Despite missing two games earlier in the year with a lower body injury, Callum Crawford currently ranks fifth in the league in assists and has been awarded the NLL’s Offensive Player of the Week twice this season.
The Ottawa, Ontario native hosts his own web series, has scored 25 points over his last three games, and is now the team’s acting captain. Behind Crawford’s scoring prowess and leadership, Minnesota is currently on a two-game winning streak.
Heading into a pivotal weekend, “Showtime” previews the Swarm’s Saturday night tilt with the Buffalo Bandits at The Hive and lets mnswarm.com know what the team’s focus is heading into the homestretch of the regular season.
Satzinger: Since Andrew Suitor’s season-ending knee injury you’ve been named the team captain. How’s that adjustment been for you?
Crawford: I wouldn’t say it’s been much of an adjustment really. The unique thing about our team is that we’ve got a lot of leaders. It’s not like since I’m now the official captain I’m going to be vocal like Andrew was. We’ve got a locker room full of guys who have stepped up in leadership roles. I have really been able to pretty much play the same role and it has been pretty easy.
Satzinger: You’ve currently been hosting a web series for mnswarm.com called “Showtime at the Downtowner”. Could you tell us what it’s about and why fans should tune in?
Crawford: It’s something we started last year, where some of the people in the office decided it was a good idea to give me a microphone. The verdict is still out on that, but it can be entertaining at times. They do a great job of editing it, because there’s a lot of garbage that comes out of the taping, we just kind of sit down and joke and talk a little bit. It’s put together pretty well, hopefully our fans can get a few laughs if they take a look at it.
Satzinger: You’re one of many Swarm players from Ontario. What’s it like to play with so many guys that share common ties with you?
Crawford: I think it’s like that for a lot of teams. Ontario is a huge hotbed for box lacrosse and it’s good for us in the sense that a lot of us come from the same place and coming from similar areas some of us grew up playing with or against one another.
Satzinger: Over the past three games you’ve scored a combined 25 points. How have you been so effective as of late?
Crawford: Our defense and goaltending have been great, giving me plenty of opportunities. On top of that, we have a lot of guys on our offense that demand respect from other team’s defense so I’ve been able to find myself open often and get the ball to bounce the right way. It’s nothing that I’m doing differently, I’m just benefitting from how well our team is playing as a whole.
Satzinger: Entering Saturday night’s game against Buffalo, Minnesota is on a two-game winning streak. On the other spectrum, the Bandits have dropped five games in a row. What needs to happen for both of those trends to continue and have the Swarm pull off the win?
Crawford: We need to approach the game the same as we approach other games. Regardless of a slump Buffalo may or may not be in, every team in this league demands our respect. We need to approach the game as if we’re facing the best team in the league because that’s the Buffalo team we’re going to expect. We have 23 guys that need to step in and do their job and that’s what has happened in the past two games. We are going to stick to that gameplan and I think we can come out on top and keep that streak going.
Satzinger: In March 16’s game against Washington you became the Swarm’s all-time assists leader. You also surpassed 100 goals and 300 points with the franchise. What do those milestones personally mean to you as a player?
Crawford: They’re great to have, but I think it really credits the guys that I’ve played with. For the past four years I’ve had the opportunity to put a Swarm jersey on with Ryan Benesch, who in my opinion is the best pure goal scorer in the league. My life is easy in that sense. The only goal I’ve set for my career is winning one if not multiple Champions Cups. My focus is on team success, winning games and championships. Until that happens I won’t be satisfied with my career.
Satzinger: There are only four games left in the regular season and the team is currently in the playoffs. What’s your focus going into the homestretch of this year?
Crawford: I think that every team’s goal at the beginning of the year has to be playoffs or more. This is such a tight league; there are no bad teams in it. Making the playoffs is a huge goal, because all it takes is one game to get knocked off. We have to continue getting better each weekend, because we can’t be satisfied with what we have done so far. Without winning a Champion's Cup we really haven’t done anything. Our focus has to be one game at a time and getting better as the season progresses to get the Champion's Cup. That’s got to be our goal.