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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Game Day Preview - Aeros vs. Rockford

Tonight is the first of six four games against Rockford this season. On paper, the Aeros have the upper hand; Rockford is the league's worst team in terms of points, penalty kill and goaltending. What they do have, though, is a decent power play, and if there is one area in that the Aeros are weak, it's special teams.

Miss these great photos from Mr. Fred? Yeah, me too. 
The IceHogs have just three wins (two in regulation) since Thanksgiving, and they have allowed at least three goals a whopping 10 times during that span. That. Is. Crazy. Their leading scorer is Brandon Pirri; he has 32 points this season (14 goals, 18 assists), and he just keeps getting better. Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes are both on recall to NHL Chicago, and I don't think will be send down for the game tonight. Another dent? Two of the IceHogs top five scorers (Brett MacLean and Brandon Segal) are both minus-11.

As I mentioned before, the IceHogs' penalty kill is dead last in the NHL at 75.7 percent, and they have allowed at least 35 goals in every regulation period. By contrast, the Aeros have allowed more than 35 goals in just one period (36 in the second).

But ... they don't play games on paper, do they? The IceHogs start a nice long road trip tonight; they'll be in Texas Saturday and Sunday and looking to get things off on the right foot tonight. They have lost five straight overall, and are due for some points. They are 2-3 in shootouts compared to the Aeros AHL-worst mark of 0-7.

Good news for Aeros fans? The Aeros have had four-plus days to think about that embarrassing performance from last Sunday. And they've got five points in the three games following their last three shutouts again. Rockford does seem to give the Aeros their share of problems, as they are just 13-11-2-2 all time against them.

The Aeros are fourth in the AHL in attendance at 6,689 per game, so off-the-ice, the Aeros have done really well at home.

In closing, it's worth noting that the Aeros got Kassian and Prosser back from Minnesota. But three key players still remain on recall in the NHL. Warren Peters, Jarod Pamer and Casey Wellman are up, and don't expect them back any time soon. Palmer will likely get re-assigned when he is healthy, but it will take some time to work back into game shape after than upper-body injury.

My useless prediction says 4-2 Aeros tonight with an empty-netter late. The Aeros have to rebound from last Sunday. They've done it three times before now, and I think they get it done again before hitting the road to San Antonio Sunday.


Steve said...

I sure hope we can bounce back from the last game

looking forward to watching 60 minutes of good hockey tonight

Forecheck said...

Steve, 60 minutes of good hockey at home would be a welcome change!

Anonymous said...

That was one of the worst games I've ever seen the Aeros play. They looked worse than they did in the 6-0 loss on New Year's Day. What's happening?

Forecheck said...

Fire Torchetti?