I'm trying a different approach to these things, at this point. I just can't see writing up full-scale game stories -- I've been working a lot, and I want to get that sleep thing. So I'm going to feed you guys a hail of bullets reflecting some thoughts on this game that the Aeros lost 1-0 in overtime.
1. This was a hell of a game. It was one of the more entertaining games that I've seen the Aeros play in a long, long time. So I really, really, really don't understand why they were being booed off of the ice. I just don't get it.
2. Marco Scandella, wow. He's a young kid. He's not perfect, yet. But he just continues to amaze me every game. He's making hits. He's throwing his body around and blocking pucks. He's someone I find myself looking at constantly when he' s out on the ice -- and when I'm not looking at the Dynamics.
3. Mike Yeo on Scandella: "One of the biggest things, it’s obvious by the amount of ice time that we’re giving him. He’s a young guy, and young guys generally have a lot more to learn, but he plays a pretty mature game for a young guy. I think part of that is he has a very good understanding of what kind of player he is, and he’s going to be in the NHL, and he’s committed to being a solid defensive player, and he knows he has to go make a good first pass and try to contribute offensively when it’s there. But he also understands the foundation of his game, and that’s being strong one-on-one and being solid defensively."
4. I also like seeing Drew Bagnall on the ice. He's just not going to take crap off of anybody.
5. Anton Khudobin seems different to me this year. He seems to have matured and kicked his game up another level. I saw him challenging players. He didn't lose his poise like he might have at times in the past. And he played a hell of a game against one of the top teams in the AHL.
6. I saw a semblance, tonight, of what Mike Yeo wants this team to be. It wasn't there the entire game, but it was there. I hadn't seen it in the first two home games. There's still hesitation. There's still too much passing, trying to be too perfect. But I could actually see what Yeo wants to accomplish.
"I think that we have to, at this point in the season especially, we have to remember what it is we’re trying to do here," Yeo told us. "And I think that that game looked a lot more like our game is supposed to look. There was a lot of times where I felt like we were really taking it to them. We were getting good shifts in the offensive zone. Our forecheck was really effective, and the way were attacking pucks and creating turnovers was a lot better. Shooting pucks and going to the net."
7. I'm disappointed in the power play. Which seems to be the standard Houston Aeros observer response over the years. Yeo's disappointed, and he thought they were trying to be too perfect. One thing I noticed is that Max Noreau seems to be backing off a bit. I thought there were multiple times tonight when he had an opportunity from the blue line and didn't take it. We saw last year what a weapon the Noreau slap shot can be.
8. That said, I don't know what, if anything, the Aeros have planned for Brandon Rogers. And maybe it's just something with my memory, but I could swear that I remember that several seasons ago he and Noreau made a great power play duo.
9. I agree with Heather's assessment on Ben Bishop. The guy has really improved, and he stopped everything the Aeros through his way. I don't even think that the myth that fans have turned Krys Kolanos into could have gotten the puck past Bishop.
10. Where were the Ice Girls?
11. I hope you didn't pay any attention to the PA guy on the way out of the arena tonight, because despite what they said, the Aeros next two games aren't on the road. They play in San Antonio tomorrow, but then they host Lake Erie on Sunday.
12. Nothing against Jarod Palmer, but damn it, when I see the #19 on the ice, the first thing that pops into my mind is Danny Irmen. So can someone please get Palmer another a number.
13. I think The White Stripes are currently one of the most-overrated bands in rock music. They've done some good stuff, but most of what I hear just reinforces my belief that Jack White has bought into his own hype and mythology. Most of their "genius," to me, sounds rushed, and unfinished. But when they get a song right, they get the song right, such as in "Seven Nation Army."
Now to get to my point, I find the Aeros to be rough, unfinished. But I can see what they're aiming at. And I see "Seven Nation Army" as fitting the theme that Yeo wants for the team. An onrushing onslaught of attackers firing time after time on the net. So...