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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random Thoughts from Last Night

Is anybody else like me where at this point in the season, it's all sorta running together?

Never the less, that was one of the most exciting games I've seen in a while and I'd been wondering when this "rivalry" was actually going to start looking like a rivalry. With 3 fights and more boarding than an airport, I'd say we're getting darn close to this one getting as nasty as San Antonio, especially as they get more desperate.

Like I always say, "If you can't beat 'em, beat 'em up."

I know you guys might think I don't like Anton because I'm hard on him, but it's not true. I'm hard on him because I know he's a good goalie. But I'm gonna say something good about him, in spite of that abysmal first goal against: When he lands on his butt and rolls through the splits to get back on his knees/feet... well, that's just fantastic bendy goalie porn and I (and others, trust me) appreciate the show. The kid is cuh-razy flexible.

So, don't say I never said anything nice about Anton.

How sick is that DiSalvatore, O'Sullivan, Wellman line? Good gravy. I kinda would have thought that line would be too much "soft and handsy" without Almond's grit, but honestly, they battled through bodies and protected the puck just fine. Being small, quick, and slippery like Wellman is can work pretty well if you've got solid hockey sense.

And while his OT game winner was a thing of beauty (how's that for a "Honey, I'm home!"), his back handed pass to DiSalvatore on that gorgeous tic-tac-toe goal impressed me even more. Awareness and finesse. Man. Welcome back. Stay healthy!

Since the game was at home Tuesday, I dunno how many of you heard Joe's 2nd intermission interview with Kalus, but I had to leave early and heard it on my way down to Space City to stop some pucks.

Anyway, if you haven't noticed, Kalus has been a healthy scratch a lot this season, so I was glad to hear the interview. Sometimes we only want to talk to guys who have a happy story to tell, but Kalus really doesn't right now. I thought he had matured a lot last season, but maybe wasn't finding his niche on this team, though he said in the interview that Yeo's system suits his game well.

The interview made me sad for the guy, because he clearly just wants to play and said they haven't really told him why he's not playing nor what he can do to get in the lineup (other than wait for guys to get hurt or called up, which is how he got in last night).

One really honest bit that stood out to me was when Joe asked him how this coaching staff is working for him, Kalus said that's hard to answer. On one hand, their style suits him and the team is doing well, but on the other hand they don't play him. I don't wanna put words in his mouth but I felt the gist was, "Well, no, they're not really doing it for me, to be honest."

I would think it's tough to see everybody else buying in and having success while basically looking in from the outside.

Anyway, kudos to Joe for doing an interview that was bound to get a little awkward. He was in the Terry Gross zone there.

I just checked out my magnet schedule while I was making my decaf (ugh--I miss caffeine) this morning and, man, is there ever a LOT of home ice hockey coming up. Wee! Gonna be a fun month if the guys play like we know they can (and now EXPECT them to).


Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I could not agree with you more on all counts. Friday was a trap game and they battled their asses off for an OT win. From here on out, based on how they have played since the arrival of Ortmeyer, there are probably not any automati losses.

Of the three games this weekend, tonight worries me the most because it's a road game on the day of a flight against a team that is due to beat them at home. But this team is not predictable, they work hard when they are down, and if they can keep Giroux from goin off, they should be OK.

Looking very much forward to seeing how it all plays out.

Forecheck said...

I know you guys might think I don't like Anton because I'm hard on him, but it's not true. I'm hard on him because I know he's a good goalie.

I'm 100% with you here... but you lost me on the "goalie porn".

ICEVET said...

Nobody knows better than you (Ms. C) that the Goalie's position is the most demanding on a hockey team (mano-gymnastic skills, no shift changes, 60+ minutes on high mental alert, 360-degree vision, in-game weight loss, etc).

Yet, when things go south, the goalie is the FIRST to be criticized because he is the LAST player to be seen (by everyone in the Arena and on Replays), as the puck crosses the goal line or crashes the net.

Once the red light goes on, a botched face-off, stupid penalties, failed defense, blown PP (leading to short-handed goal), muffed shift change, deflection off a defenders skate or other miscues which led to the goal, become "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" and the goalie takes the BLAME at the center of the Defense.

If we did not have Experts like you to differentiate between "soft" and "hard" goals, most fans would be bewildered, ALWAYS blaming the Goalie for every GA. Center-ice seats and Replays might help some, but cannot capture the whole story.

However, no one ever said that anything in the great sport of Hockey is "fair", including the life of an aspiring Goalie who gets forever excoriated in defeat and a few minutes of "attaboys" in victory. Fortunately, the good and great Goalies always find a way to accept this and move on.

Go Aeros!