#24 T Jordan MacIntosh
When faced with the difficult task of characterizing players in the NLL, a line is often drawn between offensive and defensive players. A player is either relied upon to put the ball in the net or to keep the ball out of his own net. Swarm transition player Jordan MacIntosh is a perfect example of someone who falls outside of this dichotomy between offense and defense. In only his third year in the NLL, MacIntosh has established himself as one of the premiere two-way players in the league, equally capable of playing lights-out defense as he is shooting the lights out in the other end of the floor.
The Oakville, Ontario native has been the epitome of consistency during the illustrious start of his career, averaging 53 points and 177 loose balls over his first two seasons, an output that led to him winning the 2013 NLL Transition Player of the Year award. MacIntosh has not slowed down in 2014, as he has already eclipsed the 50-point and 150-loose ball plateaus and is looking for more down the stretch.
MNSwarm.com had the opportunity to chat with the versatile player, and learned the secret behind his consistency, his take on the season at hand and his excitement to open a three-game homestand at The Hive.
Hollerud: What keeps you busy Monday through Friday during the season?
MacIntosh: Right now I’m a lacrosse coach at the Hill Academy in Ontario, It’s a private school for athletes which provides a high level lacrosse program and education. I’d love to work in the sport as long as I can and hopefully for my whole life. It’s given me so much and people say all the time that they want to give back and help grow the game, but it’s true. I want to see lacrosse become a primary sport in North America, and I think it has the potential to, so anything I can do to help get it there I’m going to do.
Hollerud: You are an extremely versatile player, able to rack up points and loose balls on any given night, how have you developed such an effective two-way game?
MacIntosh: It really started for me in junior lacrosse. I always played offense and my coach switched me to playing defense and transition, and that really helped with a lot of different skills, like getting loose balls and faceoffs. It started then and I worked hard in that role as a transition player–someone who can play both ends of the floor and be effective, so I’d give the credit to those coaches back in the day.
Hollerud: Do you put any more weight personally on offensive statistics or defensive statistics or do you strive for a certain combination of the two of them?
MacIntosh: I would say a combination; I wouldn’t want to weigh one too much more than the other. If I had a game where I had five goals but went less than 50% on my faceoffs and we lose, then that’s something I wouldn’t be happy about. If anything I’d say the loose balls and faceoffs are a little bit more important; the little hustle plays that aren’t always recognized are the things that help teams win games. When I can dominate in those areas of the floor I think we have a good chance of winning.
Hollerud: You have been able to put up great numbers immediately upon entering the league and haven’t slowed down since, to what do you attribute this consistency from the outset of your career to today?
MacIntosh: I think I was prepared coming into this league. I had a good junior career and a solid college career so I think I was pretty prepared coming in. And I think in regards of keeping it consistent, it’s all about bringing the same effort every year. After you play one season you realize what it takes to be successful in this league and if you aren’t willing to do that work every year you are going to see your points or your team drop off. I hope and plan to play in this league for a long time, and I am willing to put in the work to make sure I do.
Hollerud: Not only are you able to score consistently, you are able to consistently score highlight-reel goals, How would you describe this flair for the dramatic you seem to have in the offensive end?
MacIntosh: I don’t know really. With the NLL and their rules they are a little more lenient in letting us dive through the crease and things like that. I think it makes for a more exciting game, and it definitely makes for more creativity in the offensive end. Sometimes where in a normal game you might not have a shot, in the NLL you have an opportunity to put the ball in the net. I’m always trying to do different things and find different ways to score and sometimes it may come off a little flashy but if it goes in that’s all that really matters.
Hollerud: This year obviously hasn’t gone how you guys have hoped, what is your take on what has transpired to date with your team?
MacIntosh: It’s been a little bit of growing pains this year. Our team’s M.O. is that we are a young, athletic team and this year is no exception–we have some great athletes, some great young talent and great prospects coming up. In the games we have lost we haven’t been blown out; every game has been a one or two-goal game. I think it is a little lack of maturity on our part. As this team grows together we will turn those one and two-goal losses into wins and you will see this record we have flipped around. It’s tough to come into this league and dominate right away; there’s a lot of stuff you got to learn, a lot of things you have to figure out before you win at a consistent basis.
Hollerud: Buffalo is a team that’s riding a skid of their own, and will be looking to avenge their loss a couple weeks ago in St. Paul, what are the keys to repeating the success you have had against them this year?
MacIntosh: Both games against them have been fairly close games that could have gone either way, and I think that bodes well for us in terms of confidence. We are going into this game confident that we can play with these guys and we can win, and that’s the way we need to look at every game from here on out. We’re right there and we just need to find a way to pull out some fourth quarter victories.
Hollerud: You guys haven’t been eliminated yet, how do you go about forgetting about all the negatives and playing your best game come Saturday?
MacIntosh: I think playing at home is the most important thing. It’s kind of been a wacky schedule this year with Sunday games and Friday games. Three home Saturday night games are our bread and butter, we know our fans will be out to support us. We want to make sure we are ending the season on a good note. We aren’t eliminated yet but even if we were we are going to keep battling until someone says we’re done. Having those home games is really important for us because we want to get our fans a few wins.
Hollerud: What is it about playing in The Hive energizes you guys as a team?
MacIntosh: To be honest it’s one of the loudest arenas that we play in. Obviously they are cheering for us, but they are loud, and they are louder than some of the busiest buildings in the league. They are passionate fans–I had a friend tell me how he couldn’t believe how long the fans stick around after the game. They wait for us to do our lap after the game and they are hanging around, waiting for us to do our interviews and come up and sign autographs. They really are passionate fans and they care a lot about us, and that goes a long way on our team.