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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Well That Sucked -- The Weekend In Review

That was a pretty pitiful weekend of hockey, if you ask my opinion. The Aeros, with a chance to gain some ground in the playoff hunt, found themselves playing not only some uninspired hockey, but some stupid hockey.

There were numerous defensive breakdowns throughout the entire weekend, and if not for Barry Brust's play in goal, there's no telling how bad the losses would have been. And twice over the weekend the Aeros gave up short-handed goals. I see the stats, and I know the Aeros are supposed to have a good power play, but when's the last time we've seen a power play goal from this team at Toyota Center?

Kevin Constantine defended the team's offense tonight, saying that while the team wasn't scoring, it was getting good chances, and that all that you can ask is for a team to get good chances. The problem, as I saw it, however, was that the right players weren't getting the good chances. Some of today's best chances came from Brandon Rogers. I like Rogers a lot, but he's not the guy who should be having the best scoring chances.

And I know the played three games in three days and that they were tired. But I hate that excuse. The Chicago Wolves were playing their third game in three days tonight, all on the road, and they were missing some of their best players. But that didn't get to them. And not to go off on a rant, but I'll tell you what's hard and tiring. Try being so damn desperate work that you have to take a temp job that demands you work 11 hours a day, five days a week, and wants you to work weekends -- and where they make you ask permission to go to the doctor if you're having problems with your hearing because you didn't request that time back last month before the job started. That's hard. That's tiring.

I'm going on too long about something that has nothing to do with the game. I'm just disappointed, and I know that I didn't see the team play on the ice like they're capable of playing.

One further note: Peter Zingoni was reinjured in Friday night's loss. I saw him Saturday before the game, and he wasn't in the best of spirits, and I can't help but feel for the guy. He was just trying to make a play on offense, trying to get off on a breakaway, and he went to hit a guy in front of him, and just like that he was hurt. You can just see not only how pained he is by the injury, but how pained he is by not being able to play.

He missed most of last season with an injury, and he came to Houston hoping to prove that that season was a fluke. He got off to a really hot start, and teamed up with rookies Cody Almond and Carson McMillan, he looked to be having a break out year. Then he hurt his knee, and he's been in-and-out, mostly out, for the season.

That's it. Thanks, as always, for reading us here at T3I. We do appreciate it.


Forecheck said...

Synopsis : “Gee, that was an entertaining game……. NOT!”

Beatles’ Song John Should Choose : “Outclassed”. OK, there is no such song. Maybe Sir Paul can write it tonight.

Playoffs 2010 : Go ahead and book that cruise for April 17th. Especially if you have DirecTV. The ship might have Versus. TV or OInternet are the only way you’re going to see playoff hockey in Houston. Split with the worst team in the North and dominated by the Wolves this weekend ….not good at all.

Aeros’ Third Jersey: The same absolutely awful red and green unis worn by the Wild. Don’t the people up there realize that Red and Green clash? Also, the red sweaters seem to confuse our guys – they seem incapable of passing to people in red sweaters. Too bad we weren’t playing Abbotsford or Binghamton.

KC: A good coach apparently grasping at straws at this point – e.g., the goalie switch out.

Koharski : More of his usual nonsense, such as the charging call on Daoust. But not anywhere close to a deciding factor. Even with good officiating (if that exists at all in the AHL - - maybe it does out east somewhere) we would still have sucked today.

Brust: Good for the first period or so (score should have been 3-0 Chicago after one), then maybe ran out of gas due to the offense’s inability to keep the puck in the attack zone.

D : Spotty. At times good except for poor clearing and non-existent break-out passing.

Speaking of passing : Stop buying sticks at Walmart. Or maybe that’s where the Wild get players?

Offense : What offense? Three goals in three games…….

Chelios : This game would have been worth going to if he had played, but he was a no-show for the second time. Would have been his third and three days so he would probably have had to use his walker, which the league won’t allow on ice. Suspect he took a private jet to Chicago after Saturday night’s game….

Personal Frustration Level (0-10 scale) = 9.5

OK – Consoled myself tonight with comfort food and vicarious revenge by watching the USA thrash China.

artandhockey said...

Wolves just too good. That's all! But, I do like the red jerseys, I hate white! Word is bilen as in BILE?

B2Bomber said...

I think this team is more disappointing than Daum's last year as coach whatever year that was. (I'm fighting off a bad cold and the meds are screwing with my memory.) All I can say is the score could/should have been worse except Brust kept us in the game during the first period. There were too many errant passes right to Wolves players. Two shorties against in three games? I agree with Forecheck. I'm not counting on playoffs this season.

ICEVET said...

To All (Arm-Chair Quarterbacks) Commentators: You might feel better if you just relaxed and "experienced the game", appreciating the fact that you can see "live" hockey in Houston and enjoy a degree of personal interaction with the coaches and players (season ticket holders, at least).

Backward to August-September (when the "disappointing" team roster became a reality), very few serious fans expected the Aeros to make the playoffs or even play above 500. That the Aeros final finish in the surprisingly-competitive Western Division will be 5th, 6th or last is consistent with these expectations and of little concern to the WILD. However, what should be of concern to the WILD is the relative dearth of clearly-definable NHL talent on the Aeros roster...after all, the AHL is all about developing skilled players for the NHL. IMO Kevin Constantine has done a remarkable job with the hand he has been dealt.

The Chicago Wolves rooster is a case in point: 15 of 26 slots on the Valentine's Day roster carried NHL ice time (3 or more games) from the most recent (2008-9) season, as opposed to just 4 Aeros (Hilbert, Gilles, Earl and Dubie)...and, of course, Hilbert's ice-time has been limited (21 games) due to injuries. The Wolves talent and solid offensive structure was on display again, even with frequent flaws in execution...the "0-0 spell" was, finally broken with Matt Anderson's smooth execution of the 2nd period "shortie", dooming the out-classed Aeros to another home loss.

The obvious said, for those of us who may watch TV hockey but really enjoy traveling to other AHL and NHL venues to "experience the game", the Aeros are but a small fish in a big pond (of hockey). May all serious Aeros fans hope that the WILD 3-year program of finding, contracting, and building "new talent" to support a perennial Stanley Cup contender begins to take shape during the 2010-11 season (with KC at the Aeros helm).

Go Aeros!

artandhockey said...

@ Forecheck:
I felt it was entertaining..
All hockey at all levels is entertaining.
Win or loose it's fun to see/feel the speed, the rush, the stops, the - well yes, even the fights- so, yes it is entertaining!
@ICEVET: Agreed, and after all, there IS hockey here.

Anonymous said...

Which team was Earl playing for ?
Watching from the audience, it seemed Earl was NOT playing for the Aeros.

Ms. Conduct said...

I think you could say that about several guys. Testwuide in particular needs to use his noggin a lot more than he did this weekend. Bad penalties and some pretty bad decisions with the puck (though to his credit, I also recall some really gutsy blocks, too).

Forecheck said...

ICEVET - Agreed on KC. He seems to get more out of his guys than most coaches can.

Regarding restocking the Aeros, the new Wild management just had their first draft this summer, and from what I remember, it was considered quite a snoozer. In fact they have already traded their #1 draft choice and he's still in juniors.

So, assuming the Wild get serious about learning how to draft talented 17-year old hockey players (including an actual healthy percentage of Europeans for a change) who won't turn out to be problem children, the soonest we will see them is 2013. That's a long wait!

I wouldn't count on a lot of free agent help, since the Wild seem to be too cheap to get any for us for more than a year at a time. They were willing to do so when it looked like Foy, Voloshenko, and Sully were going to make it to the Wild the following year (and look how that worked out). They did get some scoring help to make the team somewhat competitive last season but the new crew decided to do away with even that this year.

I'm getting the idea though that maybe, just maybe, the new ownership not only doesn't care if the Aeros are any good, they might not care if the Wild are any good. If they can pack the Excel with a mediocre (or worse) team every night simply because it is in Minneapolis, why spend the money on talent?

Word verification "aliess" - a false name used by bad spellers.

Forecheck said...

Yeah, Ms. - the guys are gutsy on the blocks. I think that shows how much they respect KC.

Word verification "coking" - something I refuse to do.

artandhockey said...

Once a guy has tasted the 'Northern atmosphere';-), it seems to me that the AHL is not longer worth their efforts.
That appears to be true of Earl, AND several others I could mention, YOU know who they might be.
One though, I feel, is not influenced as much, and that is Jon "Speedy" DiSalvatore, who gives every game as much as he possibly can, oft truly 100%, and one has to admire this professionalism.
Of course, I am no expert, but wouldn't it be better all around plus serve their goals, IF they play here as if on NHL ice to prove their worth for any NHL teams looking? Instead of slacking when they do not get their own way!
Being Mardi Gras, the word is fathydw.. how apropos LOL.