So far this season, the Colorado Mammoth\'s offence has been somewhat of a sleeping giant.
The 5-3 Calgary Roughnecks hope it doesn\'t wake when they take to the floor at the Pepsi Center in Denver tonight.
Arguably the most potent on paper out of the National Lacrosse League\'s 12 teams, the Mammoth attack has scored only 95 goals in seven games, good for sixth in the league.
With Gary Gait and Ted Dowling on the right side of the floor and Del Halladay, former Roughneck Ben Prepchuk and rookie Brian Langtry on the left, the Mammoth present a balanced attack that\'s deadly from the outside as well as in close.
To make matters worse for Calgary, the 4-3 Mammoth, who relocated from Washington after last season, are undefeated in their new home.
\"Definitely when you have a team that has their talent level you have to focus a lot more on players than you would if you played a team that had less natural goal scorers,\" said Roughnecks goalie Curtis Palidwor. \"They can score a variety of ways so it\'s a matter of focusing on what their strengths are and have our D take that away and make my job easier.\"
Not that Palidwor can\'t hold his own. The 29-year-old was named the NLL\'s defensive player of the week yesterday for the second week in a row after making 36 saves in the Riggers 11-7 win over Columbus last Friday.
Roughnecks head coach Chris Hall and his staff are very familiar with most of the Mammoth\'s offence and know the threat they pose. Hall has known and coached Gait for almost 20 years and Dowling plays summer ball with the Victoria Shamrocks, a team Hall used to coach and assistant Walt Christianson now does.
\"I think we obviously have to consider who we\'re playing against,\" agreed Hall. \"We\'re more than familiar with their guys so it\'s not like we\'re wandering into uncharted territory. So it\'s not that we don\'t know these guys well. But knowing them and stopping them are two different things.\"
Especially Gait, who is the league\'s all-time leading scorer with 856 points. Gait finished second in league scoring last season, behind now-retired twin brother Paul, with 112 points. This year, he\'s fourth in league scoring with 22 goals and 22 assists.
\"We have to try and do some things that minimize the chances Gary gets,\" said Hall.
QUICK STICKS: The Roughnecks will make only one change to the lineup tonight, with Jordan West-Pratt starting on defence in place of Rob Desormeaux, who was unable to make the trip due to work commitments ... Rockslax.com is reporting that Roughnecks forward and top pugilist Matt Green has requested a trade. Green has seen action in only one game this year.