Tracking the National Lacrosse League records that are in jeopardy of being broken has become an annual tradition here at IL Indoor. There is virtually no chance that the single-season scoring record will be broken for the third straight year but there are still some pretty interesting pursuits under way, including a couple of career marks that are likely to fall. So this week, I begin charting the chases to create NLL history in seven categories.

Category: Total goals in two consecutive seasons
Previous record: 116, Gary Gait (2003/04)
Chasing record: Curtis Dickson: 61 in 2016, needs 56 in 2017
On pace for: 54
Likelihood of new record: Moderate
Gary Gait scored 61 goals in 2003; Curtis Dickson scored 61 goals in 2016. Gait followed that up with a 55-goal season; Dickson is on pace for 54. The obvious difference that needs to be noted is that Gait was playing 16-game seasons while Dickson is playing 18 games per year. That does more to highlight how over-the-top brilliant Gait’s back to back seasons were than to diminish what Dickson is currently doing. With six games left to play, it’s tempting to say that Dickson will lose his shot at the record if he has an off game in which he doesn’t score a goal. That turns out not to be true at all, given that he has more games with at least 6 goals (six times) in the last four years than he does games with 0 goals (three times). So he’s more than capable of overcoming any slow nights and getting back on pace.

Category: Career regular season coaching wins
Previous record: 121, Darris Kilgour
Chasing record: Derek Keenan, 118
On pace for: 124
Likelihood of new record: High
Keenan has been coming on fast for this record: his last three seasons alone (42 wins) would have placed him 14th on the all-time list entering 2017. Now he’s just a few games behind Darris Kilgour and is almost certain to take over the career lead given the team that he’s constructed while also serving as the Rush’s general manager. With Saskatchewan looking like they’re set to be championship contenders for the foreseeable future, Keenan could put this mark pretty far out of reach for a while.

Speaking of the top 14 all time, by the way, there are five other active coaches among that group. Troy Cordingley’s fifth win with Buffalo this season, last Saturday over Vancouver, moved him past the legendary Les Bartley (who still has the highest winning percentage, .710, of anyone who’s coached more than eight games) into third with 94 wins. Ed Comeau now has 70, Mike Hasen 64, Jamie Batley 50, and Curt Malawsky 42.

Category: Career PIM
Previous record: 627, Kyle Laverty
Chasing record: Billy Dee, 618
On pace for: 633
Likelihood of new record: Moderate/High
I generally don’t even check on the single-season penalty minutes record because of its voluntary nature; I’d hate to contribute to someone deciding they were close and might as well break the record and therefore intentionally taking penalties. Since this is a career mark, though, I am confident that Billy Dee Smith will let it happen organically. And it will happen; Smith plays with way too much grit not to take some penalties here and there. It’s part of what has made him so effective over the years. The nice thing about Smith chasing this record is that it gives us a chance to recognize how well he is still playing in his 14th season in the NLL.

Category: Saves
Old record: 752, Anthony Cosmo, 2014
Current 2017 leader: Evan Kirk, 479 in 12 games
On pace for: 719
Likelihood of new record: Low/Moderate
Kirk led the league last year with 620 saves en route to being named the NLL Goalie of the Year. He would need to average 46 per game for the final six games of the season to reach Anthony Cosmo’s mark, a number he has only met or exceeded four times this season. That makes it statistically unlikely he’ll reach the record. His stellar play of late, allowing just 28 goals and posting an .817 save percentage over a three-game winning streak, suggests he could have some games with big save numbers coming down the stretch, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Category: Rookie points
Old record: 95, Randy Staats, 2016
Current 2017 leader(s): Tom Schreiber, 57 points in 11 games
On pace for: 93
Likelihood of new record: Moderate
First of all, in case anyone was still wondering if Tom Schreiber qualifies as a rookie in the NLL after playing three seasons of pro field lacrosse, the league has confirmed that Schreiber is an official rookie. This record is fresh, with Randy Staats’ fantastic freshman season in 2016 setting the standard. Schreiber has actually slowed down of late, with four of his last five games falling below his current season average of a little over 5 points per game. The fifth, though, was an 8-point effort against Calgary. He’ll have to step things up, needing to score 5.6 per game the rest of the way to break Staats’ mark. For the record, Staats set the record by heating up down the stretch; he averaged 6.7 points per game over his final seven contests of 2016.

Category: Rookie assists
Old record: 59, Randy Staats, 2016
Current 2017 leader(s): Tom Schreiber, 39 in 11 games
On pace for: 64
Likelihood of new record: Moderate/High
The assists record is decidedly more within the reach of Schreiber. He needs to average 3 assists per game to break the other mark that Staats set last year. Schreiber has posted fewer than 3 only twice in his 11 games so far. While his goal scoring is good, the real revelation this year has been Schreiber’s floor vision and passing touch. The assist he earned against Calgary on March 11, throwing a perfect back-door pass to Brett Hickey while falling to his back after a huge, clean hit from Garrett McIntosh, is ample evidence that Schreiber has what it takes to break this record. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see him going after the league mark of 83 shared by Shawn Evans, Josh Sanderson and Callum Crawford down the road, especially after Rob Hellyer returns to Toronto and gives him another elite scoring option to pass to.

Category: Rookie Caused Turnovers
Old record: 28, Robert Hope, 2015
Current 2017 leader(s): Latrell Harris, 18 in 11 games
On pace for: 29
Likelihood of new record: Moderate
Caused turnovers is a trickier statistic in which to project totals because a smaller total value means that variations from game to game can have a larger impact on how a player finishes. In other words, when the number for a record is, say, 95 like with rookie points, someone chasing the record can have a big night or an off night without the effect on their projection being too dramatic. They can easily bounce back or fall back in the next game. But if you have a 4-CTO night, as Latrell Harris did against Calgary, it can create a big spike in your statistical chances of reaching the rookie record of 28 by Robert Hope. On the other hand, getting blanked as Harris did in the previous game against New England can make your chances appear to fall precipitously. Another factor in his category is that the stat itself is somewhat subjective. It’s easy to see if someone scores a goal or an assist. It’s not always as easy to decide when a caused turnover has taken place or who among a group of defenders should get credit when one does occur. Regardless, the fact that Harris is on pace to break Hope’s mark shows what a remarkable season the defender, who just turned 19 a week ago, is having.

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