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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On Troy Ward And Some Miscellaneous Things

For those of you who are interested -- and who claim we ignore most of the team (I disagree with Andrew on that point) -- I've got a post on Troy Ward up over at the mothership right now. So I strongly encourage you to go read it -- especially since the better the click to read numbers over there, the better the chances of continuing Aeros coverage over there (you should note that the Press is currently devoting way more coverage to the Cougars and Aeros than they are the Texans and the Rockets).

I just want to add a few comments. Troy and Kevin are very aware of all of the things you -- and we here at T3I -- bitch about all of the time. Troy takes the hit for the power play numbers, though the comparison to the 2007-08 Aeros is very valid in that that club had to be one of the worst power play clubs I've ever seen -- Andrew and I would often joke that year that the Aeros should just decline the penalty and send a man of their own off of the ice since the penalty kill was so much better. But Troy's also right in that you can't expect a power play like last year's in that there were some players who could take nights off and still score a goal by the flick of a wrist.

Some other things Troy said reminded me of that 2007-08 club. I remember Erik Reitz telling us early in the season that there were some guys who just couldn't make themselves climb aboard and play Kevin's system -- for some, there was a difficulty with grasping it, for others there was a "I don't like my role" in the system thing. Troy said that there are still some guys who are too willing to go outside of the system and do their own thing.

I also think that injuries -- in Houston and Minnesota have hurt the club. There are some guys, like Peter Zingoni, who got off to a really good start, but have been hurt for most of the season. Other's like Andy Hilbert and Cody Almond have missed time due to injuries.

If you noticed, Brandon Rogers played defense last night. That's not because of inadequacies on the part of Rogers, but it was because for the first time since the start of the season, the Aeros actually had a full squad of healthy forwards available to play. And I like to think that the return of Zingoni might help things further. And here's my thinking.

The line of Hilbert/Jean-Michel Daoust/Chad Rau has been on the ball the past ten games or so. I didn't realize, until I looked at the stats last night, that this line has quietly been on fire. They've had some problems defensively, which both Constantine and Hilbert mentioned last night, but if there's been any line forcing action on the offensive end recently, they've been it. And Constantine went out of his way to mention Hilbert's leadership abilities last night, and how he was trying to set the example on the ice for other players to follow -- I say this because my question had just been to Hilbert's efforts in scoring last night, Kevin took it from there and ran with it.

I would also note that one of the best lines at the start of the season was Zingoni/Almond/Carson McMillan. Almond broke his wrist early, and I think he's just now coming back to full strength. I think if Zingoni can come back, these guys can get reteamed, and they can take off again. That would give the team two decent lines. I could see a teaming of DiSalvatore/Milroy/Smith and Irmen/Kassian/Earl/Gillies.

Then again, there's no real telling as to when DiSalvatore, Earl, Smith, etc. will be recalled to Minnesota.

One further thing, for those who want to know why last night's non-goal wasn't mentioned, that's easy, I didn't feel like it. There's no replay review in the AHL, so the Toyota Center video's crew constant replaying of an inconclusive replay was useless and childish. And as Forecheck said in the comments, it appeared that the goal judge might have had his line of vision screened and couldn't see it. Unlike Max Noreau's non-goal in game seven against Peoria last season, the Aeros didn't really seem bothered by it after the game, so I saw no need to pursue it.

Congratulations to Max Noreau for making the Canadian squad for the AHL All-Star Game.


artandhockey said...

I am sure glad you decided to post this here, not only at Houston Press.Thanx JR. It IS good to know that the staff follow all (?) fan's blogs and their comments. THAT may deepen fans' appreciation and willingness to buy tickets (we do have a stake in the success of the guyz thataway ;-)!
And I agree that SOME of the guyz seem not to buy into KC's ways! Individually they seem good players and most are working so very hard (how long can they keep THAT up?)- but there are a few, a very few, that lack something - whatever it may be (too veteran and thinking THEY know it all?) - and it shows.
Better Half and I have, from the beginning, really liked what Jean Michel Daoust does, he IS truly "The Scrapper"!
"Handy Andy", "Speedy Jon", "the Streak', "Rau=Wow" aren't bad either..and "Zippy" and even Petr did very well before being sidelined with injuries(and still out).
"The Rock"(Rogers) and "Frisky" (Gillies) and Almond"Joy" help, too. As I said, most do something rather well, but..only sporadically, alas.
Bravissimo "Ironman" MAXIM!
Go get'em (alas team USA!)

josh said...

I say Earl was robbed, but then again maybe the hockey gods will even it up for him. I think it was important to get the win. I watched the archive on AHL LIVE. it did go in on its side. I say there needs to be replay in the AHL since some of the zebras make it to the NHL where there is Replay.