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

Sunday, October 9, 2011

HI HOCKEY!!!

I went to bed last night with that feeling in my chest that I got as a little kid on Christmas Eve. That "slightly too excited to sleep, but also know if I go to sleep, tomorrow will happen sooner" feeling.

Luckily I'm old and fall asleep easier than I did when I was 7 years old. But I did wake up at 6:30 this morning and wished I hadn't so I wouldn't have to wait for all the fun parts of the day. Why couldn't they play at 11 this morning?

Anyway, I went and checked out practice yesterday morning. It was fun watching guys take pictures with fans as they exited the ice, and the guys seemed to enjoy it, too.

Also, Mike Hoffman is enormous. (And crush-worthy, ladies.) Also, hide your pizza from him. Dude is a Hoover.



Per the team, there are 26 players on the opening night roster. With 14 forwards and 9 defensemen, I'd expect to see two or three of those guys move to the ECHL soon. The ice seemed pretty crowded at practice yesterday.

Also, the team is carrying 3 goalies still. Hackett had his own net while Endras and Kuemper shared a net, so the team has a tough decision to make.

Endras has fairly high level pro experience in the German league and in international competition, so he's a good safety net in case something happens to one of the Minnesota goalies (as it often seems to do).

But Keumper is everything you want in a young goalie and I think he's shown he can hold his own in this league. While he'd learn a lot in a lower league, frankly, I'd just straight up be a sad panda if I didn't get to see him play this season. Y'all know me. Big heart for my goalies. It's hard to be objective.

Maybe I can find out more about what's going on there today.
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Meanwhile, the Wild played their first game last night and won handily in a 4-2 decision over the Columbus BJs. Funny thing is that they looked just like our Aeros did last year, but with NHLers executing on Yeo's strategy. Works out pretty well, apparently. Congrats to Mike and the whole team for kicking off the season the right way.

I know it's a dream come true for Yeo, but also for a bunch of former Aeros like Marco Scandella, who scored a nice goal, and Brett Bulmer, who made his NHL debut at a mere 19 years of age.

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Finally, I've taken a new gig this season contributing to the new Backhand Shelf blog on theScore.ca. My friend, Justin Bourne, is editing the site and doing most of the writing, so you know it's good. He's very knowledgeable and very funny and told me, "Just do your thing. Write about goalies, hot boys, whatever you want. Oh, and here's some money for it."

LemmethinkaboutitYES.

So, my regular feature, Tea with Ms. Conduct, runs every other Sunday with a few other things thrown in irregularly. (If you don't get the tea reference, you need to rent the cheesy hockey classic Youngblood ASAP.)

If you're a hockey fan in general, I think you'll enjoy the blog. Lots of writing from Justin and from several other writers with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Tons of humor and great knowledge.

Anyway, here's my first piece, hot off the press: http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2011/10/09/tea-with-ms-conduct-the-bunny-conundrum/

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And with that... see you tonight! Welcome back to Houston, hockey! (Or is it Welcome back to hockey, Houston!?)

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