If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Perhaps that is what Rochester Knighthawks coach Paul Day was thinking when he hired ex-Toronto Rock coach Ed Comeau and head scout Sean Ferris as assistant coaches.
The Knighthawks, 0-3 against the Rock in National Lacrosse League playoff competition (all championship games), will try to snap their post-season drought against Toronto tomorrow night in the East Division final at the Air Canada Centre. With Comeau running the offence and Ferris leading the defence, Day has some invaluable championship experience behind the bench.
"There is probably nobody in the league who plans better than Eddie," said Day, who has not won a championship in eight years with the Hawks. "He is kind of like the Bill Belichick of lacrosse. He's got a way of talking to the guys and preparing like nobody else does. That has been huge for us."
Comeau arrived in Rochester midway through last season after Terry Sanderson had replaced him behind the Rock bench.
Ferris said Sanderson wanted to retain him as a scout this season, but the last man from the Les Bartley regime decided to follow Comeau to Rochester. Ferris has helped the Hawks, traditionally a dominant offensive team, become the top-ranked defensive team in the 10-team NLL.
"Sean is a very meticulous guy with statistics ... and he has done a great job defensively," Day said. "Everybody has been talking most of the year about our offence, but the defence is what's going to win you games in the playoffs."
Having a chance to knock off his former team isn't the first thought in Ferris' mind.
"That's motivation, but there is more motivation from all the guys in here who haven't won," he said. "I know there is a lot of motivation for them because of the three championships they lost against Toronto."
New York, Hartford, Portland and Edmonton are the candidates for NLL expansion next season. Expect the league to finalize expansion plans next month.