Another season is underway and as teams hit the ice in their quest for the 2011-2012 NRL Championship title, we’re taking a closer look at each team in the league. The new series is called 19 Teams in 19 Days and we would like to encourage you to join in the discussion on Twitter by following www.twitter.com/nrllnr or by sending us an email at NRLchatter@nationalringetteleague.ca
Last season finish:
Regular season – 11th place Eastern Conference
Head coach: David Singh
Two questions with coach Singh:
What would it mean to you, as a coach, to win the NRL championship this season?
It is the reason I am still coaching! I would love to be able to leave the sport of ringette on a winning note. I have given 24 years to coaching ringette. I would be happy for the girls. They work hard every day to reach that goal. I would like them to experience the satisfaction of being a National champion. No one would be able to take that away from them.
What does your team have to do to win an NRL championship?
We have to be a team. We have a very young team with a lot of new pieces. We did very well at this year’s draft. Those drafted were able to get a spot on the final squad. We also have solid veterans! You can’t draft experience. The old and new have to blend to make the current. If we do that, we will suprise a lot of people this year. If we play as two teams, we will be fighting to get in the playoffs. I am confident that the girls will pull it together and start to play as one. This is what makes every season exciting, not knowing what is around the next corner.
The NRL nugget to know about this team:
Lac St. Louis will not play a team that had an above .500 record last year until their 6th game of the season against Richmond Hill. A strong start will be essential for this team as they try to put a distance between themselves and the other teams looking to climb into the playoff picture this year.
The question to be answered:
Can all of the new pieces added via trades and the draft this off-season come together in time for Lac St. Louis to put together a playoff run?
What happened in the off-season:
A lot! The team has added players at all positions via this year’s draft and is stronger throughout. They have also added Joannie Welman via a trade with Le Royal de Bourassa (formerly BLL).
The (hidden) gem:
Interestingly, Lac St. Louis has also clearly made a point of finding veteran leadership via their AP players. APs Caroline Ross and Genevieve Demers both have tons of experience in the NRL and will help stabilize this young team. Lac St. Louis has basically taken the opposite approach to APs as the rest of the league, who usually use that role to provide some young players a chance to play before joining the league full time.
Reason for optimism:
This team has the ability to score a lot of goals, and has done so in bunches in the past. Joey Krygier and Cortney Keeble are now both NRL veterans and should be ready to make the jump from “good NRL players” to difference makers in the Eastern Conference. In fact, they probably will have to if Lac St. Louis is going to qualify for the NRL Championship in Burnaby in 2012.
Reason for concern:
Every team in the league starts this season with identical 0-0-0-0 records. But, based on last year’s 9-22 record, this team is going to have to find at least seven more wins in the regular season and that is easier said than done. Wins are hard to come by, and while this team has improved, it remains to be seen if their step is big enough to get into the playoffs and the NRL Championship conversation.