Fourth-straight loss puts Bandits in a deep hole
Forgive me for delaying my recap of the Bandits most recent loss. This game comes one week prior to a bye and the NLL All-Star game. The 14-13 decision in Philly was Buffalo’s fourth-straight loss and it would appear something needs to be done in order to right the ship.
Mike Thompson was chased and Angus Goodleaf didn’t provide much additional support for Buffalo, who have given up at least 13 goals in three of their four losses. The rumor mill began to swirl yesterday that the Bandits were seeking some outside help, some say Anthony Cosmo – who is Minnesota’s property after the dispersal draft – may be the player the Bandits are targeting.
Acquiring Cosmo would be an interesting development for a team that has not received timely goaltending this season. A common thread in this losing streak has been questionable, untimely goals against. If Cosmo was able to step in and be a dominant force in net, he could be a big part of a turnaround for the Bandits.
On the bright side, Mat Giles, John Tavares and Luke Wiles continue to be consistent threats on the offensive side of the ball. Chad Culp has also been a key contributor offensively for the Bandits this season. While Kevin Buchanan and other secondary scorers haven’t made much of an impact, it really hasn’t mattered much; Tavares and Wiles have been so dominant the Bandits haven’t suffered offensively.
Sunday was a perfect example as Tavares and Wiles each had big nights, the two were joined by Culp and Giles who also had multi-point games. A fourth quarter comeback by Buffalo fell just short as the Wings took their second game from the Bandits this season.
The Bandits have put themselves behind the eight ball already this year. They will need a strong turnaround the rest of the way in order to secure a playoff spot.
- Tavares and Wiles are easily the two most valuable players for the Bandits this season. The offense runs through both players. It isn’t so much that they need more help, but this would be a terrifying attack if Buffalo’s other scorers began to heat up.
- Defensively the Bandits haven’t been bad. The NLL is becoming such a quick league that it is very difficult to have a true lock-down system. Buffalo have gotten some timely stops as a defensive unit this year, it seems that timely saves have truly plagued the team.
- I’m still waiting for the dominant Mark Steenhuis to come back to form. If that means he needs to play more offense and less transition, so be it. All I know is that the Bandits were nearly unstoppable the year he scored 51 goals.
- The Wings’ Twitter jerseys were pretty cool. It is a great idea and brought in some great press for the NLL.
- The trade rumors surrounding the Bandits are pretty interesting to me. Apparently the asking price for Anthony Cosmo is pretty high. While Darris Kilgour has never been shy about trading picks, I wonder if he wants to part with the high-value picks that are expected to bring Cosmo to a new home.