Calgary Roughnecks Season Preview
NLL games start tonight. That said, there are teams I still need to preview. Last time, I did the Colorado Mammoth. Now, it is time to check on the defending champs. Let’s see how the Calgary Roughnecks looks.
Calgary had a dream season. They got hot at the right time. The Roughnecks finished third in the east with a 10-8 regular season record. It didn’t matter. Calgary squeaked out a 12-11 win over San Diego, shut down Colorado 8-4, and swept the Buffalo Bandits (10-7, 14-13) to claim the crown. It was a magical end to the season, as Calgary defeated Buffalo in front of 17,038 rowdy Roughnecks fans.
Calgary knows what it takes to win a title; however, the target is on their back now. How will they handle it? Do they have the pieces for a repeat season? Let’s find out.
The offensive talent is elite. Dane Dobbie (47 goals, 68 assists last season), the 2019 NLL MVP, returns alongside Curtis Dickson (35 goals, 46 assists last season) and Rhys Duch (27 goals, 47 assists last season). Currently, Duch is listed as physically unable to perform (PUP); however, a resigned Tyler Pace (17 goals, 25 assists last season) will fill in.
The offense doesn’t need help, but it’ll get it from a devastating defense. The Roughnecks return Curtis Manning (27 loose balls last season) and Tyler Burton (2 goals, 4 assists, 101 loose balls last season). Manning needs two loose balls to reach a career six hundred. Liam LeClair, Calgary’s first round draft pick, will make an immediate impact. Zach Currier (6 goals, 16 assists, 199 loose balls last season), a transition/defensive specialist, is resigned. I’ve seen Currier play for the Denver Outlaws. The man is a beast. Currier only needs one loose ball to reach a career four hundred.
Folks in the industry believe goaltender Christian Del Bianco is set for an improved 2019 season. Del Bianco had an 11.17 goals against average last season. If that goes down, the Roughnecks will be tough to beat.
Calgary is loaded and set up for another title run. The Roughnecks’ schedule opens at Vancouver, against Colorado, and at San Diego. That’s three western division opponents in a row. By winning all three, Calgary will have a huge head start over Saskatchewan. Speaking of Saskatchewan, Calgary may be 10-0 going into a monstrous matchup against the Rush. Saskatchewan is Calgary’s biggest threat to win the west. Calgary needs to win the season series against Saskatchewan (3 meetings) to clinch the west. Even if they don’t, Calgary is a virtual lock to make the playoffs.
Do you agree with my Calgary takeaways? Disagree? Are you a Roughnecks fan looking to talk Calgary lacrosse? Whatever your thoughts, voice them by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can also comment directly onto my article by subscribing. By subscribing, you’ll be notified whenever I publish a new article. Any and all support is appreciated. Regardless, thank you for reading and good luck to the Calgary Roughnecks!