GURT'S BLOG: BANDITS DOING IT WITH DEFENSEBlogs | 4/12/2011 2:39:57 PM | John Gurtler
“Who is your daddy and what does he do?”
It’s a famous line from the movie ‘The Terminator’ – and there are a lot of great lines in all of those movie sequels – but the Terminator alone speaks volumes of just how powerful a machine can be. I am not drawing a comparison to the variation that was coined for former Sabres goaltender Domink Hasek back in the day of “The Dominator.” No, I am trying to draw the similarity of how to properly proclaim the group of Bandit players who represent the defense.
Should we not create some sort of signature that gives justice to the “Curtain of Crush,” “the Sultans of Thrash,” and “the Back Door Bombers?” There has to be some signature you, the fans, can conjure up and officially proclaim for this “Rat Pack Attack.” Because this group led by goaltender Michael Thompson (on a 10-game winning streak), and the band of backliners has played so well this year, we need a modern day version of “the Orange Crush.”
I’ll leave it up to the heart and soul of the team, you, the faithful followers of the Bandits.
While the game Friday night showed the team’s strong defensive prowess, holding Toronto’s Leblanc, Doyle, Billings and Manning at bay for long periods of time, the teamwork was superb on both end of the field. Holding Toronto to eight goals is quite a feat.
Saturday night in Rochester was even better as the Bandit fans were out in full force. The house was hopping and there was a sea of orange everywhere – and it was loud!
The Bandits defense went to work on the Knighthawks. Down 6-3 early in the second quarter, it was time. And that time went nearly 34 minutes, through the rest of the second quarter, past the third and into the fourth quarter until the Knighthawks scored a goal. They hit five goal posts and crossbars in the second quarter.
That is amazing in indoor lacrosse, where goals mount in pillows of seconds. The ball can move at speeds of 110 miles per hour, be in one player’s stick in one corner and into another all the way at the other end in a matter of seconds. And to hold a team from scoring for over half the game?
To play so solid as a team of defenders speaks volumes about the character of this year’s team. It seems like I write about this in some fashion every week.
How cool is it, too, to have a player like Tommy Montour, forechecking at mid-field, stealing the ball and to reap harvest with a nifty move and just as nifty a shot that finds twine?
Give credit to that etymologist who fitted Michael Thompson with new contact lenses so he now sees the ball better, gaining positioning on the League’s sharp shooters even faster.
Saturday night will be another big game for the Bandits as they host Boston. Plain and simple, they can clinch first place in the East with a win over the Blazers. Too, it could be a prelude to the playoffs, as Boston would be the opponent if the Bandits win.
You could sense the controlled enthusiasm in the hallway of the Bandits’ dressing room after the game Saturday night in Rochester. The players know what’s ahead and the bounty it will pay, with home-field advantage and the backing of their fans.
As GM and Head Coach Darris Kilgour mentioned before the start of Saturday night’s game: “When we do play five-on-five, and control our emotions, and control the defense, and control the offense, we’re probably one of the best teams in the league.
“Our whole game the rest of the season is going to be about control. Control ourselves and we control the game.”
Think of a signature name for the Bandits defense.
Where is John Connor?
Plan to get to the building in time for the Richie Kilgour jersey retirement ceremony, as number 16 goes to the rafters of HSBC Arena, on Saturday night.
Game coverage starts with the pre-game show at 7 p.m., followed by the game on radio and Time Warner Sports Net television around 7:30 or so.