Tuesday, March 1, 2011
First off, my latest story in the mothership is posted. It's on the return of Casey Wellman and Marco Scandella to the team. Key returns, I believe, of two very skilled players who will help the Aeros immensely in that fight for a playoff spot.
I wrote this story, and filed it, before the Anton Khudobin trade, which is why I only address it at the bottom, in the miscellaneous notes column. But I want to use the post, and the Khudobin trade to address another matter: why is everybody so damn down on this team?
Yes, I've written some negative things in the past, especially after some of the losses, but frankly, I tend to be pleased with the team. The Aeros, after a bad start to the season, an awful start to the season, have regrouped to become one of the best teams in the league. Playing in what is probably the toughest division in the league, they're in second place, just a point out of first place, and they just won two out of three games in another tough three-in-three weekend that had them playing two other teams also fighting for a playoff spot.
Is it going to be easy? No. But should it be? Probably not. I think everybody was blinded by the play in January when the team could do wrong. It appears that I need to point out that, in this month just past, the Aeros went 7-4-0-1. Sure, it's not the 10-2-0-1 of January, but the rest of the teams in the league would kill for that record. And instead, we're over here discussing in comments that not only will the team not make the playoffs, but that they might drop all of the way down to seventh place.
I'm not trying to be all Mr. Sunshine here. I'm going to miss Khudobin. He was a great guy to talk to because he's still figuring out how to use his filter. But for all of you lamenting how the team is screwed because he's gone, remember this: it wasn't that long ago that Heather was writing him a "Dear Anton" letter because of his subpar play. And for all of you saying that Matt Hackett's not equipped to lead this team deep in the playoffs, I ask this: how many of you thought that Khudobin was equipped to take the Aeros deep into the playoffs two seasons ago?
The Aeros in the playoffs are not a sure thing. Not playing in this division. And I'm not trying to say otherwise. But stop looking at the trees and look at the forest. These Aeros, these Aeros we love to gripe and bitch about, have one of the best records in the league, and they have this record despite playing one of the toughest, stupidest, screwed up schedules in the league. The team has a top line of Casey Wellman/Jon DiSalvatore/Patrick O'Sullivan. And the number two line is now probably Cody Almond/Robbie Earl/Chad Rau.
The team added a good defenseman yesterday, which is probably a good thing seeing as how Drew Bagnall and Tyler Cuma are injured and that the Wild go through injuries like Carlos Lee goes through the post-game buffet in the Astros clubhouse.
So that's it for now. You may now proceed to blasting away at me. And also, if you don't mind, give the Houston Press article a read. I had to wait a really long time after Sunday's game to get quotes from Scandella, and I don't want that time wasted.