I almost forgot about the letter W, it's been so long and so rare that the Aeros have won.
A win is great and loooong overdue, but this one makes me a little bit sad. Hear me out:
The game was between two teams who are out of the playoff hunt, nobody really had much on the line, not much in the way of physical play. Not flat, but not mountainous either, if you know what I mean. Just a steady pace from both teams.
And then early in the third, the Monster's Philippe Dupuis checked Cody Almond into the boards along the Aeros bench. Together, they had enough forward momentum that they went down the boards shoulder-to-shoulder and Almond got his head creamed into the pad that covers the corner of the glass at the end of the bench.
They showed it a few times and man, he was lucky to leave the ice on his feet instead of a stretcher. Whip lash, bitches. Big time.
I was thinking, before I saw the replay, "Why isn't anybody going after that guy?" Well, it just took a minute. Danny Irmen stood up for his teammate on a shift not long after, though there wasn't much to the fight, but that wasn't the point. Dupuis kinda sorta had to answer for his actions, because this is hockey and that's how it's done.
What happened after that, though, is the part that makes me sad. Suddenly, the energy on the ice and in the building completely changed. The boys were FIRED UP. There was passion like I've rarely seen from this team. They were united; playing for each other.
Maybe I'm making up drama that wasn't there (wouldn't be the first time), but I don't think so. Gillies got a penalty shortly after all this and I've never seen the kid so mad in the box. Great stuff. And lots of chippiness from everyone until DiSalvatore tied it up 11 minutes into the third on a power play.
But here's what bums me out: Why did a key member of the team have to have his head lopped off for this team to suddenly find some unity and passion? All season long, they've been hard working, high character, tough to play against. All those things promised at the beginning of the season. But no passion, no spark.
So, I just have to wonder... if they'd been able to find that "playforeachother"ness that I saw tonight back in, say, December, I really think we'd be buying playoff tickets right now instead of renewing season tickets.
Untapped potential, unfulfilled promise: Always a bit disappointing. But I don't mean to be such a Debbie Downer. It was a spirited win and the boys deserve credit for figuring out to---for heaven's sake---shoot high on Weiman. Wow. Did you see that? Both DiSalvatore and Earl's goals about put a hole in the roof of the net. Weiman didn't even come close. But they were great shots, too.Can't deny that.
Anyway, the Aeros now have 71 points, thus crushing my dream of them ending the season with 69 points. I know it's incredibly juvenile but that's what happens when you're into garbage time. You start getting punchy with nothing new to say.
No John tonight, so this and the paper are as good as it gets for game detail. Sorry about that. Andrew might have some more for ya later, too.
PS... I also wanted to give props to the Aeros staff for changing the Stars of the Game on the fly when Earl scored the game winner. Normally the stars are chosen 5 mins before regulation is over which means with overtime and shootout dramatics, they can sometimes be a bit bewildering. So kudos for calling an audible and getting it right. All teams should do that.