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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Home and Home with Texas weekend

One of the reasons we started and maintain this excellent blog is to inform, opine and manage your expectations. We want you to know what your team is doing, how we feel they're going about it and what you can expect week in and week out.

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
The Wild keep getting concussed and some of their key players are being outplayed by Aeros call-ups. I am not overly confident that the Aeros will get back the roster they had when they were off to that great start. We'll have to see how things shake out.

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


ICEVET said...

IMHO Special Teams (and goal-tending) should be key to success against Texas.

Given the STARS propensity to score PP goals (45%/total goals), hopefully, the Aeros will be able to avoid unnecessary penalties and adjust to the officiating. Tomas Vincour and Matt Fraser have been their key PP scorers.

Unfortunately, with both Warren Peters and Casey Wellman (accounting for >50% of Aeros PP goals) recalled, the Jeff Taffe and Kris Foucault lines will have to create more good 5-5 scoring opportunities to control the momentum.

Also, congratulations to Mike Yeo for his early success and the follow-through on his promise to give deserving Aeros an early opportunity to get valuable NHL experience.

Go Aeros!!!

Forecheck said...

I agree, three points is about all we can expect, but I'm thinking hopefully two tonight, one tomorrow, and then endure a Kris Kolanos / Leeland Irving highlight reel on Sunday (to the tune of about 4-1).

artandhockey said...

And with Jon Di S out as well or ... day to day.. we all may fell like Cassandra before the fall of Troy:-)!
I will be there on Sunday, have to miss tonight's game! And am not trekking to Cedar Park either...other commitements!