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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Notes, Quotes & Observations from Game One, Houston v. Hamilton

Brett Bulmer on the ice after being injured.

Aeros dominated the first half of the game. Hamilton controlled the second half. Matt Hackett was fantastic throughout. And the Aeros got the 2-1 win despite being out-shot and take the 1-0 series lead.

1. According to Mike Yeo, Brett Bulmer wasn't injured as seriously as was first feared. He is, however, day-to-day, and we're not really sure, beyond what Yeo said, as to just how bad Bulmer was injured.

2. If he can't go on Sunday, my best guess is that Matt Kassian will play. But I've been wrong way too much, so who knows who will really play if the situation comes to that.

3. Jed Ortmeyer attributed Hackett's play to Game Seven in Milwaukee.

"I think that Game Seven, he bounced back," Ortmeyer said. "His confidence, you could see it in him. He was on the top of his crease. He was battling through traffic and getting to rebounds and making sure that he could see pucks. It was a big boost for him and for our team last series, and he played great tonight."

4. And Hackett told us he was just having fun out there on the ice.

"It’s just fun," he said. "It’s why I picked to be a goalie. It’s all the pressure at the end there. It’s what makes the position fun. I was glad to make a couple of big saves there for the boys."

5. While the Aeros didn't play their best game, and while they let Hamilton dominate the third period, Mike Yeo said he's not much of a believe in momentum carrying over from game to game. Yeo also believes that this game was something the Aeros needed, and for more than just the win.

"Certainly we gave them momentum in this game," he said. "We gave them confidence going into the next game. At the same time, I think – I don’t believe in the whole we got momentum, they got momentum. I think that the next game is a completely different animal. I think that there’s an understanding on our part, and guys felt it on the bench. And they could see that we weren’t doing the right things, and that was keeping us from getting to our game. And it was helping them to get to theirs.

"I think we needed this. We don’t have a rivalry or hatred with this team, or even necessarily the respect factor that we need to. The quicker that you can get those things into your game, the more urgency you’re going to play with, shift in and shift out. And you can understand that whatever the situation, whatever the score is, you have to go out and play a certain way."

6. I liked the attitude of Ortmeyer and Hackett after the game. Both guys thought it was important to get the Game One win, for obvious reasons. But to both of them, Game One was over and the important thing is Sunday.

"It’s huge," Ortmeyer said of the win. "That first win secures us the home ice. Their goal is to come in here with a split. To get that first one is huge for us. We know that they’re going to come hard. It’s a win for them to get a split here. So game two’s going to be even more important now."

And Hackett added: "The first game’s always huge, obviously. But Sunday’s a big game. We don’t want them to get a split. We want to go into their barn up two-nothing. For sure, it’s a bigger game on Sunday."

7. For the curious, out in the Eastern Conference, Binghamton took the first two games from Charlotte, in Charlotte, and now the teams will be heading to Binghamton for three games as the Senators need to win just two of the possible five remaining games.

8. Now seeing as how the AHL only awarded the Aeros one of three stars after the Game Seven win over Milwaukee -- the Admirals were given the other two stars which is kind of strange seeing as how they like, you know, lost, it's going to be interesting to see if they award any to the Aeros in the Saturday Morning Skate. I'm guessing that Sens goalie Robin Lehner will get a star since he pitched the shutout and stopped 35 Charlotte shots. I think they'll probably give another to the Sens Ryan Potulny since he scored two of the Sens' three goals. One would think that Hackett would be a lock for the other star, seeing as how he stopped 38 of 39 shots while leading his team to a 2-1 victory. But this is the AHL office we're talking about, so I'm guessing the final star will go to Hamilton's Mathieu Carle since, of course, he scored and prevented the Bulldogs from getting shutout.

9. That's it for now. See everybody at the Toy Box on Sunday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

I hope Matt Kassian plays Sunday!!! That's what i have been waiting for!!! Been way way way too long. No knocks on Bulmer but Kassian brings lots more to the Aeros.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I hope Bulmer is on the way to a full recovery from whatever his injury is, but I hope we see Matt take the ice tomorrow.

Forecheck said...

The guys will simply have to play better to win Sunday.

I think that Hamilton was not ready for what hit them in the first period Friday. At some emotional level, they migt have not realized how good the Aeros really are right now and were expecting the team they beat 5-0 again.

Problem is after the guys went up 2-0 they, with one exception, stopped playing. A couple of old demons returned - awful passing, often stright to a red sweater, and weak clearing attemps which went all of 20 feet, usually picked off by a red sweater.

Hopefuly something will happen Sunday to give us an edge - like Kass getting wound up about finally playing and scoring a trick/