All Star Game?
The National Hockey League just held what may have been its best all star game to date. The last time the National Lacrosse League held an all star exhibition was in 2012, four seasons ago. The game was played in Buffalo. Before 2012, the all star game had been played consistently every year since 2004 (other than 2010). With the exception of the 2011 game, which was played at the Turning Stone Casino in upstate New York, every game has been played in a major arena.
There has been nearly no talk of an all star game again since 2012, and almost no clamoring for the event to return. And why? There is plenty of talent in the league to be showcased. The NHL saw its all star event losing its luster, as many of the major pro sports have seen (Pro Bowl, for example) and elected to use three-on-three hockey to create excitement.
There was also the whole John Scott thing but…
The NLL could use an all star event at the middle of the season, but the logistical problems are much different than for the NHL. Who is going to fly players in? Which players would find it worth their while to play in the event? What would the compensation be to take another weekend off?
If the new commissioner could resolve that, and maybe find a way to have a solid skills competition, an all star event could be exactly what the NLL needs to get some added hype.
Rock Remove Coach
Yesterday the Toronto Rock removed their assistant coach, Dan Ladoucher, from the team by “relieving him of his duties.” The Rock are now 0-5 on the season following a home loss to the Georgia Swarm where they surrendered 20 goals. It was time for the team to make a change, but this has the feel of making a move for the sake of it. Player personnel has to be shaken up. Trades need to be made to reshape the team, but this is the first acknowledgment from the Rock that something is wrong.
Something About Calgary
Now at 2-2, the Calgary Roughnecks do not look as hopeless as they did early on in the season. Still a game and a half back in the western conference, Calgary is in a position to do more. Colorado finally lost last week, and the Roughnecks trail Saskatchewan by just one in the loss column. The Roughnecks remain in the race despite their poor start following a victory over Vancouver this past week. Calgary is at Saskatchewan this Friday night with a chance to gain some ground and jump into second place in the West. This past week Dane Dobbie put up eight points while Curtis Dickson and Jeff Shattler each had six. Earlier in the season I called out for the Roughnecks leaders to put up points, and now they finally are.
Is New England for Real?
The New England Black Wolves improved to 3-1 on the season with a victory over the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday. That win keeps them in first place in the eastern conference and the team also has the lowest goals allowed total in the league at 33 of all teams who have played four games (Saskatchewan has allowed 31 in three games played). After concerns about the defense and a poor 2015 season out of Evan Kirk in net, New England has emerged as one of the most complete teams in the league. This week they travel to Buffalo.