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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aeros stun Milwaukee in 3-2 OT win; join them in first place

Well, how about that snoozefest, huh?

Okay, maybe not. I think the Aeros 3-2 OT win over Milwaukee looked as much like playoff hockey as... playoff hockey. Hard hitting, fast, focused, and fun to watch from top to bottom.

Both goalies were fantastic in general, except for the incredible brain fart on that second goal against Milwaukee where Dekanich literally just stood there as O'Sullivan looked to be dumping the puck into the zone from center ice, but ended up putting it on net instead.

Poor Dex. I don't think I breathed for a full minute after this. He's a really good goalie. Just goes to show you how tough the position is that someone this good would space out like that.

At least, I'm calling it spacing out. He tracked it right into the net. Maybe he was screened but still. What a shock.

And what a momentum shift. The goal came just after Milwaukee took the lead on an iffy goal and you could feel a bit of a slump in the building because Dex is playing so well and how the hell will they get another goal? But then BOOM. Sully evens it up and maybe embarrasses the Ads a bit.

The game stayed tight the rest of the way, so I wouldn't say the momentum shifted TO the Aeros there, but it certainly came back to neutral again.

Credit to Andrew, he picked the Aeros to win right here today. And early in the game he called Robbie Earl with the GWG. How money is that? It seemed like it happened almost in slow motion, too.

Lots of guys had really good games, from my perspective. I feel like Daoust is playing like I want him to now. Falk looked great. Rau with two first assists. He reminds me of Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Maybe it's just me.

BTW, I think the Wellman, DiSalvatore, O'Sullivan line needs a name. Put your suggestions in the comments. They are a scary trio and my inner goalie just hates O'Sullivan. He just finds these holes, and he's so damn handsy and dangly and slick. Damn it. But keep it up dude.

Anyway, I'll wrap up with some quotes from Yeo who talked to us outside a locker room so jubilant, I think there might have been some monkeys in the room.

On staying even keeled and focused:
"It’s really important right now not to get too wrapped up in everything. We could have lost the game tonight and then you’re looking at the other teams and you feel like you’re at the bottom and you feel like the world is about to end. The opposite is we can’t get too excited either. The reality is we just need to win games. We need points. We got 2 points and that’s good but we’re going to lose another game along the way probably and we have to be able to react to it and it’s just a matter of going into each game and understanding that you go out and play your best game that night and you let the chips fall where they fall. That’s what we've been doing the last couple of games."

On the penalty kill that hasn't exactly been knocking it out of the park lately and allowed 2 PP goals on 3 chances tonight:
"I think we’re probably overusing some defensemen right now, just because of the inexperience of Fritche back there. You could see that the first goal that they scored was just fatigue on our part. We got caught on a long shift out there; those guys were out there almost 2 minutes.

Are we missing Peters? Are we missing Gillies? Yes, but it has to be better. These guys are capable of being better and I think there shouldn’t be any doubt in our system and what we’re trying to accomplish out there right now and it looks like at times there is. We have to work on it because that’s got to be a staple of our team. Because when we’re doing it well it well that’s a penalty kill that builds momentum for our group."

Finally, some general positivity about the current state of the team:
"I give our guys a boatload of credit because we haven’t been as fortunate with getting the first goal but we've stayed with it. I think our guys have been focused on playing a great game because of that, we've been able to bounce back from that."

The Aeros are now in 1st place with Milwaukee, who have FOUR games in hand on Houston. But as Yeo told us, the key right now, no matter who they're playing, is to get points.


Forecheck said...

Welcome to the playoffs!

Yeo's last comment is the key. All we can do is get points, get as many as we can. We can't control what other teams are doing and how many three point games they have.

The PK was really the only bad thing about last night. What once was great has turned awful at just the wrong point in the season.

Time for a little projection. One can make a quick though somewhat inaccurate projection based on total points now and how many points a team has gotten in its last ten - - - about how many games are left. Thus, if a team has gotten ten points in their last ten games and has 12 games left, they will likely get 12 more points by season end. Of course, past performance does not guarantee future performance, nor does it account for strength of schedule. But you can do it in Excel in about three minutes.

Based on this, the West would finish like this :

Milwaukee Admirals 99
Houston Aeros 97
Chicago Wolves 96
Peoria Rivermen 92
Texas Stars 92
San Antonio Rampage 88
Oklahoma City Barons 88
Rockford IceHogs 83

The tie breaker being wins.

Now in the North, Grand Rapids (on fire now - - 17 points in last 10) storms from 5th to 1st. Hamilton finishes 4th with 92, so the Texas Stars miss the playoffs in this analysis, and we host the also red hot Wolves.

Of course, the only guarantee I make is that it will NOT finish this way.

artandhockey said...

Amazing game.
And the word is begorra.. fitting as O'Sullivan was the 2 times heroe last night!

ICEVET said...

Coach Yeo is one of those "driven" coaches who, whatever hockey organization he represents, will consistently wind up in the league playoffs and (eventually) the Finals...in large part due to his focus on team attitude and character (i.e. ergo, his comments after the game).

This composure was "front and center", as the Admirals (least penalized AHL team @ 12.5 PIM/game, including 8 games with 4 or fewer PIM and a zero-PIM on 3/13) were forced into 6 penalties by the Aeros controlled offense. Although the Aeros converted only 1/6 PP, the extra PK effort took its toll and "neutralized" the ADs 5-on-5 momentum effort.

While this (must) "win" was huge for momentum and confidence, the final 3-on-3 (Chi, Mil, Chi) of the season (3/31...4/2) may well decide whether the Aeros make the playoffs. Until that weekend is concluded, all bets are off.

Go Aeros!!

Forecheck said...

Can we have a do-over on October 2010????

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

Absolutely, right?

Since the 2-5-1-0 start, the Aeros are 37-20-0-5.
Since the Dec. 21 debacle vs. Hamilton, the Aeros are 23-10-0-3.

Not mind-numbing great, but very good nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

love the pic of DEX! would love to see a vidoe of that o'sullivan goal!

an admirals fan :)

ICEVET said...

@ Ms C's suggestion that the Wellman, DiSalvatore, O'Sullivan Line be given a name.....

Try the "Irish Line"...for the next 48 hours....no offense to Wellman or DiSalvatore....after all, on St. Patrick's Day (tomorrow), we're all Irish!

Go Aeros!

Forecheck said...

The records Andrew gave translate to winning percentages of 0.637 and 0.681 respectively, and 80 game season point totals of 102 and 109 respectively. Certainly playoff numbers.

Unsportsmanlike said...

I agree we need a good name for that line. Thanks to a stray comment by a perverse friend, I currently think of them as "Sparkle Motion". Please, come up with something better and end my misery.

Sarah said...

How about the "Fire and Ice Line" cause that's a hot line...but will ice you!

Sarah said...

How about "The Fire and Ice Line" cause that's a hot line...but they will ice you!

Forecheck said...

Or the "Bye-Bye" line since at least two of them will not be back next season (ducking).

Sarah said...

Which two? And where are they going?

Forecheck said...

@Sarah- Well, Sully isn't here because he likes Houston. He's here to get a job next season in the NHL or Europe. Gotta figure Wellman is in Minnysohta next season. Not sure of Jon's contract status.

BTW, we are not far away from the usual annual post from someone we've never heard of saying "I have informations that (name of your favorite player here) of the Houston Aero has for two years signed contract with(Bratislava Penguins or some other team you have never heard of). What informations do you have on this player? Are they goodly on the defense or are they rather offensive? "

You know it's coming.