I am still stunned at what transpired Saturday night in Peoria.
The Rivermen, however, ought to be used to it. Especially when the Aeros are in town.
Twice last season, the Aeros rallied from three-goal deficits in Peoria and got four points in two games that should have been losses.
But those games pale in comparison to what was accomplished in Peoria.
Unlike last year's miracles (and there was a third! the team did it IN Bridgeport last year, only to lose in a shootout) the Aeros only scored ONE power play goal during the rally and did not pull their goalie to score with the extra attacker.
As Chris Jerina said in one of his comments, the Aeros were inches away from being down 5-0. But they plugged away until they got the two points. I am not going to say they didn't deserve them, either. Any team that comes back from 4-0, and does it in the third period (on the road) deserves all the credit they can get for the comeback.
Ms. Conduct? I will thank you on the team's behalf for the scoring dust, or whatever you had sent to their sticks.
No matter what you think of this team's chances of the postseason (and they are not good at this point), you can't say they don't try, work or care. The bottom line this year, is that the Aeros play in the toughest division in the AHL, and the opposing teams just might be better in the end.
Speaking of playoffs....
I ran some numbers to show just how dire the Aeros situation is.
If the season ended today, Texas, Rockford, Milwaukee and Chicago would be heading to the playoffs, and deservedly so. Those are the best four teams in the West, hands down.
If all seven teams in the West continue playing at their current pace, the same four teams qualify come April. Barring any major surge or collapse, here is how it all shakes out in the end.
Texas 104 points
Chicago 98 points
Milwaukee 98 points
Rockford 94 points
Peoria 89 points
Houston 87 points
San Antonio 82 points
Again, this does not factor any collapse or surge. This is just simple math used taking into consideration how many points the team has this morning and what they will end up if they keep playing at their respective points percentage.
Honestly, with how good the West is vs. how bad the North is (save for Rochester and Hamilton), I don't see any of the top four teams not being able to hold on. Defensively, the Aeros are better than Peoria (and they have better goaltending) so if any team were to steal the last spot away from Rockford, it just might be the Aeros.
Just for shites and giggles, if the AHL did the playoffs like they should (Top 8 from each conference) the Aeros would be the 7-seed if the playoffs ended today. I am not saying that would hold up either, but, again, with how weak the North is 3-7, I think the Aeros would be a playoffs team.
Here is how the seedings would look if the AHL did a Top 8 from each conference:
1 Hamilton vs. 8 Manitoba
2 Texas vs. 7 Houston
3 Rockford vs. 6 Rochester
4 Milwaukee vs. 5 Chicago
How about that for crazy travel? Kidding. The AHL has a good point when it wants to keep the playoff battles intra-division to hold down on travel costs. But I am more for "fair" vs. "dollars" when it comes to playoffs, especially when just about every team loses money in the playoffs anyway.
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