I was tempted to steal from the most famous line in rock music literary criticism ("I have seen rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen") after watching the Edmonton-Bandits game Saturday night. The Rush were so big, and so athletic, that I thought I was watching the future of indoor lacrosse. It was a clinic. Edmonton came back a day later, meaning this afternoon, and jumped out on Toronto just like it did Saturday. The Rush coasted home a winner, 17-12. Edmonton and Calgary are now in the playoffs.
As for the Bandits, I've spent a little of the afternoon looking up a few statistical nuggets for my own curiosity. Things come to mind in a game like Saturday's.
* The Bandits have lost five in a row at home (my mistake yesterday). Buffalo has only lost five home games in a season once before, in 1999 - in a six-game home slate. The Bandits lost the last four that year, and then lost the opener for five in a row. Therefore, this year's team has tied the all-time record for consecutive home losses.
One other fact in that department - Bandits haven't been above .500 at home for a whole season since 2009.
* Edmonton's 22-9 edge in shots in the first period was impressive, but it wasn't by any means a Buffalo team record for shot differential in a quarter. I went back to 2012, and found that Calgary had an 18-3 edge in the fourth quarter of its game last March.
By the way, the Bandits had a 22-5 edge in Rochester last March. That's their biggest margin on their side in the last two seasons. It is relatively unusual to outshoot someone by more than 10 shots in a period.
Meanwhile, Edmonton had a 22-8 edge on Toronto in the first quarter today. Wow.
* Edmonton seemed to get most of the loose balls that mattered Saturday night. My guess is that the totals vary wildly by who is keeping the stats, but here are some figures that may surprise.
The Bandits lost the loose ball battle Saturday night by 96-76. That difference of 20 isn't even a high for this year; Philadelphia had an 88-66 edge on opening night. However, Buffalo had had a deficit in loose balls by at least 18 in five different games this season. That's a heck of a disadvantage over the course of a season.
Last year, Buffalo only lost one loose ball count by at least 10, but it was a whopper. In the season's final game in Washington, the Stealth piled up a 97-49 edge. How dd that one make it to overtime?
--- Budd Bailey