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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Aeros Lose to Stars 3-2 in OT

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.


Forecheck said...

First, let me say I totally agree with Torch’s in-game assessment of the slashing non-call just seconds before the Stars scored in OT. An assessment that was heard loud and clear where I sit and no doubt in the pressbox, too. I love the passion he shows, and the way he stands up for his team, as opposed to the rather cowardly way the refs headed for the relative safety of the scorers table rather than taking Torch’s rant like men.

We need to start putting together the “Torch Defense Fund” to help offset any fines he may be headed for this season.

I also agree with Torch on the team discipline. Has he perhaps considered public executions after the game ?

If there was one positive tonight, it was MOST of Hackett’s play. Without him, it could have been a 5-2 loss in regulation. Still, the last two should not have gotten in.

The thing I’m still debating is which was more painfull - watching the Aeros try to play hockey in the first period, or having to listen to young children try to play the violin during the intermission. Tough call.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I thought the officiating was terrible. Why did the AHL allow a "Beer League" ref on the ice? Seriously, he can't even officiate a beer league game, so why would anyone in their right mind think he could handle a AHL game?

Anonymous said...

The loss was 100% on the team, but it appeared to me the officials didn't have a clue what they were supposed to be doing.

I wish the Aeros could be more consistent in sharp passing to their own team members. They sure looked sloppy last night.

Let's hope they'll pull it together for the rest of the weekend.

Is there an issue with John taking pictures? We miss them.

John Royal said...

Sorry about the no pictures. I want to get to know the new players and try and figure out their tendencies before I start shooting the games. I'll probably give it a go come December.

Chris Jerina was in town last night and shooting photos, and I thought he was going to post some, but it looks like he hasn't yet. Hopefully we'll get some of his up soon.

ICEVET said...

Mike Yeo has rather wistfully opined on CHARACTER: "The successful teams will find a way...you don't accept anything less than your best".

Unfortunately, this Team has yet to find its "character", despite early success against 500-Minus teams...hopefully, it will come, soon.

The discipled STARS dominated puck possession time, passing, pucks-to-the-net, faceoffs, crisp defensive zone clearing, and avoiding a tsunami of ICING calls (Aeros with over half-dozen in 1st period, alone)....and THIS from a 3.4 GA Team, playing against a 3.4 GF Team.....on the road.

Emblematic of the 9,000+ fans frustration: the ONLY Aeros PP (2nd period) expired without a shot-on-net, immediately followed by a tripping penalty on the player skating out of the penalty box (Kris Foucault).

Serious Aeros Fans, who have attended the past 4 home games are "feeling the pain".

Go Aeros!

Forecheck said...

{{The loss was 100% on the team, but it appeared to me the officials didn't have a clue what they were supposed to be doing. }}


I had a rant about the officiating this season that I took out of my above post at the last second.

In summary, and in non-rant mode, it appears there are ZERO good - check that - COMPETENT refs left in the AHL. What's worse, some of the recent incompetents such as Ciamaga, L'Ecuyer, and Hasenfranz are now in the NHL, so you can tell where that league is headed in the near future as the older refs retire.

I'm not sure if the two ref system is improving things, either. It just seems like there's now twice the chance of a bad call vs. a one ref system. And the "two refs will catch what one won't" idea utterly failed last night on the obvious, but uncalled, slash that sent Torch into a tirade.

Maybe in the future, some geek will write the proper video recognition software and we can turn the whole thing over to computers.

Oh, I want to retract my suggestion of public executions and replace it with a suggestion to have public floggings to instill discipline. That way, for a one-time donation to Houston Aeros Charities, fans can participate as floggers if a particular player draws your ire.

I know the system has been tried before, though not with fan participation. I think it was the Iraqi national soccer team when it was run by one of Saddam's sons....