By: Riley Pollock – 13.12.23

The Riggers are ready for redemption.

It hasn’t been the start the Roughnecks were looking for coming into the season as they find themselves 0-2 after two weeks of play. Now, with a double bye-week before their home opener on Dec. 30 at the Rough House TICKETS, the Riggers are ready to turn their fortunes around.

Assistant Captain Eli Salama says despite the slow start there are positives to take away and he feels the team will be back to their old selves sooner rather than later.

“Everything is fixable,” he said. “It’s more so executing and making all the plays that need to be made. Maybe a bounce here or there that goes our way instead of the other teams is the helping hand we would have needed to get one, maybe two, wins out of the first two weeks but yes not the start that we were after.

“It’s not the end of the world though we will be right as rain soon enough here.”

It’s not a great time to go 21-days without a game as the Roughnecks would love to get right back out there and set things right early in the NLL season.

“A double-bye this early in the season sucks,” said Salama. “We’re just trying to get going, mesh and find some momentum and rhythm. I will say though that it’s nice that the game we have to look forward to is the home-opener. It will be really nice to get back to Calgary and play infront of our fans and have the normal home game routine.

“We are all getting together, all the BC guys will get together and have some floor time same with Alberta and Ontario. So we just have to take care of business, make sure we’re making time for our families over the holidays but also we know we have a job to do and we haven’t been able to do it over these first two weeks. So we’re excited for the home opener and we just need to make sure that we get a win.”

Two weeks into the season, there have been some breakdowns on both sides of the ball but each contest has seen flashes of the 13-5 team from a season ago. With a new coaching staff there are going to be adjustments but Salama says they are all professionals and there is no excuses for the slow start.

“I think a lot of it is growing pains and figuring out how we’re going to work together,” he explained. “Our training camp isn’t exactly extensive but I think more than anything we’re having a hard time executing and making all the plays that we need to make.

“We need to make sure we’re executing the system and gameplan and doing the things that make us successful. It doesn’t matter who is behind the bench at the end of the day we’re the ones out there trying to make the plays and we just haven’t been making them.”

A trip home could be just what the doctor ordered for the Roughnecks. They finished 7-2 at the ‘Dome last season, which was tied for tops in the NLL. Salama is pumped to get back in front of the rowdy, Rough House.

“We’re super excited,” he said. “Obviously when the schedule came out we were hoping to be in Calgary a little sooner but better late than never. We’re excited to play in front of the best fans in the league again and try to kick off 2024 with a nice win heading into it and finish off 2023 on a high.”

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