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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

View From The Brink: Aeros Poised To Make Very Bad History

The game winning goal from Nigel Dawes.

Only twice in AHL history has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit to force a game seven. Before tonight. Tonight the Hamilton Bulldogs became the third team in AHL playoff history to force a game seven after being down 3-0 when they defeated the Aeros 5-4 in double OT. And here's the bad news, in each instance, the team that forced the game seven went on to win the game seven.

It would be easy to blame this loss on the officiating. The Heberts were so bad I was longing for Terry Koharski -- and no, the Heberts are not related though they suck so damn bad that it's easy to imagine they're brothers. And there's some truth to that as the Aeros fell completely apart after a fanthom call on Colton Gillies and a missed call on Jed Ortmeyer and quickly surrendered three goals within four-and-a-half minutes, including two short-handed goals.

It would be easy, but it would be wrong. The Aeros found a way to get back in this game. And they had multiple, excellent opportunities to win the game in OT, only Drew MacIntyre came through big and stopped the Aeros.

No, the Aeros can blame this loss on one thing, and one thing only. Crappy puck handling. It's been their problem throughout this playoff series, and it doomed them tonight. The shorties came off turnovers. And the game-winner came off of a turnover at center ice.

They dominated the Bulldogs for the most part tonight, 61 SOG compared to 38. But when you're sloppy with the puck, bad things happen. And tonight, bad things happened.

I'll be back with some quotes later night, and I think Andrew will throw up some other thoughts as well. We'll see you on Tuesday. Let's just hope we're not writing about the Aeros being on the wrong side of history.


Dave said...

The thing that bothered me the most about tonight's game was the bad turnovers. But it is hard to use a hockey stick when you have both hands firmly planted around your throat. Hopefully, the Houston Oilers...I mean Aeros will win on Tuesday.

Forecheck said...

I'll be briefer than I want to be because I am quite mad regarding the last five days, and experence (often bad) has shown me that when I am this mad, my mouth can get me into trouble. And also if I don't get this off my chest I'm not sleeping well tonight.

Regarding the horrible officiating this series, all I can think of is some yo-yo at the AHL decided to turn the playoffs into a training program for the leagues worst rather than as it should be an award for the leagues best. If so, then the AHL can kiss its credibility as a professional league goodbye.

Second, the Aeros have very little chance of winning Tuesday. Hamilton has all the momentum. Hackett's confidence was good to start with but was shaky after the first goal and is probably shot now. We can hope Hamilton is overconfident, but they seem to be a professional outfit so don't count on it.

Giving the Aeros a 1 in 3 shot Tuesday is probably quite generous.

I hope I am eating serious crow abot 10 PM Tuesday night, but I have to call it as I see it. The Aeros look like toast right now.

Anyway, it's been a great run. If you had told me on Nov 15th that the Aeros would be a game away from the finals in late May, I would have told you that you were nuts.

So we do have something to be thankful for.

Now I can sleep.