A few thoughts and comments on tonight's 3-1 Aeros win over the Grand Rapids Griffins.
1. This was the first game I've seen this year, so I spent most of it figuring out who the new guys were and trying to figure out which returning vets were wearing which new numbers. Still, on the third night of a three-in-three, I thought the team looked good, especially in the second and third periods.
2. The revelation of the game, for me, was Dennis Endras. He kept the Aeros in the game during a first period where it appeared that the Aeros were still playing in Charlotte. I know that Ms. Conduct was impressed as I heard her little cute goalie nice save giggle an awful lot. Coach John Torchetti gave credit for the win to Endras, saying that he thought he was the reason the Aeros were able to get the win.
3. How about those kids? Justin Fontaine gave the Aeros the lead, putting them up 1-0 about midway in the second period. And Kris Foucalt's first pro goal was a beauty in the third, putting the Aeros back up 2-1. And veteran Jed Ortmeyer helped make the goal possible with a fantastic centering pass. David McIntyre finished up the scoring.
4. Torchetti was not happy with the team's start to the game. And it sounds as if he wasn't too happy with some of the starts he's been seeing. He does like the team's attitude, and he noted the great conditioning the guys get into that allow them to control and dominate third periods.
5. He's still working on getting everybody to pick up the system, especially the kids. What he's trying to make them understand is that, the sooner they learn their roles, the sooner they make the NHL.
6. Talked to Endras a bit after the game. He was happy to get the win, and he admitted that playing three games in three nights is something he never had to do while playing in Germany.
7. The Aeros are now 4-1-0-2 (10 points) on the season. And they were able to get five out of a possible six points this weekend. The play wasn't perfect, but sometimes, especially this early in the season, it's not about perfection, but is more about getting the points.
8. This is my fifth season covering the team, and I've learned from coaches Constantine, Yeo, and now Torchetti, is that it takes 25 game to get a real read on a team. That lets the roster gel while hopefully, during that time, the guys come to understand the system. It was at about that time last year that Ortmeyer and Patrick O'Sullivan joined the team and the Aeros took off. Also at that time, remember, it looked like the San Antonio Rampage were easily the class of the AHL West, and we all remember what happened to them. Still, it is nice to see the team getting the wins.