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

Friday, April 8, 2011

Drew Bagnall called up; Falk returned

I sure hope the decimated Aeros' don't have to play for home ice on Sunday; they need Texas and Peoria to lose at least one of their remaining games this weekend.

The Minnesota Infirmary continues to lose players to injury and need the services of the Aeros just to get through two more games in their pitiful regular season. Carson McMillan, Max Noreau, Jed Ortmeyer and Colton Gillies (Am I missing anybody?) continue to be on recall and will not play Sunday. Now the Aeros will be without Bagnall, who was recalled today as the team chose to send Justin Falk back to the Aeros.

All reports tend to indicate that Falk had a lousy game in Vancouver Thursday ... and he is taking a lot of heat today for not sticking up for PM Bouchard, who was cold-cocked by one of the Canuck's players. Max Noreau did not play well either, and I really hope he redeems himself this weekend. He is truly deserving of this opportunity, and until Thursday, I thought he had been holding his own.

This comment from Russo's blog really highlights what it is like to play for the Wild right now. The Aeros are the lone bright spot for the organization right now, and you can count on seeing a lot of Jim Mill in Houston over (what Aeros fans hope) the next month or so.

"The Wild's locker room is a lifeless, demoralizing place to be right now. After this one, players were blank-faced, frustrated, etc. Kyle Brodziak was just staring at the ground for five minutes. This isn't fun and the offseason can't get here quick enough."

There are many NHL experts that are absolutely certain that Todd Richards will be fired shortly after the Wild's regular season ends on Sunday. The prevailing thought is that a veteran coach will get the gig, but I just don't see how that is going to help a team that is devoid of any real offensive talent.

Even still, the Wild were THIS close to making the playoffs even with what they had. They absolutely fell apart right after Koivu went down with his injury. Are they one player away from getting it done? Or do they just need luck on their side to stay healthier when it counts?

I hate to spend so much time talking about the Wild this morning, but I think The Wild's late-season injury and performance woes will affect the first few Aeros playoff games. Mike Yeo and Co. always talk about playing the right way and getting into a groove so you don't to have to just "turn it on" come playoff time. Well, guess what -- with how little time they have all had together in the last two weeks -- they are going to have to do come next week.


Forecheck said...

Seems like there will be a lot of job opportunities with the Wild next season. That should be an incentive during the playoffs for our guys. Unless some have already decided to bail on the organization (wouldn't entirely blame them).

Unsportsmanlike said...

I see a lot of criticism of Falk for doing nothing after two hits on the Wild, including a head shot on PMB.

But wasn't it just two or three weeks ago that Houston was suffering from bad penalties and Yeo was preaching discipline? I think I commented during their last game that they seemed to be taking that to heart.

I understand the reasoning that since Falk is such a big guy, he ought to be expected to know his place as a physical player and fill that role. And it may well be that that's what the Wild needed from him.

But if the guy'd just heard a month's worth of preaching discipline and letting things slide for the sake of staying out of the box with the Aeros, he might have thought he was showing the right attitude by letting those two hits go.

This is as much a question as it is a statement in his defense. I don't know a whole lot about the situation; I didn't see the first hit and mostly noticed Gillies being pulled away from the guy who hit PMB, without realizing Falk was on the ice then at all. But this is one thing the critics don't seem to take into account. Less than a month ago, Yeo was onto the guys for taking bad penalties. Could that hae played into Falk's decisions?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Unsportsmanlike, Falk has been making bad decisions for sometime. I think this was just the straw that broke the camels back.