When the term “MVP” is thrown around, it elicits a player that had the greatest impact in the league.
And while he may not have won the award for the second time in his young career, it’s not like there wasn’t a good case for Lyle Thompson to have been awarded that hardware – in fact, we already made that argument earlier this offseason.
So instead of treading on old ground, let’s just admire the fact that Lyle “is a game-changer, is a game-influencer,” as Swarm assistant coach Dan Ladouceur put it.
“Anytime there’s a time in the game where you need the ball in a secure stick, you go to Lyle Thompson. His ball protection, his speed, his athleticism – second-to-none in my opinion, and that’s league-wide.”
Death, Taxes, and Lyle Scoring a Goal
It’s been a minute since Lyle Thompson has played an NLL game where he hasn’t made the ball magically appear behind the opposing netminder.
Photo Credit: Kyle Hess
In fact, you’d have to go back to the Swarm’s Feb. 17, 2018 game against the Toronto Rock. Lyle didn’t score a goal that night despite his 16 shots, but he did hand out four assists.
After that game, Lyle went on a little tear to close out the second half of the 2017-18 season, recording 32 goals in that span, a 3.56 G/GAME pace.
The scoring streak stayed strong in the 2018-19 season. Lyle found the back of the net in every Swarm game in 2018-19.
27 straight games of Lyle Thompson doing Lyle Thompson things.
Lyle’s dependability hit a new level in 2018-19 as he recorded a goal in each game and never finished a game with less than four points. That consistent productivity is practically unheard of for anyone, and it wasn’t something Lyle did early in his career.
During his rookie season, Lyle had one game where he didn’t record a point and two games where he only had one point.
In 2017, Lyle had one 1-point game and three 3-point games.
2017-18, he again had one 1-point game and one 3-point game.
But this past season? The lowest single-game points total Lyle put up was four points. He did that five times.
In his first three seasons, Lyle would explode in games and reach double digits in a single game to help offset those quiet games. No such case in 2018-19, as the 26-year-old remained effective all season. He never posted more than nine points in a game, and 10 of the contests saw him post six-plus points.
“There’s always some flash of his athleticism in his goal or the timing of it,” Ladouceur concluded. “He seems to be there whenever we need him. His consistency and his ability to swing a game’s momentum is huge for us.”
2018-19 wasn’t Lyle’s flashiest season, but it was most definitely his most consistent and efficient. That’s huge for the Swarm and Lyle, that the next evolution of his game is producing solid numbers each night.
Lyle’s reliability was a big piece of the Swarm’s successes last season, and it helped him get his numbers back to where we’re used to seeing them after an 86-point 2017-18 season. With the numbers he put up in 2018-19 – 105 points (43G, 62A), 94 loose balls, 16 caused turnovers, a .195 S% – the youngest Thompson brother has demonstrated that there’s a different way for a superstar to shoulder the team: with consistency and efficiency.
2018-19 Player Capsules:
Sting City Memberships for the 2019-20 Swarm season are on sale now. Fans can join the most exclusive lacrosse club in the South by visiting StingCity.com or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.