So that was disappointing. Not just the Aeros losing 3-2 to the Stars in OT, but the way the Aeros played the game. It was like, at times, they were skating in mud, playing sluggish and just a bit slow and out of synch.
The only reason the Aeros weren't blown out tonight was the play of Matt Hackett who stopped 32 of 35 shots, including one incredible stop late in the second period that had the crowd on their feet shouting "Hackett, Hackett, Hackett!"
The Aeros tied the game at :50 into the second on a pretty shot by Chad Rau, and Jeff Taffe gave them the lead at :34 into the third period. But that was about it on the offensive zone.
The thing that killed the Aeros the most tonight was the same thing that's been killing them all season. Stupid play. Stupid penalties. Stupidity. Head coach John Torchetti is getting tired of it, and he's searching for solutions to the problem.
"I don’t know how to spell discipline anymore," he said after the game. "You try to explain it so many times with this team. But we don’t want to listen to it. I don’t know anything except we’re averaging six penalties a night still.
"I’ve tried everything. I’m going to have to start sitting guys out for the first penalty they take. Discipline. They’re taking penalties that aren’t even near the net. Taking penalties two hundred feet from the net. You’re not going to win hockey games. You won’t last in the playoffs." (emphasis mine)
Still the Aeros are 9-3-1-3 on the season, so that's a plus. Jon DiSalvatore was able to play, and Casey Wellman made it back from Minnesota to get in the lineup, too.
The Aeros play the Stars again tomorrow night before facing Troy Ward, Luke Strand, Krys Kolanos, and the Abbotsford Heat at the Toyota Center on Sunday at 5:00.