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

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some Thoughts From Game 79

I've sat awhile tonight, wondering what to write about this last game (home game) of the season. Maybe I should have sat on my deck with a beer, like Heather, then again, seeing as how I live off of Milam, not far from a bunch of bars and clubs, sitting here, watching my tape delay of the Astros game (I wanted to hear how Jeff Bagwell did in the broadcast booth) and working on an unrelated assignment for the mothership, I still find myself unsure of just what to say, so here we go.

It's been a difficult season to cover the team. Not access wise. And the guys have always been willing to sit after a game and talk. It's just that it has been tough to write about them this year. There's been multiple games this season that have ended with the close loss. A close loss resulting from goalies that were perfect for just 58 minutes. Or from Aeros shots bouncing off of a post. The game the Aeros won 4-2 tonight was, in many ways, a perfect example of the type of games the Aeros have lost the entire season -- see that second period where they got off 24 shots but could only score once, then saw Texas score on two of their first four shots of the third period to take the lead.

I'll probably do a proper write up later in the week -- Andrew's going to San Antonio tomorrow for that purpose, and hopefully I can get some stuff from him to use in the mothership, and here. So for now I'll just reference some other things from the game, and just throw out some general thoughts.

Heather referenced Carson McMillan's expression when he scored the go-ahead goal in the third. I spoke with him about that afterwards. What struck me about his response was that he wasn't trying to take credit for the goal. He thought it was a great shot by Jamie Fraser, and he wasn't going to take credit for the tip-in, but Duncan Milroy went up and told the officials that McMillan tipped it.

Luke Strand was at the game, again, visiting with his friends Kevin Constantine and Troy Ward, and taking in the game. I talked to him a bit after the game, while the guys were out on the ice for the jersey auction. He was just amazed, after watching the team, that they were out of the playoffs. He just didn't see the quit that you normally see from a team that doesn't give a damn anymore. And there was the talk about what could have been as he noted the guys and goal scorers from last year's team that were no longer here, and just how different things could have been had they been here this year.

Congratulations to Max Noreau for second team AHL. Maybe if certain people would have remembered to send the voting info to Andrew and myself -- as the guys in the past did -- he could have got up to first team. Still, Noreau's a class guy. He came up with a rocket shot, became a very good offensive defenseman, and this year worked on his defensive play. And just think of how bad the power play would have been without Noreau.

The Aeros will finish the season with at least 80 points, and at least the .500 mark. And depending on what happens tomorrow, they might not even finish in last place. Not that that means anything other than the guys didn't quit.

You guys have indulged me all year with my Beatles obsession. So as the season ends, I can think of no better way to close out than with my favorite song of all-time. So here's The Beatles with "Hey Jude."


artandhockey said...

More and more I have come to believe that this team just was an unlucky one.
Most players cannot be faulted for their efforts, for keeping on when the tide seems so much against them. In that way they were THE consumate professionals.
Now at last, they have it together, als, too late! Missing 2 strategic players like Hilbert (he really IS good) and Zingoni(quite the speedy one) for most of the games was what kept them from play off contention.
I don't think the call ups had too much negative influence, rather the opposite such as: "I, too, can be called up".
Perhaps only Anton being up there and sitting rather than playing 'rusted' him a bit.
When he did play up there, he did very well.
IMO, without the likes of Daoust, Rau, etc. the team would have 'washed up' much earlier!
And having Brandon Buck here from time to time, was a positive, too. He is turning into a sturdy, reliable, yet not flashy, player!
It will be interesting to see which ones the 'powers that are' will rehire alongside some NEW, young and hungry, ones!
For that we trust in getting the early notices and reviews at T3I, while we enjoy a summer of opera, music and travel ;-) ;-)! I did enjoyed reading your takes, even if not always agreeing,:-(.
But then I have my own non-professional blog to express
that ;-)!
Thanks, guys and gal, for the continuous and, it is hoped, continuing blog updates (try not do it only on Twitter, please).Not all of us are able to hang around the net 24/7 to keep up with the noise on Twitter ;-)!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe it's all over for this season. Thanks, John, for your contributions to TI3. I have enjoyed your coverage of the games and the team. I especially liked the videos you and Andrew did after a few of the games. Keeping positive thoughts for next season!