Saskatchewan Rush re-adjusting to NLL action after long layoff

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan Rush re-adjusting to NLL action after long lay-off'
Saskatchewan Rush re-adjusting to NLL action after long lay-off
WATCH: Despite a pair of valiant efforts to kick start their year the Saskatchewan Rush have yet to crack the win column, dropping back-to-back games for the first time since 2017. However the resolve of this battle tested group knows they have more to give than what the scoreboard has shown thus far. Brenden Purdy has the story – Dec 13, 2021

For the just second time in the last seven years the Saskatchewan Rush have started the season with consecutive losses.

While a younger, inexperienced team may begin pushing the panic button following a slower than expected start, you won’t find that sentiment anywhere near this veteran-laden locker room.

Both losses the team has suffered have been agonizingly close games. One was an overtime setback following a disallowed Rush goal, the other a back-and-forth battle with arch rivals Calgary Roughnecks, who scored the go-ahead game-winning goal with less than two minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

“We could very easily be sitting at 2-0 and be singing a different tune,” captain Chris Corbeil said. “But we haven’t got the breaks. We’ve got to play tighter and we’ve got to play better.”

Story continues below advertisement

Besides that, the team has history on their side.

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.

Get daily National news

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

The last two times the Rush began a season with an 0-2 record (2015 and 2017) the team reached the National Lacrosse League final.

“I reminded the guys in the room, I think it was 2015 that we started 0-2 and we went on to win the championship (as the Edmonton Rush),”  Corbeil said.  “So, we’re far from done here.”

“I’ve finished first place many times and lost out in the first round,” 16-year veteran forward Jeff Shattler added. “So, it doesn’t matter where you end up as long as you get to the playoffs and that’s the name of the game in the NLL.”

The dominant offensive dynamos at the Rush disposal have yet to hit their stride in the early goings of the season, something that doesn’t have the group concerned considering the play of the defense thus far.

“I think for every team in the league we’ve seen that kind of, at the start of the season with the long layoff, that the defences are a little bit more ahead than the (offence),” head coach Jeff McComb explained.

Story continues below advertisement

The team has also experienced a major shift in personnel over the nearly two-year hiatus away from the NLL, with only 12 of 21 active players returning from their 2020 active roster.

“I think reps help,” Corbeil explained. “That’s game reps, practice reps and we’re just limited, it’s the nature of the league.”

“Our (offensive) group has got probably the most new guys in the mix,” McComb said. “So, trying to balance that and figure out what responsibilities are, definitely.”

“We’re missing some guys that we had on the right side from last year,” Shattler added. “But those excuses, you know as professional athletes you’ve got to find a way, there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

The team has one game remaining on the schedule before the league-wide bye-week over the Christmas holidays. That contest comes on Friday night in Vancouver against the Warriors.

Sponsored content