“Box, Box, Box!”
And I’m not typing about the popular refrain shouted at Bandits home games when an opposing player heads to the penalty box.
No, I’m borrowing the above from Formula One racing when one of the 15 guys wearing headsets calls their driver demanding the race car be brought in and garaged.
I’m using the above analogy relating to the Bandits 18-7 wall crash, gearbox drop, fuel line break, and full release on the four-tire loss to the Toronto Rock.
And that’s what the Bandits coaching staff and players will do: Get in the practice facility and fix everything that went wrong and prepare for the next game, Saturday, April 15, against New York.
Did I say Ba or Bye? Ah, Ba-bye
Yes, another bye week, but much needed.
Saturday night’s loss to the Rock was the most lopsided defeat I’ve experienced since the 17-6 loss to Calgary on March 24, 2012. Or maybe the 9-3 East Division final loss to the New York Titans on May 19, 2009.
And that 2012 game ended with the same antics, which included pushing, shoving and fights. 115 minutes in penalties were called Saturday night, with a few fighting majors and game misconducts.
With seconds remaining and the score out of reach, the game should have been called, and the teams ordered off the field and to their dressing rooms.
I could sense something would happen because I’d seen it before, especially back in the day. And it’s not a good look.
Save the traditional handshake for April 22 when the Rock and Bandits meet again in Buffalo to close out the regular season series.
No love is lost, but this great rivalry has tons of energy. April 22 will be the 65th all-time meeting between these two clubs. It will be played with a lot of intensity and determination.
Coach, what about…
Postgame comments from the coach? What can you say? I would have said what Logan Roy, the daddy of the TV series “Succession,” says in almost every other sentence. I can’t type it, but you get the idea.
“Every guy on the floor needs to be a threat. When that’s not happening, it’s easy to defend one or two guys. Guys need to find a role, whether they played one game or five games, or all the games, they need to find a role in a game to be successful,” said Bandits coach John Tavares.
Toronto played a near-flawless game in front of 13,127 fans, the best attendance ever in Hamilton and the best turnstile count in 10 years for the club. They deserve all of the accolades, and the organization did a great job in the presentation.
The march to the garage
Forget the “March to May” and all the hype. The Bandits are in the playoffs, but three regular season games remain to be ready, set, and peak accordingly. Toronto controls its destiny with two games remaining, including the April 22 Bandits date.
It’s fantastic to watch the middle standings in the East Conference with Georgia, winners of their last four, inching their way up in the standings.
Philadelphia, 0-2 vs. Halifax and 1-1 vs. Georgia, are looking to stir things up. Too, the fourth spot in the West Conference is open to the East, pending the performance of the Mammoth, Rush, and Desert Dogs.
Just let me say this.
Not to open the Debbie Downer box, but I think Dhane Smith’s power-play goal scored with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter was a good goal.
Brad McCulley had lifted his glove off the white crease arch just as the ball crossed the goal line. It was no different than a player flying in on a shot with the ball crossing the goal line.
In my opinion, debate and discussion over the summer months should be generated regarding the criteria of a crease violation. The NHL changed its ruling, which allows a player who is non-impeding or obstructing a goaltender, to be in the crease circumference.
McCulley clearly was not obstructing or impeding Rose’s performance. The game’s ebb and flow are taken away by the coach’s challenge of such a play. And maybe a little fire the Bandits had at the time, down 3-0.
I was happy for backup goaltender Devlin Shanahan getting some time in the net, including minding the store during a penalty shot and making the save on Challen Rodgers.
Max Adler had a strong game, winning the faceoff battle over TD Ierlan, 15-14. Here is just one of Adler’s faceoffs against lerlan, who is one of the best in the league.
Max put some extra effort into this one to keep the ball in play, even though it was whistled for an over-and-back foul.
There’s nothing more to be typed here. The game is yesterday’s news and a story that should end up in the appropriate box. Maybe use the game report to catch the oil leak.
Enjoy the Sabres, Bisons baseball and the Masters.