If there was any doubt that Darris Kilgour wouldn't be happy about seeing his Buffalo Bandits lose a game for the first time all season, they were put to rest Tuesday night.
The coach of the Bandits put his team through a 100-minute workout in Grimsby, Ontario. The team lost to the Philadelphia Wings last Friday night, and Kilgour thinks it was the proverbial wake-up call.
"I don't think we've played a great game this year," he said. "Even in the game againstRochester, if hadn't been for Kenny [Montour, Bandits goalie], that game would have been 8-7 at halftime. I thought it didn't really matter what I said during the wins. It sort of went over their heads. It's good to come back after a loss and say, 'I told you.' That's what tonight was all about. If we kept doing that stuff, sooner or later it was going to come back and bite us. That's what happened against Philly. Hopefully we've learned our lesson, and we won't have to learn it again."
In particular, Kilgour concentrated on making sure his defenders played a more physical style, not allowing opposing forwards to get much room to shoot.
"I told them after the Toronto game this year that it's great when the goalie stands on his head, but it's bad when he has to stand on his head. Our goalies have had to stand on their heads three or four games. It's not like Mikey [Thompson] played badly against Philly. They just had too many good opportunities. With the shooters in this league being so good, you give up opportunities and it will end up in the back of your net. We made some mistakes in the fourth and it ended up in the back of our net. We definitely want to get pressure on the shooter and pressure on the passer. When we can do a good job of that, it changes the whole flow of the game. It becomes our pace."
Kilgour even tried something new in his practice in the Grimsby sports complex, which has a smaller playing surface than the one at HSBC Arena. He moved one of the nets to midfield by the boards, and practiced sideways for a while.
The Bandits host Toronto Saturday night in HSBC Arena, their first game home after three on the road. By the way, the Bandits will unveil their new "third jersey" at that game. The jersey will be sold exclusively at the Sabres store or at bandits.com for seven days starting at noon on Saturday.
One reminder -- all games are shown on NLL.com.
--- Budd Bailey