Blogs | 3/12/2013 11:40:11 AM | John Gurtler
Bad news already hitting Buffalo at the end of last week with news that movie moguls decided Cleveland was a better place to save dollars and filmstrips. No major motion picture for the city of good neighbors.
We still live in the memory of “Buffalo 66,” a film some critics call a classic that gets better with age. I say enough of the drama.
Bring the action.
Not sure what kind of scene that was last Saturday night inside First Niagara Center with the Bandits and Mammoth, but I’m glad it’s in the past. No need to recount the goals or penalty minutes, but it’s tough when your fans expected better. And the fact there was 16,428 of them who were looking for something to feel good about.
We’ve covered all the clichés: Keep focused … play consistently … believe in the system … eliminate the mental lapses … play five-on-five … stay out of the penalty box … cherish the ball.
Mike Hominuck was my Bandits’ player profile during the pre-game show last Saturday night. We always pick a player to be a part of this mid-show feature, which gives the fans listening a chance to learn more about the player, his impressions of the games and playing for the Bandits. In addition, a little background on what he does away from the game.
Hominuck is a teacher and has been for the last five years. If you listened to the interview, you can tell he takes a very methodical approach in explaining his role and responsibilities as a team member of the Bandits.
He is certainly dedicated, like every Bandit player is, and proud of wearing the black and orange.
“Right now we are playing a little inconsistent; it seems like we are going through some hills and valleys so far this year,” said Hominuck, a nine-year veteran of the NLL in his second stint with Buffalo. “We’ve been practicing very well the last couple of weeks and that’s just our main focus right now: be more constant throughout each quarter, each game, and a now through the rest of the year.”
The native of nearby Welland, Ont., plays a very important role in the Bandits success. Somebody has to walk across the beam and tie it down. And when his number is called to play, he gives it his all.
And this is where the Bandits success lies.
With a 23-man roster, and more to choose from the practice squad, the 18 runners and two goaltenders that are selected to play on game night must execute their responsibilities in synchronicity, communicate and be enthusiastic. For 60 minutes.
“I just want to fill a void any way I can,” said Hominuck, who has eight goals and four assists in six games. “Whether I have to get that extra loose ball, or get other guys on my side open. I’m just more of, I’d like to think as utility player that does a lot of good things, not just for myself but for my teammate as well.
“Playing off ball, kind of like a ping pong player; go out there and hit, set picks, go to the net, get loose balls - like a water bug, adding energy to the lineup. If I can chip in here and there with a goal or two, that’s what I think I am going to be best for. It’s all about the big picture and getting the ‘w’ at the end of the day.”
Okay, so the moviemakers aren’t coming to Buffalo to shoot a feature. We’ve got some pretty good drama going on right now, with some good scenes and bad ones. But I think there will be an interesting twist at the end, which could be surprising.
With six Bandits games remaining - four of them on the road - it’s pretty basic:
Bring the action.
The return game in the Bandits/Mammoth home-and-home series moves to the Pepsi Center in Denver this Saturday night. Coverage will be on WGR Sports Radio 550 with the pre-game show starting at 8:30 p.m. The opening faceoff set for 9 p.m.