This is just an example, but if the Aeros were to go 14-7, if they win two-thirds of their remaining schedule, that means Texas would have to go 11-10 for the Aeros to get in. That is, for lack of a better phrase, a daunting task.
Joe O'Donnell said it best last week: The Aeros are not on life support, but they are at the doctor complaining of chest pains.
I am not going to make a prediction here, I am going to save that for next week. The Aeros have two games against the Stars this weekend and one against the Moose. The Aeros are going to make a prediction on their own fate this weekend.
The Stars, who have lost six of eight overall just to keep the Aeros alive, have three games in three nights as well, but they'll be fresh Saturday at Toyota Center, while it will be the Aeros who will be playing its third game in three nights. If the Aeros lost both games to Texas, they are done. If they win both, and pick up a win against the Moose, that would be very, very helpful. If they win two of three, they better hope the Stars lose two of three. They have to make up some ground this weekend, or they are done.
Here are some random, but telling stats for fans to ponder as we enter another three in three weekend.
- The Aeros have 22 points (16 wins) when they are TIED after two periods. That shows a lot of resolve, and that is tied for the league high. Rockford also has 22 points when tied after two.
- The Aeros WOULD have a playoff spot right now, if the AHL employed a top-eight-in-each-conference make-the-playoffs format. They are one point ahead of the Moose for that spot; A loss tonight, and they lose it.
- We've said all along that they Aeros are very mediocre this season. They are the 15th best team in the AHL, points-wise. There are 14 teams better and 14 teams worse.
- Their home power play is dreadful. Second worst in the league.
- Their road power play is amazing. Second best in the league.
- The Aeros' penalty kill is very good and quite consistent. It is fourth best at home, fourth best on the road and fourth best in the AHL.
- Here is the stat that really irks me. This is why they probably won't make the playoffs: There are 29 teams in the AHL, and there are 28 teams that have more first period goals than the Aeros. They have 31 in 59 games. That means they barely average ONE first period goal every OTHER game.
- Silver lining to above stat! When they DO score a first period goal, and leave the ice with a lead after 20 minutes, they are 11-1-3-0.
Here are some good notes from the Aeros PR/Media Relations staff about tonight's game with the Moose. One GREAT note to point out. The Aeros are 9-1-1-0 against teams from Canada. Their only regulation loss? To the Moose on opening night in Winnipeg.
HEAD TO HEAD
Record - Aeros: 28-24-6-1 (15-13-3-0, Home),
Moose: 28-25-5-1 (12-15-2-0, Road)
Power Play - Aeros: 42-259, 16.2% (21st),
Moose: 34-257, 13.2% (27th)
Penalty Kill - Aeros: 199-231, 86.5% (4th),
Moose: 205-252, 81.3% (19th)
Goals Scored - Aeros: 2.64 (24th), Moose: 2.56 (25th)
Goals Allowed - Aeros: 2.69 (10th), Moose: 3.00 (30th)
Penalty Minutes - Aeros: 16.10 PIM/gm (11th),
Moose: 18.08 PIM/gm (19th)
Scoring First - Aeros: 20-3-3-1, Moose: 16-9-1-0
3-in-3 - The Aeros begin its third consecutive three-games-in-three-nights stretch. The Aeros travel to Cedar Park, TX tomorrow for a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the Texas Stars before the Stars come to Houston for a 7:35 p.m. puck drop Saturday night from Toyota Center. The Aeros have seven 3-in-3s this season as opposed to 15 last season.
Aeros vs. North - The Aeros are playing their 21st game against a North Division opponent and enter tonight's affair with a 13-6-1-0 record against the division including a 9-1-1-0 mark against Canadian based teams (2-1-0-0 vs. MTB). Houston hosts the Lake Erie Monsters Mar. 26 in its final game against a North division opponent this season.
Wild West - The West Division's top five teams are currently separated by 15 points. Houston sits in fifth position on the outside looking in six points back of the division's fourth and final playoff spot inhabited by Lone Star rival Texas.
Squadron Leaders - D Maxim Noreau scored a goal and added an assist to take over the club lead in points with 43 (15g, 28a). RW Jon DiSalvatore remains the team leader with 18 goals scored and LW Matt Kassian leads Aeros skaters with 113 PIM.
Home and Away - The Aeros are 15-11-3-0 on home ice, 16 of 136 (11.8%) on the power play and 99 of 113 (87.6%) on the penalty kill. Away from Toyota Center, they carry a 13-13-3-1 record and have converted on 26 of 123 (21.1%) power plays while killing 100 of 117 (85.5%) penalties. Houston's 76 goals on home ice this season is third lowest in the AHL (Adirondack - 61, Bridgeport - 73).
Milestones - RW Danny Irmen is currently tied with Dan Cavanaugh for third place among Aeros all-time AHL games played. C Nathan Smith is four points from his 200th pro/AHL point. Noreau is two points away from his 100th AHL/Aeros point. Kassian is nine PIM away from 300 AHL PIMs.
The Aeros travel to Cedar Park, TX tomorrow night to face the Texas Stars as the two clubs rekindle the State Farm Lone Star Faceoff. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Cedar Park Center. The Stars visit Toyota Center the following evening, Saturday for a 7:35 p.m. game to be televised live on Fox Sports Plus.
-- HOUSTON AEROS --