With some teams, it can be difficult to tell whether or not "A Game mode" is being applied. The Aeros are not one of those teams. When they are on, they look on. When they are off, they don't look on.
Last night, they did not appear to be on, but they found the net first with a 5-on-3 goal. It has already been mentioned that the Aeros gave up the lead really quick, later tied the game with another 5-on-3 goal and then faltered going away.
One commenter mentioned that they were lamenting Yeo's frankness when it comes to expressing his disappointment in the team. I am OK with it, and from my perspective it helps me to better understand the team. The team is capable of so much more, so when they come out flat and get drilled when the game was there for the taking, he should be able to talk about disappointment.
Tonight, the Aeros get a chance to make things even on the homestand against a Milwaukee Admirals team that shut out Texas Friday. Dekanich will be tough to dent tonight, so I think we'll see a very low-scoring game. It did not work this way last night, but whoever scores first, I think, will hold on and get the "W."
Another thing needs to be mentioned. Aeros captain Jon DiSalvtore's play of late has picked up. He has seven points in his last eight games and seems to be creating more and more around the net. He got hot last December, so fans can only hope he just got an early start this year. He's about a .60 point per game for his career, and has been very streaky thus far in an Aeros uniform. But now with the power play statistically better, he should start racking up a few more points.
And one other thin I wanted to talk about ... It has been great chatting with Mike Yeo after each game. I aways get a good sense of how he feels about the team. He doesn't mince words when it comes to expressing disappointment or favor (when that is warranted), and I never have to worry about wondering what he thinks "needs fixing," so to speak.
With Todd McLellan, who was great a motivating his players with psycology, he rarely said anything negative about the team. He was great about breaking down the key play or the turning point in the game.
With Rob Daum, I always got a great quote (most of which I could not use in the paper) and he was always quick to tell me that he thought I interpreted something the wrong way. He never said "you are wrong" but he would say, in his words, "I disagree and here is why." And he always thought I was misquoting him. Maybe that is why he wanted to make sure I understood everything. His two teams were very schizophrenic, and without his help, I don't know that I would have done even an adequate job covering the team.
Kevin Constantine was a good teacher with the media. I think there were times when I would miss deadline because KC would take the time to explain why this was that and why he did it that way. Sometimes coaches hate it when you use hindsight or second guess, even when your intentions are good. Kevin would answer those questions and do so without hesitation. I learned more about the game during his three years that I did at any other time. He did not give the best quotes (meaning the most damning or funny), but he could be humorous at times.
And with Mike, like I said, I just get a good sense of what he is thinking as the team's leader when I leave the rink.
If he can figure out how to get his team to play a little more consistently, he just might be able to sneak this squad into the playoffs.