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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

View from the PressBox - Aeros 5, Charlotte 2

The score should actually read, AHL Schedule 1, Charlotte 0. As for the scoresheet, go ahead and give the goal to Jon DiSalvatore, who scored twice while playing for AHL Schedule. As for the first assist, well give that to Mother Nature, who surely hates us all for the 81-degree temperature and 150-percent humidity.

As for the second assist, just give it to Tim Tebow, who for some unexplained reason keeps leading the Denver Broncos to wins. All I can say is man, there are a LOT of bad teams in the AFC this year ... but I digress.

Torchetti wasn't exactly thrilled with the game Sunday. He basically said that he hopes that there is a nasty bug going around to make the team play selfishly and not on point. (Jeff Taffe did miss the game due to illness, by the way.) His best quote was, "Points don't get you to the NHL, team defense does."

Here we are 15 games into the season, and most people have to be thrilled with the balanced offensive attack. But what is lacking is any sort of consistent discipline and the kind of defense that will make a team one to be feared in the playoffs.

Look, the Wild are banged up right now, and the Aeros are missing a few guys due to recall and injury and illness. Something tells me the Aeros need to get things right before the weekend, because a home and home series against Texas will start on Friday.

The Stars are winless in three straight and will be working their asses off all week with just about one goal in mind.

And the Aeros, depleted or not, better be ready for that no matter who is in or out of the lineup. Like Torch said, a sound defensive game gets you to the NHL ... not whatever it was the Aeros were trying to do for the second half of Sunday's game.

To be fair, it is nice that the team can play like that, make a the coach a bit uneasy and still find a way to win 5-2. The Aeros are a good team, and just a few tune-ups are needed to make this team an AHL powerhouse.

But, just as easily, things could go the other way if a selfish mentality continues to penetrate a sound, defensively structure.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled Sunday evening.


Forecheck said...

Once again, the guys win while only playing about 40 minutes of real hockey. If they could just play 60 minutes every night, they might be worthy challengers of the 98-99 Aeros.

The third was quite disappointing. It looked like the Aeros, not the Checkers, were the team playing the tail end of a three-in-three. The rink was definitely tilted keeping the puck in the Aeros end much of the eriod.

Oh, yes, regardless of period, the guys can give up the weak passing attempts, particularly in the defensive zone, just about any time.

Oh, yes - in this league, is it legal for a skater to carry two sticks at once, especially if one is a goalie stick (which is an illegal stick for a skater to use)? I think not, but if Ragusin missed that one, he (and the linesmen) also missed about 6 or 7 Aeros skaters on the ice at one time. So maybe it's even.

I just hope Sal isn't hurt too bad, he's needed this weekend.

ICEVET said...

"A lack of discipline and consistent defense"...could not agree more with your assessment!

The recent Marlies and Heat games (11 GA).....in particular, the Kolanos unassisted goal in the first period)....put an exclamation point on this.

Interestingly, a rather ARCANE (net) turnover statistic (shorthanded GA v. GF) highlights this issue in another insidious manner. After 15 games, the Aeros lead the AHL, allowing 3 shorties during PP situations, while potting NONE in PK situations.

As you suggest, defense and special teams will be big this weekend against the STARS, whose PP (AHL #1) will be pitted against the Aeros weak PK, while the Aeros weak PP will be pitted against the Stars even weaker (AHL #27) PK.

Go Aeros!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I have to wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment of the Aeros power play. It is hardly weak. It's producing goals at more than 20 percent of the time and is doing so both at home and on the road.

As for the PK, there is some to be desired, but it is not terrible. They are much better at it at Toyota Center, but they are still killing at 80 percent overall.

If they check their want for allowing 5-on-3 goals (better discipline, hint, hint ...) I think the PK will continue to improve.

Also, there have been times where Torchetti has put five forwards on the power play. With that, you are going to see some shorthanded breakaways ... but with the talent the Aeros have up front, I'll take six PP goals for every one shorty.

And those numbers will improve as chemistry builds.

ICEVET said...

Concede your counterpoint on the PP performance...at least average, not weak.

A further bit of fact-checking indicates that Torchetti's Team is, thus far, matching Yeo's Team (regular season) special teams performance...with an 80% PK (Yeo-81%)...and PP/total goal marker at 31% (Yeo-31.6%).

However, with a significant number of games ahead against strong OKC and Abbotsford teams, Torchetti's special teams may have to play at a higher level.

Go Aeros!

Forecheck said...

Especially with two forwards up, one hurt, and another defenseman likely up this weekend.

Word verification "synin" - as in "the preacher said to stop all that synin."

John Royal said...

Wellman has already been returned to the Aeros.

Forecheck said...

OK, which D-man will we lose?