That game was exhausting to watch. I don't know why, but my shoulders were up to my ears the whole game. Maybe it's the fact that this game had just a mountain of implications attached to it.
The game set the tone for the entire weekend, and both teams need as many of the 6 available points as possible. From the score to the physicality to the (horrible) officiating, this game not only determined who took the first two points, but it established the foundation on which both teams will game-plan for the rest of the weekend.
One thing Yeo emphasized after the game was that, while he was happy with the first period and most of the second, one of the things he wants the team to learn from this series is a powerful playoff lesson: Once you have the upper hand, no matter how big the upper hand, never give the other team hope. Never let them see daylight.
Well, the Barons definitely saw daylight in the third, so he was grateful for the 4th goal to sink them a little deeper into the shadows. The Aeros were definitely sloppy in the final 4 minutes on the double minor PP. As has often happened this season with a lead, they showed a little too much mercy during the power play chance handed them during the double minor in the final 4 minutes of the game, turned the puck over with regularity, and there was that daylight.
It seems clear this team can be oppressive and suffocating when they're clicking (the return of Warren Peters certainly had a positive impact) and Yeo wants to see 60 minutes of the Aeros pressuring the life out of the opponent.
It helped that Jeff Deslauriers was badly off his game in the first. Bryan Pitton came in for the second period and stood on his head or this game would have been 7-1. He plays well in the building, so you have to think we'll see more of him.
Hackett was good, and also lucky at times. The team did a great job of clearing rebounds into advantageous places that set them up to establish a rush. And there you have the Aeros' game, right? Possess possess possess. It's glorious.
A few items: Daoust was a healthy scratch tonight for Peters, and Tordjman is most likely in net Saturday night. And what do you guys think about Morency's "Mitch Love-esqe" role? I think he adds a spark that's fun to watch. Is it valuable? I don't know, but on a basic level, I like it.
Plus, this game had my head spinning so fast, the fights gave me a few minutes to catch my breath and put the fire on my keyboard out.
Andrew was trying to explain the "magic number" stuff to me tonight but my brain was fried by game's end and it might as well have been trigonometry. So when I heard this song on the way home, I knew I had to use it here: