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

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Aeros lose another shootout, 3-2 to Peoria

Sorry for the late post gamer. Got caught up eating dinner and watching DVR'd episodes of Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable (LOVE that show) and nursing a headache. You understand, right?

But frankly, the urgency wasn't there because we've seen this game before right? Like 6 or 7 times now? I guess the difference is that the Aeros actually put some pucks in the net on the shoot out, but I think Kuemper's gonna need a few shootouts to get better at them.

The Hensick goal, Walking Sunshine bit first and the game in shootouts for the goalie is to let the shooter make the first move. WAAAAY easier said than done but it was one of the extremely rare moments where he looked like a rookie. I remember when Hackett used to show a little more wetness behind the ears in shootouts, too. It's just something that gets better with experience at this level.

And other than that, he was the only reason this game wasn't 3-1 or 4-1 or, I dunno, EIGHTEEN-1.

Look, I appreciate that with a very thin roster, offensively, you have to just play a safe game. And I think that's why we're finding them stuck in the defensive zone for what can often feel like one long power play. So, for now, getting points is good enough in my book.

Though Joe tweeted after the game that Warren Peters made the interesting comment that, as long as the team is earning points, it's difficult to learn any lessons from the losses. That's a wise observation and something that's sort of flickered through my mind when we talk to Torchetti after these kinds of games.

But, speaking of Torchetti, it sounds like he anticipates some players coming back healthy and for him, the real issue is that guys aren't having to battle for ice time. The team is literally playing every healthy body on the roster and, if we assume that Palmer's absence tonight was an injury (honestly we forgot to ask afterward and Rich "didn't know"), if Taffe hadn't come back, they would have to call someone from ??? or play a man short. Oy.

At some point, you have to admit that there's some pretty significant adversity here, but it's hockey and nobody likes to admit to adversity. So, I guess getting the loser point is good enough for now.

But back to Torchetti, here's where he had to say about his irritation with some of the guys:

"Kuemps played a great game for us tonight (but) our whole line up didn't play tonight. We only had about, maybe... we just didn't have everyone going on all gears and we thought it was going to be an easy night. I think we're a little complacent... and that's going to change this week," Torchetti said. "Some guys are going to have to sit in the stands... which will be good."

Some good things happened though: Always great when Matt Kassian scores a goal. He honestly had 3 great chances around the net tonight where I thought he might double it up, but only that one off the terrific pass from Mike McKenzie went in.

Should be noted, BTW, that McKenzie was the other player on the Peter's 2 on 1 that forced Bishop to cheat a little and open up that 5-hole. So, McKenzie's just getting in there more and more as he gets comfortable with this team. Looking forward to more. I know they really liked him in Florida.

Of course, it was also nice to get two whole goals in the shootout. Twice though, Bishop teased shooters with a gaping 5-hole, only for the shooters to hit leg pad when they shot. Ah well. Maybe they were as distracted as I was by this:

Oh, Ben Bishop... do you even know what this does to a girl? (Photo by Chris Jerina)
The boys have 4 days to heal up, rest up, practice some POWER PLAY STUFF FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, and then back at it with games Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday. Meanwhile, if you want to see the Aeros play, just watch the Wild!


6 comments:

Forecheck said...

Man, will someone tell the guys that this stuff is getting OLD!

I'm trying to figure out what was more - - what's the word I'm looking for -- INEPT? - - last night :

1. The way they played the first period.

2. Their passing.

3. Their power play (what a joke...)

4. Their passing.

5. They way they played the third period and OT (entirely in their end).

6. Their passing.

I mean, is it too much to ask them to lead a moving target? Isn't this covered well before juniors?

The realy cruel joke is that we continue to get points for playing so poorly.

artandhockey said...

Sadly...

ICEVET said...

Recognition of Darcy Kuemper as Player-of-the-Week (1.79 GA and 94% SV) should let a "lot of sunshine" into the Aeros locker room., together with the prospect of the return of some of the injured scorers.

Although players responsible for over 30% of Aeros season-GOALS have been injured (or with the WILD) over the past week, the Team still managed to capture 6 of 8 points, remaining #2 in the AHL in both win pct and points.

The next 6 games should favor the Aeros (Texas and San Antonio twice, with single games against OKC and Rochester), although it would be nice to have Prosser back.

In addition to the concerns of other Commentors, I would add concerns about the rather-anemic performance of DiSalvatore over the past 10 games: 1 goal, 2 assists on 18 SOG and the very understated performance of Taffe. While the Aeros wide-spread point distribution has been truly egalitarian, both DiSalvatore and Taffe need to "step-it-up", while Torchetti attempts to sustain a semblance of chemistry with an ever-changing lineup.

Go Aeros!!!

Forecheck said...

Dang it!

Harding is on IR, and Peters is back up...

12/14 Recalled C Warren Peters from Houston of the AHL. Placed G Josh Harding on injured reserve.

Mindy said...

Don't worry bout Peters or Hackett for that manner. Everyone is getting healthy up here--Zidlicky is expected to return tonight so I would think that Prosser will be headed back to Houston as well. Peters was just insurance in case Matt Cullen was still too sick to play, so he will be back tommorow I'm sure. It's been fun following the Wild and Aeros this year from here in MN. Good luck!

Forecheck said...

BTW,

Richard Bachman has been pulling a Hackett up in Dallas - won his first two games including his first NHL shut-out.