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

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pigs with Guns: Aeros 1, Ice Hogs 3

Andrew tweeted that sentence after the game, and it made me giggle and required a stick figure. Angry pigs are fun to draw. Why didn't I figure that out earlier in the season? BACON!

I'm not gonna make any ham bones about it... that was a shitty game. I can't imagine how hard it is to get up for these last few games, but when ALL the bosses are watching up on press row, boy, I sure think I'd find a little extra something, right?

Also, the unfortunate reality is that tickets aren't any less expensive just because the team is out of it. Fans deserve a better effort than they got tonight.

Justin Falk was the only one I saw bringing it hard all night and he looked terrific. The Daoust goal was one of those as a goalie that just make your stomach flip and think, "Jerk." But it was a beauty, and he's not a jerk, I don't think, so it's not personal, JM. You get a cookie, too. Incredible patience waiting out Crawford there. Jerk. (Still kidding.)

As frustrating as it probably was for him, I'm glad young Kuemper had a night like this before the season ended. Until now, his experience with the Aeros has been pretty smooth and the team has played well in front of him.

Tonight? Well, this is what it looks like in the AHL when your team is half-assing it for most of the game. Nights like this, on a team with so little scoring talent, you have to be nearly perfect. Ask any of the other 3 goalies with this team how fun that is. But until the Wild can draft some scoring talent that isn't immediately sent north, or until they open up the pocketbook to buy some talent like they did last season, that's how it is playing for the Aeros.

Anyway, that's all. See you Saturday for The End (at home, anyway).


Forecheck said...

If the contact with the kid happened after the puck crossed the line, then wouldn't have at least been a goal plus a roughing penalty on the Ice Pigs?

The crowd doing "The Chant" - telling someone on the other team that "you suck" - is laugable at this point.

Hats off to Mark Cullen, one of a long and growing list of people the Wild/Aeros gave up on way too early. (Little chance of that happening this summer).

Regarding KC, if he is toast after this season, and I hope not, what do you guys think about Troy Ward as head coach?

If there are going to be big changes in Minnysohta next season, as was mentioned elsewhere,I have to ask "why" and "how"?

Why do they need to change? As long as the Wild are not a total disaster, they will contiinue to sell out every game. Remember, hockey in Minnesota is about an order of magnitude easier sell than selling football in Texas.

Second, how are the Wild, who not only show a history of being unable to draft or retain talent, or of being willing to spend money on talent, going to get a better set of players? How do they convince their tight-fisted ownership to actually spend money on something?

Just some thougths to ponder as we sit at home to watch the playoffs this season.

Ms. Conduct said...

re: Ward, highly doubtful. When you get a new regime in, they're going to want to put guys they're comfortable with in place. That already happened last summer with almost the entire organization, the major exception being the coaching staff in Houston, because they'd been so successful and only had one year left on their contracts.

If this goes like every other sports team in the history of the world after a big shake-up at the top, they'll bring in their own guys down here.

Not sure where we (or whoever) said there would be big changes in Minny. I don't see that. They're pretty well set. I don't even think there will be a lot of turnover in the players up there. All those changes happened last summer and during this season.

I think you kinda have to throw out the past here. As of 2 years ago, the Wild have a new owner who is happy to spend up to the cap and who permitted Tom Lynn to drop some decent coin on AHL players last year. Not sure the "thrifty" approach taken this year is one they'll continue, but I'll give Mill the benefit of the doubt, this being his first season running a team. I think he ran into the problem Risebrough did his final season with too many free agents on the roster playing a "me" game too much of the time.

Further, as of 1 year ago, they have an entirely new GM, AGMs, etc. If you follow the Wild, it's clear that there's a new philosophy, but correcting the mistakes of the past isn't going to happen overnight. So far, Chuck Fletcher's moves have all been very solid IMO, other than trading that hack Cam Barker and picking up Dubielewicz last summer. Given the wealth of moves he's made this year, that's not a bad record. As opposed to Riser who did almost nothing every year, apart from trading away draft picks.

Personally, I feel pretty hopeful for the Wild's future because of that, and I think the results will trickle down to Houston. The team can't be happy with how this season turned out and perhaps Mill was being thrifty to look good for his new bosses but here's hoping he gets over that and buys Houston a few ringers. We've got defense coming our way from the draft but no forwards that I'm aware of, so it's going to be another long year otherwise. Gonna need a proven veteran goalie, too, and those don't come cheap.

B2Bomber said...

I'm not sure KC's or TW's jobs are safe at this moment. I personally would NOT want to see ward step up. Isn't he in "charge" of the PP and offense? You know what that's been like this year. It's more likely the opposition will score on a shortie than the Aero's getting a PP goal. (Didn't that happen last night?)

Gunderson had a bad game. He had two mistakes that eventually led to IH goals. Not a good thing with upper management and scouts present.

I hope for a change. I think it's time.

Forecheck said...

@B2 - It wasn't me then. About every time I looked Gunderson's way, he was acting pretty worthless.

ICEVET said...

Out of curiosity, what is T3I's take on the Irmen breakaway play (in the last 2 minutes) and the non-call by Kyle Rehman?

Irmen appeared to be in full control of the puck and was tripped from behind (with a Hog stick) within 10 feet of the goal crease. How much latitude is there for an official to award the Aeros a penalty shot in that situation?

Forecheck said...

I thought it should have been a penalty shot. The Hog did not make contact with the puck at all, and Irmen's breakaway started on his side of center ice.

Word verification "cyclun" - a tropical system in the Indian Ocean.

Forecheck said...

Here's the AHL rulebook on the subject:

Rule 25 – Penalty Shot
25.1 Penalty Shot – A penalty shot is designed to restore a scoring
opportunity which was lost as a result of a foul being committed by the offending team, based on the parameters set out in these rules.

Procedural Blah, Blah, Blah

25.8 Infractions – Refer to the Reference Tables – Table 13 – Summary of Penalty Shots (page 202) for a list of the infractions that shall result ina penalty shot being awarded (see specific rule numbers for complete

There are four (4) specific conditions that must be met in order for the Referee to award a penalty shot for a player being fouled from behind. They are:

(i) The infraction must have taken place in the neutral zone or attacking zone, (i.e. over the puck carrier’s own blue line);

(ii) The infraction must have been committed from behind;

(iii) The player in possession and control (or, in the judgment of the
Referee, clearly would have obtained possession and control of the puck) must have been denied a reasonable chance to score (the fact that he got a shot off does not automatically eliminate this play from the penalty shot consideration criteria. If the foul was from behind and he
was denied a “more” reasonable scoring opportunity due to the foul, then the penalty shot should be awarded);

(iv) The player in possession and control (or, in the judgment of the
Referee, clearly would have obtained possession and control of the puck) must have had no opposing player between himself and the goalkeeper.

From this, I would say "penalty shot".

ICEVET said...


Thanks so much for your empirical research. I saw it the same way as you.....a bad non-call.

Hypothetically, if Irmen pots the penalty shot, the Aeros have some new-found momentum toward evening the score and forcing OT. Do you suppose that Kyle Rehman's non-call might have been influenced by his earlier call on Irmen for unsportsman-like conduct.

Any wisdom from the T3I Braintrust on the aplication of AHL rule 25 to this situation, Kyle Rehman's exercise of judgment, and the view from the Aeros Bench.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the ref realized that it was Irmen and that there was no way the shot would get anywhere near the net, trip, or no trip.

And maybe the ref realized that it was Irmen and that there was no way the puck would get near the net, penalty shot, or no penalty shot.

And maybe the ref, realizing that, just decided to spare everybody the misery of making us all watch.

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I did not see the play live from my normal seat on press row, I saw it on the in-house TV. My initial thought was, for sure, penalty shot.

But I have thought that many times, when just a normal tripping penalty was called. And I have seen it many times the other way, too, where someone gets a penalty shot that probably didn't deserve one.

On this play, I was completely shocked that at least a two-minute power play was not awarded.