Blogs | 4/20/2010 9:48:30 AM | John Gurtler
At the instant moment stepping off our aircraft last Thursday night in Orlando, you could feel warm smooth spring air.
Something about the prelude to summer winds makes you feel so much better. Such the case when the Bandits established camp in ready for the battle against the Titans; everybody on the team was feeling good. Just the change of
scenery did me a world of good. You could have blindfolded and bumped me to Batavia and I’d be cool with that. The team needed it and seemed like a god prelude for a win.
As hospitable as Floridians can be, I felt very welcomed in the land that Mickey and Dwight Howard built. Orlando has its pockets and that includes a rejuvenated downtown with plenty establishments of food and fun, thanks to Disney getting out of the adult nightlife business. Eddie Money played a free concert downtown Friday night on closed passage named Wall Street. Kind of like our Lafayette Square. Everybody seemed to have their favorite hang and dressed appropriately for the environment.
And with a new sports arena ready to open next year, the Orlandoiets will have a nice identity. The Amway Arena, age 20, has outlived its usefulness. And it comes down the minute the last wipe of Windex is cleared on the new marvel.
Speaking of Mickey. I think he paid the Bandits a visit during halftime where up to then, the team played exceptionally well and rightfully resting with a 7-4 lead over the Titan’s. They worked well as a team on both ends of the floor, including the 4/7 mark on the power play and shutting out the Titan’s man up situations. Maybe he put the team in a trance and took the whistle out of their work, because they did not respond to anything that was said by the coaches coming out of the room preparing for the second half, and the continued reminders from behind the bench.
The Titan’s did the small, medium and big things right in the second half and turned the tables with their five-goal run. And all the Bandits could do was throw sno-cones at Matt Vince.
The team went completely flat, which struck the ire of coach Kilgour. In fact, after the Bandits five-goal run in the second quarter, Ed Comeau’s crew took the Bandits out of the game for the remaining 34-minutes. And this was in front of a heavily outfitted Banditland of followers in the stands. Ouch.
This Saturday night, the directions for the Bandits are pretty simple against the Boston Blazers: Win and you’re in. Loose and, well…
In the event of a water landing, although highly unlikely should the situation occur, a three-way 8-8 tie with Buffalo, Boston and Rochester (Boston loss/Buffalo win and Rochester win) Buffalo and Rochester Clinch a playoff spot, while Boston would miss the playoffs.
If Buffalo and Rochester both loose and end in 7-9 tie, Boston clinches and so too does Rochester by virtue of winning the regular season head to head series. And the rest is history.
I know it’s been an up and down season for the Bandits but believe me; this team to a man, has what it takes to claim a victory Saturday night against Boston and stake their claim for a playoff spot.
It’s pretty clear what the task is. The players know it’s going to take full 60-minutes with a total team effort. Good Goaltending, tenacious defense, fast transition, perfectly timed offensive thrust with continued movement to create time, space and mayhem.
And it’s about trust.
It won’t be long until we here in Buffalo will feel those nice smooth warm days. Having the Bandits play during that time makes a nice mix.
Note: Pre-game show Saturday starts @ 7 PM on KB 1520. Randy Mearns will be my broadcast partner.