Archive for the ‘Boston Cannons’ category

MVP of Cannons May Not Be Who You Think

July 16, 2010

Who is the Cannons MVP?

Everyone loves #99. The flow. The defending MLL MVP. The best player in the World. But is it possible that he’s not the best player on the Cannons this year?

Meet Matt Poskay. Scratch that. The ole Barn Cat, as one blogger affectionately calls him, has long been acquainted with Cannons Nation. In fact, this being his 5th season, in MLL years, let alone barn cat years, he should technically be referred to as grandpa. Poskay has long been established, heck he’s the Captain (along with Chris Passavia), but this year he has taken the leap.

Faced with declining numbers at the Attack position, the Captain was asked to move from the comfy confines of midfield for the betterment of the team. Not even Coach Daye could say for sure the change of scenery would work, but they were counting on Poskay’s superior athleticism and experience to make the transition smooth.

You could say they were right or you could say they were lucky. Poskay has exploded at his new position with an MLL leading 39 points through 9 games.  His 34 goals are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Heck, if you add up the number 2 and 3 goal scorers in MLL, aka the Leveille family (Kevin 23g, Mike 21), the difference between them and Poskay is less (9) than what Poskay leads the number 2 goal scorer by (11).

The Cannons Captain is making a case for League MVP

Not to mention, wait, no, take that back, I am meaning to mention this, the guy is deadly accurate. He’s shooting at a 47.2% clip, good for fourth in the league. The three guys ahead of him in that category have a combined 23 goals. In baseball terms, those guys wouldn’t have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title.

Please allow another baseball reference; Poskay’s season is shaping up like Big Papi for the Sox in ’04. With 3 games left he already has 3 game winning goals. That’s tied for the Cannons record for game winning goals in a season. Who holds the Cannons career record for game winning goals? You guessed it, the Barn Cat. He quietly accomplished that feat last week in the Cannons 16-10 victory over Chesapeake.

Let’s look at Poskay in terms of Cannons history a little closer. He needs just 4 goals to tie the Cannons All-Time Goal Record of 133 established by David Evans. He’s amassed that total the hard way with just 1 2pt goal in his career!It’s not a question of if he’ll do it, but when? Averaging a shade under 4 goals per game it’s not impossible to think he might dig deep and pull out something special for the home crowd July 24th at Harvard Stadium against Toronto, say 5 goals, and take the record all for himself.

That’s not all. If he continues his current goals per game pace he’d accumulate about 45 goals on the season (not counting playoffs). That would blow out the Cannons single season goals record of 39 by Michael Watson in 2004 and equaled in 2005 by Kevin Leveille. It’s possible that this record too could be torn down in the Cannons next game July 24th.

Poskay’s 147 goals in just 48 games gives him the highest Goals Per Game Average of any Cannon in history with at least 40 goals. His next Power Play Goal will push him into first place in Cannons History in both PPG for a season AND for a career, propelling him out of a tie with Kevin Leveille who also had 9 PPG in 2005 and David Evans who also had 20 during his Cannons career.

Bottom line, Matt Poskay is putting together a historically amazing year, perhaps one of the best by a Cannon ever, while playing out of position for the good of the team. I heard he sells concessions during half-time too.

So while Rabil Rules; let there be no doubt who this year’s Cannons MVP is. Poskay is tearing up the Cannons record books and making a case to change his nickname from the Barn Cat, to Mr. Cannon. You may want to re-introduce yourself.

Boston Cannons 2010 Draft Recap

June 7, 2010

Duxbury, MA native and Duke alum, Max Quinzani was the Cannons first pick, #3 over-all


The Boston Cannons made good use of their picks in the 2010 Major League Lacrosse Draft held at Yale University on Sunday, June 6, 2010, adding much talent and youth to the roster with nine new players. Already having a strong defensive core, they mainly focused on offense by selecting four attackmen, four midfielders, and one defenseman.

After Tewaarten Trophy Award winner and unanimous 1st pick Ned Crotty, leader of the NCAA Champion Duke Blue Devils was selected by the Chicago Machine and Johns Hopkins midfielder Michael Kimmel was selected by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, the Cannons made a boom with the 3rd pick in the draft selecting hometown hero and Duxbury, MA native Max Quinzani, the other key player in Duke’s 2010 championship run. He is expected to make an immediate impact with the Cannons for the rest of the 2010 season as one of the nation’s most talented and highly touted players from high school all the way through college.

In the second round, the Cannons selected attackmen Steven Boyle from Johns Hopkins with the 12th pick on the draft, quickly followed by another talented attackmen in Jim Connolly out of UMass with the 14th pick in the third round.

In the fourth round, the Cannons made back to back picks at 20 and 21 selecting long stick midfielder Chris Nixon from Georgetown and midfielder Nick Tsouri from Yale. At pick 27 in the fifth round, the Cannons picked their only defensemen of the draft in Ryan Nizolek from the University of Virginia followed by Harvard midfielder Jason Duboe at pick 33 in the sixth round.

In the final rounds of the 2010 MLL draft, the Cannons selected attackmen Kevin Gould from Bentley with pick 39 and completed their draft with midfielder Grant Krebs from Notre Dame with the 45th pick.

The Cannons expect an exciting start for Massachusetts native Quinzani as he begins his Major League Lacrosse career just a few weeks after winning a national title with Duke. Hopefully he and the rest of the Cannons 2010 draft class will be able to deliver a much needed spark of youth and competition after two consecutive road losses following what looked like a promising start to the 2010 season.

Stay updated on all of the Cannons new additions here at the Cannons Blog

T-Minus 34 hours 40 minutes…

May 14, 2010

This is your Captains Matt Poskay and Chris Passavia speaking, buckle your seat-belts as we prepare for takeoff!

 

Tomorrow at 7 pm at Harvard Stadium Watch the Boston Cannons kick off their 10th Anniversary Season as they take on the Denver Outlaws!

BE THERE!

Call 617-746-9933 or go to Ticket Master for tickets!

Mike Stone Update…

May 12, 2010

Mike Stone is a regular contributor to The Cannons Blog and a local boy trying to make the team he grew up watching. In addition to his blog we featured a poll last week that drew a lot of interest in comments and voting, based on whether or not you thought he’d make the team.

Mike has in fact made the 23 man roster and now he’s fighting to earn a spot on the 19 man game day roster. Congrats to Mike and continue to check the blog for updates on him and the rest of the roster.

zr

Stone Cold

May 4, 2010

Mike Stone checks in with his impressions of week 1 of training camp, a week he really impressed

Wow, it feels like forever since I wrote my last blog. Things have really started kicking up in the last couple weeks. We are finally into the season and had our first weekend of training camp at Harvard two weeks ago. The day started with a season ticket holder appreciation where I got to practice my autograph, an aspect of my game that is really struggling right now. We had a lot of downtime in the morning and were able to work on our farmer’s tans at the Princeton vs. Harvard game, watching the Crimson defeat the Tigers for
the first time in 20 years.

The Gentle Giant Challenge is harder than it looks

Outside the game, the company Gentle Giant set up their “Gentle Giant Staircase” (if you haven’t seen it before it is a staircase up on one side and a slide down on the other). Gentle Giant times all of their employees for 5 laps of the staircase to test their fitness level. For “fun” a few Cannons were recruited to run the stairs in between all the young kids racing up and down. Fearing our own upcoming fitness test I was reluctant to join the running of the stairs but was convinced I could beat the world record of 28 seconds (set earlier that day by Speedster Chris Ajemian who crushed the previous long-standing record of 31 seconds). I coasted to a mediocre time of 34 seconds. My competitive edge set in and as soon as I caught my breath I raced back up the stairs to a time of just over 31 seconds. Still no record but I’ll be training hard for a re-match next year.

After all of the days activities we finally suited up to play some lax. Well, kind of. First we had to finish our fitness test performed by CATZ trainers which was fairly quick but very painful. We then scrimmaged the CroArt League All-Star Team. I was happy to see a strong Middlebury presence on the all-star team including former Cannons player and Middlebury Panther Jed Raymond. After the scrimmage we were done for the day and told to report back for practice the next morning.

Not cats, catz as in http://catzsports.com

Sunday morning we tried to beat out our soreness beginning with more
CATZ conditioning stations. Over the next couple hours we ran through a few drills and ended with a team scrimmage. All told, the first weekend of camp was fun. The guys on the team are a great group to hang out with and I have my fingers crossed hoping to make the team and get to spend some more time with them.

This blog ran a little longer than I expected so I’ll break it off now and keep my fingers loose for another entry later this week.

If I could have dinner with any 3 people alive or dead…

May 3, 2010

George Washington has been dead for 220 years but apparently the Cannons think he'd make a great dinner guest

Chris Eck – my grandfather, LeBron James, and Abraham Lincoln

Matt Casey – Michael Jordan, Mark Kastrud (Cannons GM), and Bill Clinton

I guess we know who the brown noser on the team is...

Kevin Buchanan – Matt Casey, Alexander Ovechkin, and George Washington

Jon Hayes – Jay-Z, Alexander Ovechkin, and Vince Vaughn

Jon has that Empire State of Mind

James Guay – Muhammad Ali, Jim Carrey, and Yoda

Patrick Gaffney – my grandfather, George Washington, and Peter Griffin

Brian Danvers – Eva Mendes, Jack Black, and Christopher Nolan

I wonder how Mendes and Jack Black would get along at dinner?

Garrett Pedley – Burt Reynolds, Tedy Bruschi, and Mike Ditka

Joshua Porcell – Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Larry David

Rumor has it that Fox is a vegan, that could make for an interesting menu

Ryan Heath – Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Megan Fox

Brandon Spillett – Jay-Z, David Byrne, and Johnny Drama

Props on the Johnny Drama selection...VICTORY!

Matt Smalley – Randy Moss, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and Johnny Utah

Mike Stone – Ray Bourque, Jim Carrey, and William Shakespeare

We'd rather have dinner with this kid than Herb Brooks

Jeff Colburn – Herb Brooks, Dan Marino, the President of the United States

Matt Messina – Michael Jordan, Mark Wahlberg, and Marisa Miller

Miller is a stunning SI Swimsuit and Victoria's Secret Model

Joe Thon – George Washington

Chris Ajemian – Johnny Drama, Kristin, and Sloan (all from Entourage)

From Machiavelli's The Prince, "The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved."

J.R. Oreskovich – Machiavelli and Thomas Edison

Mike McDonald – Jerry Garcia, Jim Morrison, and John Wooden

Probably the most interesting 3some in the bunch

Training Camp Insider

April 30, 2010

With the first installment of training camp in the books the Cannons look to get back in action this weekend down in Wilton CT where they will scrimmage the Long Island Wizards. This weekend the Cannons will be joined by Captains Matt Poskay and Chris Passavia, as well as goalie Kip Turner. Having some tested veterans and proven leaders around the team will be valuable as the team develops its identity.

The second week of training camp is in a way the most important week; with many regulars still unable to join the team due to commitments in the playoffs of the NLL, this is the time for those half-dozen or so players trying to make the back-end of the roster to prove they belong.

The first weekend of training camp was significant because several players stood out, most notably Mike Stone and J.R. Oreskovich. Both players came to camp in shape, showcased their athleticism and found the back of the net often.  Even players like Stone and Oreskovich who impressed, must show the coaches they can do it consistently. Any player at this level can light it up on a particular day, but can they do it against the best players in the world again and again? That’s what will be required of them if they make the 19 man game day roster. Some players goal may be to make the additional 8 man practice squad, at least buying them more time to make an impression.

On the flip side, several players during the first weekend of camp looked “rusty” and must use this weekends opportunity against MLL competition to show they’ve shook the cobwebs. There is definitely a sense of urgency as the team is likely to make cuts following this weekend. Coach Daye has taken each player aside and talked to them privately, explaining exactly what they need to do to make this team. There’s no confusion, now the players have to get it done.

Also to keep an eye out for this weekend is the play of John Ortolani. Last year he played on the Cannons practice squad and has played for the Boston Blazers in the NLL this year. He is a face-off specialist who did not see any action last year because of the play of Chris Eck in that role. Can Ortolani distinguish himself as a defensive midi to earn a spot on the game day roster and then spell Eck from the face-off duties from time to time? If not it would be hard to justify having a face-off specialist on the game-day roster over someone more versatile.

Versatility will be especially important to the Cannons this year as they try to fill several key holes in their lineup. With the losses of Sean Morris, Matt Alrich and Brandon Corp, the Cannons have a lack of depth at attack. To fill that void they will use training camp to test some players out of position, specifically trying Poskay and Kevin Buchanan at attack. Both players are gifted and skilled lacrosse players, but will they be comfortable at attack? Switching positions at this level is easier said than done.

A couple of years ago during training camp the team tried moving Johnny Christmas to mid to fill a need there, and despite Christmas being a spectacular player, the transition was not smooth because he could not find a comfort zone. Better to find that out during training camp than during the regular season where each game is ultra important.

Lastly, while this weekends scrimmage against Long Island wont give any clear insight into how the team will fair this season as it wont have its full complement of players, it should give insight into what kind of depth the team will have which could impact how the team approaches the draft. If there’s a glaring defensive deficiency or a lack of scoring, the team may place emphasis on those positions with its third overall pick or subsequent picks. Yet another wrinkle to training camp.

So enjoy all the action those in the fertile lacrosse ground of Wilton CT and make sure to cheer on the boys loudly and embrace the face that you’re watching some of the best in the world at what they do compete.