Blogs | 4/27/2010 10:20:43 AM | John Gurtler
And there I was, opening last Saturday’s pre-game show with some rambling from William Shakespeare about fear. Might as well been Marlon Brando mumbo from the film ‘Apocalypse Now’, where he sits enshrined in a dim-lit cave, reciting actions of senseless battle – with fear and horror of it all.
There was no fear from the Bandits Saturday night. And there was no horror from what was a very good lacrosse game against the Boston Blazers.
The Bandits played with total confidence from start to finish. There was no fear in trying as you could tell the outcome was going to be positive.
I sensed that Friday night at the team dinner in the cozy Panaro’s restaurant on Delaware Avenue, as the team had a collective positive aura about them. That is what makes this team so unique from other units over the years.
Too, the Bandits received outstanding support from the Banditland fans that electrified the building. PA announcer Chris Swenson was at the top of his game and the music and light tracking was superb. Everything clicked during the most important game of the season.
A simple theme: Win and you’re in.
And there was a lot to be excited about along the way Saturday night. Most notably the type of goals the Bandits scored. And, first off, Bret Bucktooth’s between the legs short-handed tally was pure command of his stick handling art. John Tavares side of goal dive to receive ball in mid-flight was, too, spectacular. The float pass out in from Mark Steenhuis to Mike Accursi for his hat trick on the power play was proof that when the Bandits play as a team, nobody can beat them.
When that happens, there is no fear to fail.
Despite three Boston power play goals at the end, the Bandits had the game under their arm from the 1:33 mark of the first quarter.
Three Bandit players with hat tricks in John Tavares, Mike Accursi and Roger Vyse. And Mark Steenhuis with a season-high eight assists.
Solid Bandits defense by shutting down Dan Dawson, who last week earned the NLL’s Player of the Week honors for ripping Colorado for five goals and three assists.
A good transition games with a couple of breakaways.
A 34-save performance by Michael Thompson, performing perfectly leading up the playoffs
And the finale with the complete equipment yard sale bout with Paul Dawson and Brandon Francis.
Something for everyone.
Saturday’s entry into the NLL Playoffs is Buffalo’s 16th. There are four championship banners to show for their hard work and dedication. The most recent is 2008.
Nobody has more playoff experience than John Tavares and the numbers to support with 69 goals and 99 assists. There are a few Bandit players with a handful of post-season games but it will be Tavares who will make them play better – and be better.
This team is good when they all play the same system and together.
No more fear of failure from Shakespeare or glazed words from Brando.
Confidence, attitude and conviction. That’s all.