Team captain Jordan MacIntosh has been with the Swarm his entire career but has never been this deep into the NLL playoffs until this year. With Game 1 of the Champion's Cup taking place at home on Harrah's Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena, the two-time NLL Transition Player of the Year (2013 & 2014) and two-time All-Pro First Team (2013 & 2014) took some time to talk about the Champion's Cup and what he did to prepare to lead the talented Swarm against the Saskatchewan Rush.
Swarm Captain Jordan MacIntosh | Photo Credit: Kyle Hess
Q: With the Champion’s Cup finals coming up this weekend, how have you prepared differently than a regular season game?
JM: I don't think that we have done anything too differently. I feel like at this stage of the season, we know the process that we follow and we try to stick to it. We do a call on Wednesday, and we watch a lot of film to prepare for our game.
Q: With being the Captain for the team, what are you doing to make sure the rest of the team is staying in perfect condition for this game?
JM: In terms of working out and preparing your bodies, we try to keep the workouts the same. We don't want anyone getting hurt when they try a new workout. It is business as usual at the moment, and we want to keep it that way.
Q: The Swarm defeated The Rush in the first game of the season, how do you use that victory to prepare for this series?
JM: We've watched that game, and I do not think we can base how they are going to perform off of it. They had some key players out that game. We are focused more on the past few games that they have played. We watch those games to prepare for this game. We look for specific ways they play and makes notes of things.
Q: What are you feeling leading up to this series against Saskatchewan?
JM: I'm feeling good; I'm ready. The week off was good for the team. We were able to heal up. The team is ready to get back to Atlanta and start the series.
Q: What do you do to learn and teach yourself for the upcoming games?
JM: When you are studying a team, you look for different tendencies that you can pick up on. For me, I focus heavily on faceoffs. I want to see how their guys go for faceoffs so I can be ahead of the game.
Q: How do you think bye-weeks impact the team and yourself throughout this playoff season?
JM: I think they are great for our team. It has helped some of our guys recover. We had a tough series against Toronto that gave us some bumps and bruises. It gave us time to recover and reset. I think they are beneficial for us.
Q: As one of the veterans on the team, how does this playoff run open your eyes to the skill and growth in this league?
JM: We are a young team that has made it to the Championship. Players are coming more prepared than they have in the past. They are looking to make an impact in the NLL. Look at our top scorers; some of them are in their first few years in the league. It makes our league more exciting when these players can come in and make their mark on it.
Q: This is the farthest the Swarm has ever been in the playoffs, what is the difference between this team and past teams?
JM: I know it is cliché to call your team a family. This is the closest team we have ever had. I would call our team best friends. With having this off week, this feeling was true. Our group text had double the activity this past week. Everyone on the team has a good relationship, and we're all friends.