Blogs | 3/26/2013 1:34:51 PM | John Gurtler
I am not writing about the above title to review the popular television series on AMC about the high school teacher who has cancer and delves into the chemical world to sustain his life. No, this is about the Bandits trying to break out of a bad spin and regain composure to play competitively in the National Lacrosse League.
Turns out, they were met with a cold dose of reality Saturday night by an upstart Edmonton Rush team, who have displayed incredible prowess in dismantling teams from the opening face-off to the end of the game.
Just witness the five previous games they have played – and most notably the last two with Buffalo and Toronto. This team is pure stuff.
Welcome my friends to the future of the NLL today: fast, furious and fun to watch.
Granted, the Bandits got caught watching the game Saturday night at times, and paid for it dearly. Yes, no doubt, if they could have some of the goals back, but good things happen when you pass and catch, pass and catch, and then shoot.
Why the wheel wobble with the Bandits? The game plan was there. They knew Edmonton would come out firing on all cylinders as past game tape showed, outshooting and outscoring their opponents in the first quarter by large margin.
Saturday night was no different as the stats indicated: a 22-9 Edmonton shot margin and a 6-2 score at the end of one quarter. Just off the wall, no pun intended.
In front of the biggest crowd of the year - 16,629 Bandit fans – Buffalo received a 14-7 whooping.
Head coach Darris Kilgour was beside himself after the game – and so too were the players, holding a closed-door meeting.
This is it. It’s time to break the bad.
No doubt, the Bandits are a hard working team. You hear it from most every player on the roster: “I grew up watching the Bandits. I am proud to wear the Black and Orange, and I know what this team stands for and what the fans expect.”
The newest Bandit, Alex Kedoh Hill, echoed the same, following his three-goal performance Saturday night. “I watched the Bandits as a kid and I am really excited to be here.”
This is Week 13 of the NLL season. A big game awaits the Bandits on Friday night up the QEW to meet the Toronto Rock, whose heads are still spinning from their 17-12 Edmonton loss on Sunday afternoon.
It’s the start of a three-game road trip for the Bandits, a perfect prescription of team bonding and buy-in of game plans to salvage what they can for a possible playoff position.
Four games left. And the proverbial one-game-at-a-time approach with a Buffalo team that has all the talent to snap this nonsense and make a run at it.
Injuries now are playing a role, but there are plenty of players to come forward and play Banditball.
The critics have the right to speak their peace. Yes, everybody is frustrated. But there is still time – and effort – to make a run of it and come back April 20 at home and show their fans they are worthy of: Breaking Bad.
Radio coverage of Friday night’s game in Toronto starts at 6:30 p.m. with the pre-game show on KB 1520 AM. WGR’s Dave Buchanan will join me as analyst, as Randy Mearns will be coaching his Canisius Griffs against Syracuse.