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

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Aeros get a win at long last: 3-1 vs. San Antonio

Let's drop the puck and get it on!!!

Oh, we already did that. Well, I'm watching the replay on FSNorth. NOT in crystal clear HD like it was on Wednesday but I guess beggars can't be choosers, can they?

We'll see if anything jumps out at me but it was, bottom line, just a good, smart, solid game from top to bottom for the Aeros.

First off, I want to give a cookie to Jaime Sifers for dropping to block a shot. That aspect of defensive sacrifice that's been missing from this team, particularly from guys who haven't been playing Constantine's system the last couple of years, has been painfully apparent and grew even more so on the losing streak of late.

Good solid shot blocking has been a trademark the last couple of seasons but nearly non-existent to any notable degree this season. I wouldn't wanna do it either, frankly, which is why I'm a goalie. I love to get hit with pucks but only because I have 40 lbs of gear keeping it from hurting TOO bad. It still hurts, believe me.

Still in spite of not a lot of significant shot blocking, the boys did a great job defensively. Good anticipation, good positioning, sticks in the right places, and plenty of hustle when it came to clearing rebounds. As KC said after, for him, success starts with playing hard. Smarts flow from that. And there was plenty of both tonight.

Khudobin was excellent, too. It's hard to stay focused and get in a rhythm when you're not seeing a lot of shots and in spite of not seeing a lot of shots, he had to make some really big saves. Of course, San Antonio shot wide about 37 times, too. That helps.

Seems like games (I almost typed "fights") with San Antonio aren't as nasty as they have been in years past but tonight there was a bit of a line scuffle that turned into a full on beating by Falk on superfox Stu Bickel (not the face! not the face!). Never really seen Falk look so pissed before, which was actually pretty cool. His judicious use of his mean streak is a good thing I think, and makes it all the more interesting when he lets her rip.

First goal was a nice set up on the power play by DiSalvatore and Milroy that Smith banged under the pads of a scrambling Tordjman.

The second was even prettier on a 3 on 2 with a give and go that inexplicably didn't get broken up by the San Antonio defense who were just mesmerized, I guess, and Smith again had the money shot off a juicy rebound from Tordjman.

And a very happy DiSalvatore picked up his second point of the night when he scored off a really, really.... REALLY.... sexy feed from Fraser through about 5 guys' feet. Fraser is really rocking the scoring touch lately. Thank you, sir.

That third one was one of the prettiest goals of the year. If only all opposing defensemen would stand around thinking about beer or dinner or boobs instead of breaking up the Aeros attack. You just can't let teams connect passes clear across the bottom of the slot like that.

And in saying that... While the Aeros were much improved, San Antonio's defense needs to own their share of the loss. They were bad. But at least Stu Bickel is hot. Did I mention that? Oh come on. Let me have my fun.

Anyway, that's about it. Other than Miika Wiikman, who was just traded from Hartford to Phoenix on Tuesday, made his debut with San Antonio in the third period as Tordjman was pulled. Odd stance he has, I thought, but nothing else really significant about it.

Oh yeah, San Antonio scored somewhere in there. And honestly, it was about 5 minutes left and I'm thinking, "Uh oh... Wednesday redo?" But no. They held on. Phew. Just good to get a win after a looooong time of not getting any.

Sorry for the lack of tweeting and lack of stick figure tonight. And probably lack of accuracy, detail, proper sports journalism, etc etc. here on the blog. John is off covering some college baseball thing, so we were a little short staffed at T3I tonight and my computer wasn't connecting to the wireless in the arena. We'll try and do better the next time.

Going off the board a bit on tonight's song. Just feels right. Aeros are realistically out of the playoff hunt, but there are 16 games left to play the spoiler. Still mountain to climb. Sing it, Kelly!


Sundays in 110 said...

As someone who cant be at every game, and if I could have spelled PUCK on my cell phone, I would have been, I am loving the games on Fox Sports. If only there were more of them.

"beer or dinner or boobs" so much fun can be had with that line as I can attest to the power of each as a distraction.

Forecheck said...

Good, solid win from the guys. The defense, PP and PK were back, the were glimmers of 5 on 5 offense, even though we missed a couple of open nets.

And we didn't choke.

OK, it was "just the Rampage", but anything is welcome at this point.

The guys showed something they haven't lately - a bit of snarl - something that has been missing from their game longer even than Andy Hilbert (who?)

Interesting that given Wiikman's stance, Mr. Arena Announcer Guy took over 16 minutes of clock time to notice the goalie change. But that's an old sore point...

Forecheck said...

Oh, yes - forgot to mention - ?Kalus was entertaining in his second period brawl. He still doesn't know how to fight...

B2Bomber said...

Really nothing to post today except for "thanks for the surprise win!" Looked like a Wednesday night redo there in the last few minutes of the third period. I'm glad they pulled it off. I just couldn't pass up the word verification:
"plump".....just struck me odd at the moment.

artandhockey said...

well, I thought he held his own.. Kalus I mean LOL.]
And not to mention the announcer's gaffes! PAH.

ICEVET said...

Given the turnaround between Wednesday's (collapse) and Friday's effort, I suspect that the "Hrkac factor" played a key role in bringing some fresh focus to the Aeros players.

Hrkac is a winner, by any definition (for example, recall his 2nd OT goal in the final 2009 Playoff win over Manitoba at Toyota), whose presence (on ice and in the locker room) should inject a needed dose of "professional pride" into this Team, as it takes on a spoiler role over the remaining schedule.

Go Aeros!

Forecheck said...

And his Stanley Cup ring gives him instant "cred" in the room, along with the fact he is nearly old enough to be their father.

Snowball said...

Wiikman was traded to Phoenix, not Anaheim:)

Ms. Conduct said...

Ohhh, I'm sorry. You're right. Pogge was ANA property but this trade was later. Thanks.

FinnAir said...

Wiikman - another great Finnish goalie in the making!