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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fearless Prediction: Aeros In Six

So it appears that while Andrew was sending out an email asking for our predictions earlier this week, he's yet to post his. So, with the series between the Aeros and Admirals due to start tomorrow, I guess I'll get things started.

I'm worried about this series. I was also worried about Peoria for what it matters. Here's my big problem. The Aeros have will have gone 10 days between games when the puck drops tomorrow. And they've only played seven games the entire month. So I'm worried about the team being at the top of it's game. I'm worried about rust. I'm worried about the lost momementum that came from sweeping the Rivermen.

I went up to practice on Tuesday, and I saw the hardest practice I've seen this season -- admittedly, I haven't seen many, so that could have been the normal. But Mike Yeo had the squad going full out. And Matt Kassian thinks the way the squad practices, he said they've gone full-out in practice like this all season, will help them out. But who knows?

One other thing that bothers me is possible lineup tinkering. I can understand trying to find a way to get Marco Scandella out on the ice, but I'm not sure on how I feel about breaking up the forward lines to bring in somebody else. I think those four lines have incredible chemistry and all seem to work well. But Yeo said on Tuesday that the lineup we saw against Peoria won't necessarily be who goes out agains the Admirals, and that things might change from game to game. I'm not the coach, and I think Yeo's earned our trust this year, but still, I have to admit, I'm troubled.

That said, prediction time. I see the Aeros winning this thing in six. I think they lose the first game because of the rust, but win games two, three, and four before losing game five to send it back to Milwaukee.

I know the Aeros record against the Ads isn't that great this season. But their record against the Rivermen wasn't that great either. The thing I'm looking at is that Milwaukee, this season, didn't really face the Aeros roster as we know it. That last game, on April 1, was especially not representative of the team as, if I remember, there were only five d-men available with Max Noreau and Justin Falk being called up to the Wild. Matt Kassian also didn't skate, and the team was beat up and tired. And I'm sorry, but with Jared Spurgeon back, the possible addition of Marco Scandella, and with Max Noreau, Drew Bagnall, Nate Prosser, Justin Falk, and Jeff Penner, I just don't think you can say that Milwaukee should have the advantage on the defensive side.

Another thing that works in the Aeros favor is the incredible depth of this team. The Ads just can't concentrate on shutting down the first and second lines because, as this season has shown, the third and fourth lines have shown the ability to score goals. And as Warren Peters said, all of the lines, but especially the third and fourth lines, are more than willing to go in and do those things that get the trash goals.

And as with Peoria, Milwaukee's dealing with an uncertain goalie situation in that their number one goalie has been injured, and the last I heard they're still not sure what his status is for this upcoming series, though I'm sure that like Peoria with Ben Bishop, if it gets down to elimination time, Mark Dekanich will find some way to get out there between the pipes.

So those are my thoughts. The Aeros winning in six, which would work for me since I will be there should that happen.


Forecheck said...

I think that on a neutral sheet of ice, the Aeros are a marginally better team than the Ads right now, but probably not enough of a difference than the varagies of "puck luck" as we know it (or to state more poetically, "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune").

The Ads have home ice advantage. But recently home ice hasn't meant much in the playoffs. Then again, the Ads had a HUGE home ice advantage in the regular season.

I'm suspecting the first ten minutes Friday will stink big time, and the Aeros need to make sure it doesn't get any worse than 2-0, or we can pretty much write game one off.

That thought through, my heart says Aeros in six (winning 2,3,5,6), but my head says Ads in seven (1,2,4,7).

At least I'm only 95% as nervous about this one as the Peoria series - - winning a playoff series certainly "helped" to c-c-calm the n-n-nerves a bit.

ICEVET said...

Occasional post-season references have been made (on this BLOG) to (1) home-ice advantage and (2) the prospect that A team might advance to the Calder Finals, following a first-round sweep.

Those who may have an interest in "prediction religion" might check-in with the Wall Street Journal Sports Team (see recent Sports Page articles):

. Home-ice advantage: (Ref: 4/27 Article)...quoting..."the 2010-11 regular season was the worst, statistically, since 2004 for home-ice teams" AND "through 4/25, home-ice teams were just 19-25 (.432) in the NHL Playoffs"

. First-round-sweep teams: (Ref: 4/29 Article)...quoting..."since 2003, no team that won its first series in (either) 4 or 7 games, ended up winning the Stanley Cup" (although 7 first-round-sweep teams DID advance TO the FINALS.

Jared Diamond, the Journal's source of these statistics, is generally regarded as a credible sports journalist.

The rhetorical question remains: does a first-round sweep or home-ice provide any advantage or predictability ???

You figure.

Go Aeros!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope Yeo doesn't tinker with the lines. If it's not broke, don't try to fix it! And I hope he doesn't sit our vets for some unproven up-and-coming-wannabes. Play the guys/lines that got you here! Hope the guys shake the rust off quickly. Go Aeros!