I could have used a little more space (and time) for my stories on Saturday's game between the Bandits and the Colorado Mammoth. Obviously, it was a big mess. Here are a few additional thoughts and notes:
* Jay Thorimbert was injured during the second half of the game. The Bandits' faceoff specialist is not expected to play on Saturday when the teams meet again. Three different players tried their luck at faceoffs, including Scott Self, Derek Suddons and Jimmy Purves. They were a combined 1 for 5. I don't know if any other Bandits have experience in that area, but you'd have to think the team would look at that.
* Speaking of injuries, John Tavares missed the game with a calf injury. I would think he's game-to-game at this point, so we'll have to wait until Saturday to see how he does.
* The Bandits used Jamie Rooney for the first time this season, and he scored his first goal for Buffalo. Mat Giles was taken off the active roster for the time being, but we'll have to wait to see what happens there. He certainly could return in the near future.
* The National Lacrosse League usually examines possible disciplinary actions on Fridays, and I would think they'd take a look at the silly stuff at the end of the game. Apparently Chet Koneczny of the Mammoth received a gross misconduct for obscene gestures directed at the crowd. I would think he would get at least a game suspension after the NLL takes a look at it. More suspensions might be coming, especially with an immediate rematch. I've heard that benches need to be cleared before coaches are suspended; if that's true, fines may be as far as the league will go there.
* I still haven't been able to get a good look at what led up to the timeout by Colorado in the final minute. Coach Bob Hamley of the Mammoth said he could have handled the situation better. Scott Self of the Bandits said that Rochester had called a late timeout in a win over Buffalo, and that the action by the Mammoth probably raised tensions a bit. (See note below)
* Let me be fair about something. I didn't get a good luck at the postgame altercation by the benches untili I saw the video, in which the coaches got into a shouting match. When Bandits' coach Darris Kilgour was asked about the end of the game generically, he said it was just a matter of guys talking. I believe now he was just talking about matters after the game and not the brawls that came with 30 seconds left. My story indicated otherwise, so I don't think that was completely accurate.
* The teams certainly lit a match under my notebook item about the Bandits' penalty minutes dropping this year. A couple of interesting statistics didn't make the cut for the final edition. One, the Bandits have had more penalty minutes than their opponents in seven of the last eight seasons (the exception is 2008). Two, Buffalo has had back-to-back games 23 times since 2004. The Bandits are 15-8 in the first game and 11-12 in the second game.
P.S. Our friends at ILIndoor.com have a good video clip of the brawl. It looks as if a Colorado player might have been about to be double-teamed along the boards, but was out of danger when play stopped for a timeout with about 40 seconds to go. I think it's fair to say that the timeout didn't go over well, but there was plenty of frustration in the air anyway.
--- Budd Bailey