Buffalo Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour was quite surprised when he heard the news last week that the Sabres had dismissed coach Lindy Ruff.
When asked to described his reaction to the announcement, Kilgour replied, “Shock, at first. Obviously, they felt they needed to shake up the team.”
Kilgour has been coaching the Bandits since 2003, so he knows something about longevity in a job. Even so, Kilgour could only marvel at the fact that Ruff’s long tenure.
“I have all the respect in the world for him, staying in one spot for almost 16 years,” Kilgour said about Ruff. “The fans aren’t very patient, ownership can be impatient. It’s an amazing job.You have to change your message just enough so that people keep listening. I wish him well wherever he ends up.”
It’s been a season of change for Buffalo’s professional coaches. The Bills hired Doug Marrone to replace Chan Gailey after the 2012 season, and the Bisons switched affiliations so Marty Brown will be in charge of their fortunes this summer. Ruff’s exit leaves Kilgour as the clear leader in coaching longevity locally.
While Philadelphia’s goal-scorers received all of the glory for the Wings’ big comeback against the Bandits on Friday night, the visiting goalie deserved some credit too.
Brandon Miller was simply spectacular at times in keeping his team close when it needed it the most. He gave the Wings a chance to rally in the second half, which is all a team can ask out of a netminder.
“When it was 10-7, I wanted to keep it to 10 for as long as I could,” Miller said. “We’ve done it before. I just wanted to push it to overtime.”
“That’s three great games in a row for Miller,” coach Johnny Mouradian said.
While acknowledging Miller had some good stops, Kilgour wasn’t too happy with his team’s offense during the game.
“We shot real stupid,” the Bandits’ coach said. “We had the goalie on the ground and we’re rolling the ball into his body. And there were about five open nets that we could have scored on.”
Mat Giles was happy to participate in Thursday’s win by the Bandits against the Toronto Rock. He’d waited several weeks before playing in his first game of the season.
“I got injured at the end of training camp, so I was out for a bit,” the Bandits’ forward said Friday morning. “We had some success in the offensive end, so it was tough for me to get back in there. So it was good to get back in.”
Giles had a hamstring injury. He also took part in Friday’s loss to the Philadelphia Fever.
Kyle Clancy doesn’t want anyone to forget about him.
The former Bandits’ first-round draft choice who’s on injured reserve hasn’t played in two years, but he hasn’t given up on lacrosse.
“I’ll be back trying out next year,” he said. “I was in an accident, chipped a bone in my neck. Played it safe and didn’t suit up.”
The Bandits’ last look at Clancy was a good one. He scored four goals in a 2011 playoff game against Toronto.