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

Monday, January 17, 2011

View from the Pressbox - Aeros drop shootout to Griffins

I don't have any problem at all with how the Aeros played Sunday in the 3-2 loss to Grand Rapids. I know the coaches and players are not going to make excuses, but I will. The schedule won Sunday, and that is that.

If you want to break down every little piece of the game, sure they blew two 2-0 leads, and yes, they did look really, really bad on that five-minute power play. To me, that was the turning point. I know a lot of you pointed that out on here, but I wrote about that in my story for the Chronicle and got a pretty decent quote from Yeo about it.

Hackett (pictured here in a photo by John Royal), who for the second time in as many weeks chopped his stick up against the boards in frustration, literally saved the Aeros from losing both points in the game. He was great when he needed to be, and I am sure the one he'd love to have back is the slap shot shootout goal. He got a piece, but not enough to keep it out of the net.

I was really disturbed with the way their goalie ran off the ice with double fist pumps. I mean, yeah, they won on the road with a fairly crappy lineup, but Mr. Pearce, save that for a night when you don't get undressed four times. Had the Aeros not been playing their fourth game in less than five days, this score probably would have been 5-1 or so.

Blowing a 2-0 lead in the shootout is rare, make no mistake about that, but the hockey gods were just evening things up from Friday, when the Aeros should have lost in overtime to the Wolves. The referee made a mistake by saying the goal was kicked it, and hats off the Aeros for taking advantage of that.

The Aeros will get a good week of practice time and then they'll host the Texas Stars on Friday.


ICEVET said...

Your post indicated that the Griffins won on the road "with a fairly crappy lineup".

Giving the Aeros and young Hackett all the credit for earning a point out of Sunday's game, let's pause for a moment and focus on the Griffins.

First, I happened to be present in San Antonio on Thursday, when the Griffins "demolished" the Rampage and their star goalie (M. Climie). The final score (5-2) belies the ugly, one-sided game it was. It was a team-victory with virtually the same crew which competed at Toyota Center.

Second, the Griffins have always been a quality, well-coached AHL franchise, who (yes) were without their best players (Tatar, Mursak, Janik, Lashoff, Straub) at Toyota Center, but still managed a split with their aggressive (leading-AHL short-handed goals) forechecking, penalty kill systems, and will-to-win. Forget the 500 record for a moment...on November 27, they "demolished" the Wolves with a 10-point effort (Tatar with 7 points in the second period) and can be VERY offensive on any given night.

With all due respect, the Griffins on the ice over the weekend were not a "fairly crappy lineup", rather a very formidable opponent with a history of providing the WINGS with many quality NHL players over the years. It can be said that the baby WINGS are a microcosm of their parent team.

A reflective, rhetorical question: how many Aeros have found their way to permanent roles with the WILD over the years?

BTW, a respectful moment of silence is due Anton Khudobin, who got his first NHL shutout on Sunday....this after his stellar BUG role-play for the WILD, last season, when he received standing ovations at EXCEL for his performances against the FLYERS (a Stanley Cup finalist) and another opponents. Let's hope that the WILD goalie coach can look past pure technique and begin to give Anton some quality time in his NHL development.

Thanks again for the great contribution your Blogsite provides to serious hockey fans.

Go Aeros!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

We'll have to agree to disagree ... the Griffins are not very deep (as they are now) beyond their top line or so.

They won the game Sunday because they they stuck to their game plan of making the Aeros defense chase the puck all night.

I am not at all questioning the team's heart/desire to win. To be fair, I admit "crappy" may have been a poor choice of words. But trust me, those that are close to that team, know that the team is hurting right now because of injuries and injuries to the parent team.

And I don't know how you can question the scheduling. The Aeros were playing their fourth in less than five days, and the Griffins had Friday off and only a three-hour bus ride after Thursday's game.

San Antonio, by the way, is playing as poorly as ANYONE in the AHL right now. They went from a dominating force in mid-December to a team that has lost four in a row, eight of ten and nine of 12 overall. And they play 12 of their next 14 on the road.

ICEVET said...

Indeed, game scheduling "is what it is" (and will always be in the AHL) and I am a very ardent Aeros supporter.

The focal point of my comment was simply to show a little respect for the weekend opponent who was also battling adversity.

Thanks again for your coverage.

Go Aeros!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

Thank you for the compliments ... and to be honest, I wish you would contribute more.

Agree on the schedule, and both teams have to worry and play through it, but sometimes one of the teams has a clear advantage. Sunday, that went to Grand Rapids.

Anonymous said...

good article although to me when disalvatore said sweep saturday night and he had a chance to make good on that prediction that didn't make him look good especially since he wears the C but then again like you said had we not been playing our 4th in 5 nights it could been a whole lot worse for the griffins espically with o'sullivan he likley would have been up to his old tricks

artandhockey said...

Now I do have to weigh here with the observation, that due to the call ups to The Red Wings, Pearce was the real goalie 'on the line' for the Griffins. His back up, Dove Grumet-Morris (?) was about as unknown as some the Aeros had to scrunge up over the years, JUST to warm the bench. So, given that, HE played 3 games in a row, ok, so he had ONE night off.

While Tordjman and Hackett were relatively fresh, having played alternatively!!

Both teams played, well, despite the Griffins having their best players called up, on the other hand Aeros having added some valuable players!
Each won ONE contest!

Of course, for fans of either team this is not really a great solution. Fans want wins!

Personally, I enjoyed the battle of the 'birds and the planes' - one night 'planes' won, the next afternoon the 'birds' won, after a hard battle!

Guess, I am NO 'dyed in the wool' ONLY Aeros fan.. I just enjoy the game of hockey!

Anonymous said...

ICEVET said- "game scheduling is what it is." Right on. Same could be said for travel, call ups, and injuries. If it was easy everybody would be doing it. But these guys have special abilities don't they. They are young strong talented professional atheletes and this and everything else that gets in the way of winning is just a part of their chosen profession. Every team and every individual deals with it. Suck it up and get on the bus already. You don't hear the ice girls complaining. Oh wait...no ice girls. Sorry, never mind.