Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

12/18 -- Aeros vs. Stars -- The I'm A Loser Edition

I’m pretty sure we all know the script by now because we’ve heard it so many damn times this season. So repeat after me in three…two…one…

The Aeros lost 5-2 to the [fill in the blank]. The game was closer than the score indicates. The Aeros out shot [fill in the blank]. The Aeros were full of effort and didn’t quit. A mistake here, a mistake there, the Aeros are defeated.

For instance, on [fill in the blank]’s second goal, Ryan Gunderson got beat badly which resulted in Wade Dubielewicz getting beat and which resulted in [fill in the blank] getting the 2-1 lead at 18:50 of the first period, not long after the Aeros had tied the game.

It’s a disturbing pattern seen throughout this season. The Aeros get back in a game. The Aeros get back out of the game.

“It always so disappointing,” Gunderson said. “Every time we tied it, we made mistakes and they capitalized.”

The key mistake this time around was Gunderson letting Texas’s Warren Peters go wide, wide, wide around and past him for an easy shot he should not have been able to have. Kevin Constantine wouldn’t put the blame on Gunderson. Gunderson was not so kind.

“I got beat wide,” he said. “That’s one of the things obviously I need to work on. It happens quite a bit. It’s discouraging.”

Yes it’s discouraging because it happens way too much. But Constantine took a different view of that play, and the responsibility for the goal.

“Before the puck got to Gunderson…” Constantine said, “before it got to the goalie, there were a lot of other issues related to that. At the end of the day, it’d be nice -- as you move from forwards to D to goaltending you’re escapability from mistakes gets less and less. Lots of mistakes leading to their forwards attacking our D. The D get to make some mistakes and goalies get to make none or the light’s on.”

And the lights were on.

The loss dropped the Aeros to 2-4 against Texas this season, and it dropped their record to 15-13-2-1 (33 points) and into fifth place. Rockford, 16-14-2-1 (35 points), Peoria, 16-10-1-2 (35 points), and Milwaukee, 15-8-1-4 (35 points) are all tied for second. Texas is in first at 20-8-2-2 (44 points). The Aeros next play on Sunday afternoon against the Grand Rapids Griffins.


Okay, stop it right now. I know that a bunch of you are probably still bitching about Max Noreau’s third period shot at 5:59 not being called a goal. There’s a reason for that. IT WASN’T A GOAL.

Things weren’t helped by the Game Ops people showing the replay time, after time, after time, after time, after time. If you watch closely, you see the puck bounce off of the post. That black thing that you think is the puck crossing the line is actually the end of Texas goalie Matt Climie’s stick. It also didn’t help that certain people with arena microphones seemed to be egging on certain situations throughout the night.

The game ops people are getting out of control. They’re playing music during game action. They’re speaking constantly -- not goal/penalty info -- but utter nonsense. The Aeros might be a minor league team, and they can do all of the minor league crap they want during timeouts and intermissions, but they should really stop doing it during the game.

I figured out something tonight. This team bores me. I can see that they’re trying. And the defense is generally good, and there probably is more talent on this team than the one from two years ago, but this team bores me. The team two years ago needed Nolan Schaefer and Barry Brust to be perfect every night or the team was going to lose.

It’s a bit like that this season -- hell, it’s a lot like that this season. But the team two years ago wasn’t boring. Not to me. But this year’s team….I’m finding myself bored while I’m at the game. And I don’t like being bored.

Tonight’s song from The Beatles is “I’m A Loser.” That’s just not because the team lost, but because of a line in the song that goes “and I’m not what I appear to be.” This team isn’t what it appears to be. You see the goals scored and you think that the team’s just not trying. But they’re getting the shots. They’re usually in good position. But they’re always just a step slow, or a second off. They’re not the bad team they appear to be.

So until Sunday, here’s The Beatles.


Josh said...

JOHN IT WAS A GOAL YALL COULDN'T SEE IT either because of Ref's position and Post position. I have a friend that was right behind the NET it hit the INSIDE of the post and came back out so quick the ref couldn't see it

John Royal said...

Josh, it wasn't a goal. I had a clear, unobstructed view. It hit the post and bounced back. You could even see it hit the post and bounce back on the replay.

Josh said...

the inside of the post MY FRIEND WAS RIGHT BEHIND THE GOAL YOUR VIEW FROM PRESS WAS OBSTRUCTED. Because you can't see the inside of the post it was on your side of the net the camera got to the puck to late. Toyota Center doesn't have the clear view camera the one right on top of the net looking down

ICEVET said...

Unfortunately, even a "vintage" Fred Trask photo, available in real-time, would not have changed this referee's decision. While every AHL referee has a reputation (as this one certainly does), fans must respect the refs and their calls, good or bad. Interestingly, there was a lot of chatter between the Stars netminder (Matt Climie) and the referee, all night, particularly, after the "no goal" call.....wonder what they were saying???

Anonymous said...

It was a disappointing no-goal, but I admit on the replay it looked like a no-goal to me.

I want to respond to your comments about "certain people" with a microphone. There are many, many, many people who agree with you. TAKE HIS MICROPHONE AWAY! He is so unprofessional. And his comments about the ice melting every time the cheerleaders leave the ice is sickening!

Hope we can get a win Sunday!!

Forecheck said...

No goal. The puck never went in.

The last thing we need is a cheerleader with a microphone. I agree that the team's play this year is often boring. But a cheerleader with a microphone is downright annoying.

The bottom line: The Aeros, who are a mediocre AHL, are simply not in the same class as the Stars, who are an elite AHL team. Tuesday night was a fluke.

Bad coaching decision of the night: Starting Dubbie. Fourth game in six days? At least third game in four. I know KC's system is along the lines of you start until you lose, but sheesh.

Hope for the future: That Constantine will stop this pulling the goalie with five or six minutes left nonsense.

New official of the week: Chris Brown? Not sure we had him before, but he had me longing for Jeff Smith, even Kohar.....nah. Yeah, the boarding calls were boarding, but to call them after the other stuff he let go?

Sanguine advice of the day: From a guy in my section during the third period, to the Aeros - "Stop sucking!"

Word verification: "mulating". The Aeros play this year has me mulating things in my mind during the games.

ICEVET said...

Forecheck said: "Chris Brown?..... had me longing for Jeff Smith"

A (statistical) "Whistle Stop" survey by pjstar.com, at the end of the 2008-9 season ranked AHL refs (minimum of 40 games worked) by the "quietest whistles", and Chris Brown ranked 2nd, ahead of L'Ecuyer, T. Koharski, Rehman, Davis and many othe familiar names. Jeff Smith, of course, beat out the field for "parking the whistle".

Oddly, Chris Brown's "standing" in this recent statistical survey flies in the face of his "fan-blog reputation" (from prior seasons) for inserting himself into a game, believing that AHL hockey is all about the refs and a career path to the NHL. Apparently, he has spent most of his AHL career officiating Eastern Conference-Atlantic Division games.

Hopefully, the AHL will continue to use its best efforts to provide quality control systems to perpetuate "good" referees in the League.

Josh said...

Well to me it looks like after the should've been goal the team gave up. I watched the archive on AHL Live cause I have subscription. Yes it did hit the post but the inside is well covered and it looked like the net moved. So more evidence. From the Angle we can't see the inside of the post. Remember the name Chris Brown. How many other chris browns have failed in this city

Forecheck said...

Thanks for the info, ICEVET.

One problem with the AHL is the officating in the NHL. With two refs per game and the quality of NHL officiating, it would seem any really good ref in the AHL isn't going to be in the league for long.

The AHL has a quality system? In anything? Certainly not in officiating and scheduling.

B2Bomber said...

Well, from my perspective behind the net in section 112 it appeared to be a goal BUT I'll acquiesce to others to make the decision. My problem with lasts nights game is sometimes in order to put pressure on the puck our guys take themselves out of position and BAD things happen (not the first time this year either0.