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Updated: Five things to know about Bandits-Swarm game

  1. Injury problems. The Bandits' woes in this department became more serious on Saturday morning. Star forward Dhane Smith suffered a lower-body injury during the shootaround, and had to be helped off the field. It would be a surprise if he played tonight. In addition, Billy Dee Smith said he tore a hamstring and wouldn't be able to play for at least six weeks. Craig England already was on the injured list with a lower-body injury.  
  2. A must-win. You probably have read the Bandits' playoff situation by now. Buffalo must beat Georgia tonight while Saskatchewan tops Toronto. If that happens, the game between the Bandits and Rock next week will be for a playoff spot. If it doesn't happen, Buffalo will have nothing at stake next week - something that has happened very infrequently in the team's history.
  3. Delayed party. Derek Keenan, coach at Saskatchewan, could break the record for career coaching wins tonight. Of course, he could have done it last week, only see his team lose in stunning fashion against New England. That loss did the Bandits no favors in the playoff race.
  4. Still in doubt. Even if Buffalo loses tonight, the Rock has some incentive the rest of the way. Toronto and New England both have 8-8 records, so a home game in the first round in the playoffs is up for grabs there.
  5. Negative statistic. The Bandits go into the game at 6-10. The team record for losses in a season is ... 10 (set in 2013, 2014 and this year). So one more loss, and the Bandits break the record in the category. And no one saw that coming. I think it's fair to say that this has a chance to rank as one of the most disappointing seasons in Bandits' history ... but there's still time for redemption.

I'll be sending out updates on developments on Saturday on Twitter (@WDX2BB). You can even watch the game on Twitter for free tonight. And a News blog with a variety of Twitter feeds starts up before the game.

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