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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Aeros Do The Patriotic Things And Lose To The Americans

The Aeros saw an awful lot of this tonight, Matt Hackett, back turned to the bench, with the Americans celebrating a goal.

The good news tonight:  the Aeros didn't lose another game in the shutout.  

The bad news:  the Aeros lost 6-3 to the Rochester Americans, the team with the worst road record in the AHL.  And if not for a burst of scoring in the first five minutes of the third period, the score would have been much, much worse.

There's not much positive to say about this game.  Matt Hackett surrendered five goals on just 18 shots, including two first period goals while facing just six shots.  The problem wasn't entirely Hackett's as his defense was, for most of his two periods in the game, non-existent.  

More than anything, this game seemed to indicate, though not stated by John Torchetti afterwards, that the rash of injuries in Minnesota, which in turn is taking Aero after Aero away from Houston, is really just messing with the team.  Jed Ortmeyer and Chad Rau are the latest guys to catch a flight up to the big club -- this time, I believe, they had to fly to Vancouver to meet up with Mike Yeo and the guys.  Cody Almond came back down, and Aaron Lee was brought in from Rio Grande Valley to fill out the roster.

But just because there are guys injured in Minnesota doesn't mean that the Aeros should just be expecting to get free minutes on the ice because nobody else on the team is available -- every healthy player suited up and played for the Aeros tonight.  Torchetti made it clear that he's not happy with some of the things he saw on ice, and he was clear that there will be some roster changes forthcoming.

"You're getting free ice," Torchetti said.  "And some guys need to get some nights off.  That's going to be the bottom line after this next game.  It doesn't matter how many guys are called up.  We'll call up some guys from the other leagues that want to play hockey every night.  Some of these guys are getting free ice."

The Aeros did score first, taking the early 1-0 lead, but less than a minute later, the Americans tied it up.  Then Rochester scored just before the end of the first period to make it 2-1.  They scored 46 seconds into the second period, then made it 4-1 eight minutes later.  And by the time the Aeros skated out for the third period, with Darcy Kuemper taking over goalie duties with the Aeros down 5-1, it really just didn't matter.

Sure the Aeros showed some life in the third and made it look halfway respectable, but in the end, respectable doesn't cut it.  

The Aeros return to action on Wednesday night when they host the Texas Stars at 7:05.  And for the interested, Wednesday night is also the Miss Aeros Bikini Contest, so come out for that if not for the hockey.


That was the Aeros first regulation loss since losing in Toronto on December 3rd.  And it was their first regulation loss at Toyota Center since losing to Abbotsford 5-3 on November 10.  The loss also breaks a six game streak of earning a point.

With the loss the Aeros dropped into second place with a record of 16-5-2-7 (41 points).  The Barons grabbed a point in their shootout loss to Charlotte, so they're now 20-7-0-2 (42 points).


Forecheck said...

Thirty-four minutes of pure Hockey Hell tonight.

Aeros' Turnaround - From a dominating performance to being dominated by a lower-tier team in just 48 hours. This league is tough.

Speaking of turnarounds, Hackett goes from record-setting NHL Newbie to barely distinguishable from a white-masked rent-a-goalie in a few days.

Question: Why isn't Torch getting out of them what he got in the first five minutes of the third period in the first period?

Question #2 : How much of this nonsense is due to no Petie and no Orts?

Christmas wish : That the AHL will start to care about the quality of their product for a change and do away with this three-in-three nonsense. But the only thing the AHL cares about is doing everything as cheaply as possible.

ICEVET said...

It is disappointing for a Fan to watch a talented player "fail to show up", which is what happened to Matt Hackett, tonight.

Let Aeros fans hope that he can get his continuing attitude problem under control before it drags the Team down...Kuemper is here to stay and the Aeros certainly need both of their netminders at top-form if they are to weather ongoing injuries and WILD recalls.

Aeros Fans (and the coaching staff) should be thankful that Darcy Kuemper is ready, willing and able to perform, night in and night out.

Go Aeros!

Forecheck said...

OK, I miscounted - more like 24 minutes.

Ms. Conduct said...

Okay fellas... Back the truck up here.

Hackett was not the problem in this game. I'll be honest, I'm not a Hackett apologist by any means, so I watch him with a fairly objective eye (if this were Kuemper then you'd have to factor in a bias), and the only goal that was bad was #5.

Not saying the other 4 were impossible but they weren't the kind of goals we goalies go home and lose sleep over. So don't go laying this awful game at Hackett's doorstep. It's not fair or accurate.

The entire team was awful, hung Hackett out to dry, screened him, etc. That's the doorstep this loss needs to leave a flaming bag of poop on.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that this loss was not at all Hackett's fault. Our d stunk and we couldnt control the puck or get the puck out of our zone to save our lives. We also couldn't find the puck half the time, I would see the guys looking around for it and the American's would have it before they would even turn around. I do however, think Hackett knew he was not having a good night and he was off and should have said something, and I think Torchetti should have pulled him after the 3rd goal. But Hacks was not the only one that stunk on that ICE the WHOLE TEAM DID!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree the whole team was awful, but Hackett's body language seemed pretty arrogant. It looked to me like he could have stopped more than one of those 5 goals. The coach was pretty ticked off more than once at all of them. I hope they use this sad experience as an awakening. And I think Hackett should have been pulled earlier too.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I didn't find anything amiss with Hackett's body language; I guess these things really are in the eye of the beholder. What I DID find amiss was the entire team's play for the first two periods -- getting hemmed in their own zone for ages, the turnovers, the odd-man rushes and breakaways, the wide-open nets that the Aeros repeatedly failed to capitalize on.

Not Hackett's best showing, for sure, and I'd have liked him to come up with the big save, but I don't hold him solely responsible for this loss any more than I did Endras after that 6-2 loss to the Marlies. The goalie was not the only "talented player who failed to show up," to put it mildly.

It seems doubtful that we'll get anyone back from the Wild before Wednesday's game. Let's hope that the Aeros can put this one behind them and solider on through, regardless of the injuries and call-ups.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of the game was when Hackett, in disgust, fungoed a puck into the back retaining screen. That was fun.

However, on a serious note, while the ICE GUYS did their usual competent job of ice scooping, I can't help but wonder if ICE GIRLS would have not been just as effective at the same job. In all that is American (for which it stands), for the sake of liberty in this great country, let's give the girls a chance to prove themselves worthy of the task. I hate to be the one to have to point out the gross miscarriage of justice done to these fine young ladies but I cannot stand by quietly any longer. I say, let our voices be heard, for stripes and bright stars, let freedom ring once again, let ICE GIRLS do some of the scooping! Won't you speak up too? United in purple mountain's majesty, we can make a difference. It's not too late. Peace and Togetherness. :)

artandhockey said...

Re ICE GIRLS.. that was tried last year with minimal results. The girls SEEMED unable to skate fast enough to scoop the ice cleanly and quickly.
I'm all for equality, egality and liberty! Seriously.

So how about a "Mister Aeros" competition ;-)!

How about that ANONYMOUS, the one who wants Ice Girls?

Anonymous said...

Hi A&H,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to ya!

Ah, the extra ice time for ICE GIRLS; hey does not bother me one bit. I can wait while they do a thorough job of it. It's always rewarding to see a job well done don't you think? I mean after all, if we don't have a couple of extra minutes for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, what's life in this part of the world worth anyhow? Go USA!

Now concerning the Miss Aero thing, can't say that I blame you for wanting equal time but consider this, those Aeros guys are on the ice ALL the time. From a marketing perspective I think the bikinis are a problem. Too many guys will sit and watch the show instead of buying beers. Big mistake. Lost revenue.

artandhockey said...

LOL... no offense.
But - there are those Brazilian brief speedos ;-) Sorry this space will not allow a posting of such.. just google Ipanema...lol.

May the leggiest and blondest win -as she always does!
Merry Christmas to all!

Forecheck said...

Shouldn't there be a fan contest - whoever correctly guesses the total amount the new Ms. Aeros spent on plastic surgeons and after-market body parts wins a free pound of silicone fluid or collagen?

Anonymous said...

What does Miss Aeros do all year/season after she is selected? Seems to me if it was all that big a deal, they would do it on a Friday or Saturday night.

John Royal said...

They do the contest during the middle of the week because the Miss Aeros contest generally draws a big crowd, and they like to have more than a couple of hundred people show up on Wednesday nights.

Anonymous said...

I guess my memory fails me because I didn't realize it drew a crowd. If it does, then great! We need everyone we can get for weeknight games, whatever the draw.

John Royal said...

The biggest attendance nights for the Aeros, outside of playoff games, are usually for the Teddy Bear Toss, the Bikini Contest night, and the screaming kid morning game.

But I haven't really seen much promotion for the Bikini Contest night this year, so that could change.