Carson McMillan disappears in a fight vs. Gavin Morgan (Darren Abate photo)
Good morning on this gloomy, first un-hockey day of the summer.
For many, the NHL playoffs will provide a little relief until the real, LONG part of the summer begins in mid June.
And for non New York Rangers fans, at least the warmer weather will lead to a few other outdoor activities that also help the passing of time.
If you are a Rangers fan, how do you like that shootout rule now? Shouldn't there be an amendment to go ahead and play playoff-style OT if there are absolute playoff implications on the line? We could debate on this one for hours ... what are your thoughts?
As for the game yesterday in San Antonio, I was there. I watched every second of the last game and was very impressed with Anton's game until the last minute. Like the Aeros Saturday night against Texas, the Rampage just wanted this one more. One more game for the home fans, and the crowd there (7,000-plus) was behind them all the way.
One of our rogue commenters wondered aloud why a team could allow 50+ shots in a game. Well, S.A. fired from all over the ice. Many, many of them were harmless, but late in the first, early in the second and early in the third, Anton had to make several HUGE plays to give the Aeros a chance. He allowed a big, fat rebound on a shot by Boedker, and had JP Testwuide been able to clear the puck, Turris doesn't get it and slam one in the net from point blank.
Testwuide's miscue (to be fair, it was not a glaring error, but he did have a chance to clear, and he did not do it) is the only reason Anton did not have a shutout through 40 minutes. Had he stopped Turris, it would have been the greatest period, statistically, a goalie ever had as a Houston Aero.
I think the Rampage fed off the bewilderment of the missed too many men call. The officials covered up the missed call by telling the Aeros that S.A. was offside on the previous play, and that is why the faceoff went to the other side of the ice. The Aeros did not have complete focus on in the final minute, and then Anton made a huge, huge mistake on the tying goal. He stopped the shot, but didn't sit on it. Instead, he lifted his glove up for a split second, and either an Aeros d-man or Hoggan rammed the puck into the net. I could not see real well from where I was, and initially, I thought Brett MacLean got it in.
Anyway, you guys know the rest of the story. KC made the gusty call to pull the goalie and go for the regulation win. I cannot think of another time where I saw an empty net goal in a tied game. When Gavin Morgan buried the 160-footer on the last shot of his career, the Aeros just looked around and shook there heads. For a team that seems so very poor at winning faceoffs, pulling the goalie with the game tied seemed and proved to be futile. I think the Aeros all knew what was going to happen when the Rampage tied the game, and the hockey gods smiled on Morgan, who is now officially retired from hockey and will hopefully never haunt the Aeros again.
Despite be so severely out-shot, the Aeros could have had a 2-0 or 3-0 lead after 40 minutes. But as has been the case so many times this year, they just could not bury more than one of their prime Grade-A chances. I think a lot of this has to do with having too many guys on the team that had no desire to ever be on the roster, or just too used to being a complement guy instead of being thoroughly replied upon.
My c0-MVPs for the year are JM Daoust and Maxim Noreau. A close runner up is Jon DiSalvatore ...
T3I will announce an Aeros award schedule soon, and we'll break down the season a little more in detail before we start preparing for 2010-11.