Our Midwestern Correspondent, Chris Jerina, was there for last night's game in Milwaukee and tonight in Chicago and he said the officiating was just as big a factor, but for a change, it killed the other team instead of the Aeros.
Chicago had 5 power play opportunities and, granted their lone goal was during one of those chances, the Aeros did kill off one 5 on 3 pretty handily. Other than some shenanigans here and there, it was a much more confident game for the good guys.
Moreover, the power play was so damn good, converting 4 of 10 chances, you almost can't lose with that kind of production.
I happened to be in the car during the pre-game show Joe does and heard Yeo's comments on the last two games, and I thought they were worth sharing.
He essentially fell on the sword and said he was pushing the wrong mentality: We need these wins. Get the win.
And what's been successful all season is not "get the win" but "play the system, stick to the process."
So when the team faced some adversity and the win was slipping away... what's left to hang your hat on when "get the win" is the message? Things just unraveled.
But when "stick to the process" was the message... it doesn't matter what happens. Process, baby, and the results will come.
Something that flummoxed a lot of people was Matt Hackett getting the start again, after getting the hook two games in a row. I was surprised, too, but Yeo's reasoning was sound: Hackett is their starting goalie and he can't prove to them that he deserves the job, and he can't work through the adversity, if they don't give him the chance to.
I think it showed a couple of things: One is that in the end, they have faith that Matt has the maturity to gather himself and fix his mistakes. It also shows Yeo's sensitivity to what his goalie needs, and as y'all know, extra goalie TLC warms my dark heart.
I thought that was a really thoughtful decision and as Matt has done several times this season, he pulled himself up by his leg pad straps and earned yet a little more trust from the coaches, his teammates, and I'd guess in himself as well.
Here's the score sheet if you want to see the goals and rap sheet, er, monumental list of penalties. The highlight is that Matt Kassian returned AND got a goal (pictured above by Chris Jerina). Good gravy, are we ever glad to have you back, Matt!
Also, the Stars were shut out by OKC. This is a very good thing. 6 point difference, 4 games in hand for Texas. Keep on losing, Stars.
Now the Aeros go on an 8 day break and will hopefully get a few guys back from Minnesota between now and then. Noreau, Falk, McMillan, and Gillies have all been called up in the last 2 days. Is the Wild season EVER going to end? Jesus. (But great and deserving call-ups for all those guys, so it's hard to complain. It doesn't stop me from complaining, but I'm an overachiever like that.)
That's all for now. Everybody breathe! Phew......