So, with that, pretty much the best you can hope for this weekend is probably three of a possible six points against the Texas Stars and Abbotsford Heat.
The Aeros are going to play first a team with arguably the worst defense/goaltending in the league followed by the team with the best goalie (Leland Irving) and hottest player in the league right now (Krys Kolanos). A three-point weekend without Warren Peters, Nate Prosser, Kris Fredheim and Casey Wellman, in my opinion, would be just gravy. And there is a fair chance that Jon DiSalvatore won't play with a lower body injury. He is a game-time decision for Friday, and I doubt, either way, he makes the trip to Cedar Park on Saturday.
Two weeks ago, the Aeros were the best (statistically) team in the AHL. They fell back a bit after two bad, bad home losses to Toronto and Abbotsford. Maybe they should outlaw the singing of "Oh, Canada" before the games, but health certainly would help at this time.
|Proposed new logo for Minnesota Wild|
If there is any good news out there, it's the schedule. There are six games left this month and five of them are against two defensively-challenged teams. In the one "tough" game against Abbotsford, the Aeros have home ice and have a better 3-in-3 schedule to deal with (less travel).
Torchetti sounded like he was ready to go off on a few guys after the game last week. And that was BEFORE he lost Wellman and Fredheim. He basically said selfish play and the lack of team defense was starting to be an issue. I think the goaltending has lacked as well, but they are certainly not the reason for all the turnovers and odd-mans coming AT them.
Players are human, though. They see the revolving hospital doors just outside the Xcel Energy Center and opportunities present themselves. Now, with four key players on recall to the NHL and several other players in still in Houston who did not get the call, it will be more interesting to see how the team responds.
First, your coach says you're not playing good defense.
Then two other players get called up ahead of you...
How do you respond to that ego check?
I guess we'll see Friday night at Toyota Center.
WARNING! Meaningless predictions to follow
Friday - @Aeros 1, Stars 4
Saturday - Aeros 5, @Stars 3
Sunday - Heat 3, @Aeros 2 (OT)
Three of a possible six points