The Aeros are either dropping like flies or picking up the OnePass miles to Minnesota, so you have to be impressed with how they have responded with all the player movement this week.
Jamie Fraser, Jeff Penner, Cody Almond, Drew Bagnall, Matt Kassian and Tyler Cuma are hurt. Warren Peters and Casey Wellman are in the NHL, and the Aeros win another game with guys like Jamie Fritsch, Pascal Morency and Joel Broda filling in.
You have to give Jim Mill credit for finding guys that can work together, and you have to give Mike Yeo credit for making this guys believe in the system. The rest of this weekend is going to be VERY tough, so getting two points against the last-place Crunch was crucial. I don't think Mill NEEDS to make a move prior to Monday's Clear Day deadline, but if he can find a way to bring a veteran forward or defenseman here for the stretch, good for him.
Friday's game was all about the Rau-Earl-Palmer line. They were fantastic, scoring two even strength goals on a night where O'Sullivan and DiSalvatore just could not bury their chances. Hopefully John will get on here later with some good quotes from Palmer, but basically the guy said he loves working with Rau and Earl and had lots of praise for DiSalvatore and O'Sullivan, too.
The standings did not change much, because two games ended up being three-point games. The Aeros and Admirals stay on top, while Texas, San Antonio and Peoria all picked up points in the middle. Chicago and Oklahoma City both lost in regulation and are falling back a bit.
There is still a lot of hockey left, but here is how things look going into another night where all seven teams are playing. Click on the image below for a closer look at the playoff picture.