Let's take a quick look back on the morning after Buffalo's opening victory on Monday night. This space had some thoughts written before the game, so we'll start with how that turned out:
- The Dhane Smith vs. Shawn Evans matchup, even if they don't play against each other, turned out quite well for the Bandits. Smith had five goals to pick up where he ended the regular season. Evans had one goal and was held in check.
- Evan Kirk of the Black Wolves was pulled from the game, but no one was blaming him on the New England side. That was a typical "we need a spark, so let's switch goalies" move. That said, Anthony Cosmo was quite solid in the Buffalo goal. I suppose he'd like a couple of goals back, particularly the third one, but that happens in almost every game in this sport. The big thing is to have a short memory, and he was fine. Remember when he had never won a playoff game? You have to think the veteran is excited about the chance to make the finals. He's never gone that far into the playoffs, and such a trip would cement his legacy.
- The crowd wasn't much of an issue in the game, as more fans turned out to cheer the Black Wolves than were expected by some. The lower bowl, which is pretty small by arena standards, was crowded while upstairs was very empty. That at least concentrated the noise close to the players. Then again, the fans didn't have much to cheer about after the big start.
- The X factor of the contest turned out to be Alex Kedoh Hill. He hasn't been too productive this season, at least when compared to last year. But the guy who was on the floor Monday night looked like the 2015 version of Hill, who was a unique and dangerous weapon because he could do so many different things. If Hill can play like that the rest of the way, it would provide a large lift for the Bandits.
-- Budd Bailey