gill warns that often the team on the second game of a back-to-back comes out swinging.
“It’s surprising who many times that the team coming in with the back-to-back wins that second game,” said Gill. We know it’s going to be tough but we hope they have a long hard-fought game on Friday that goes to overtime. Whatever it takes to get them more reps on the floor and hopefully make them a little more tired.”
Gill and his staff have instilled fight in this Warriors squad and it shows on the floor. That fight matched with keeping their heads down focusing on one game at a time should eventually start producing wins. Lacrosse is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, so overthinking what is happening around the league would only weigh the Warriors down.
“At the end of the day,” said Gill. “ We can’t be worried about what other teams are doing when they’re coming into our rink or what they’re doing when we’re in their rink, it’s about doing what we’ve got to do correctly and outworking teams. That’s going to be out focus. It’s more about us and playing the way we want to play.”
Warriors fans are still very eager to see their team win a home game and it looks like one could be on the horizon this weekend. However, if the Warriors lose and drop to 1-5, it will be the 4th time in Stealth/Warriors history that their team has started off with that record or worse.
To see if the Warriors will snag that first home victory, head to B/R Live to watch the game which starts at 10pm EST.