Colton Gillies was put on waivers by the Wild on Friday and, instead of clearing and coming to Houston to find his game again, the Columbus Blue Jackets snatched him from jaws of the AHL. Gillies isn't without his issues as a player, but he's a mere 22 years old and has plenty of time to mature into a game that works well at the pro level.
He's the sweetest, most "heart on his sleeve" guy I've had the pleasure of covering and is so passionate about the game. I was surprised how sad I was when he got picked up, but it's also sort of a relief. He was drafted too high for his skill level, which isn't his fault, but perhaps expectations get "right sized" with his new organization. Go to the net, kiddo, and grow some patience. You'll be fine.
On the Aeros front, they went 3 for 4 on the road and spent a few hours in a three way tie with OKC and Abbotsford for first place last night. But the other two teams played today and OKC won. And Abby plays again Monday so by 10 p.m. tomorrow, the Aeros could be back in third place.
Amazing to watch the battle for the conference lead take place in the same division like this one is doing.
The boys split the weekend in Peoria, winning Friday night pretty decisively, besting the Rivermen in shots through all three periods. Peoria scored in the first, but Aeros answered with two of their own before the period ended, and the score held for the rest of the game.
Scoring came from Fontaine, via DiSalvatore and Penner (power play goal) and Broda. New guy, Radja, got the first assist, his first point as an Aero, and the third star of the game. Pretty nice start. Kassian got the second assist on the game winner.
Saturday night was a different story. For Peoria, it was the third game in three days, so they had no business coming out and putting up 16 shots to Houston's 8. The Aeros finally showed up in the third, but already down 2-0, their 15 shots to Peoria's 4 weren't enough to get more than 1 goal past Big Ben Bishop.
But all in all, a solid result for most any team for a road trip.
What's notable, too, were the scratches from those games. Cuma was scratched Wednesday in Grand Rapids, and Almond and Genoway were scratched in both Peoria games. Cuma, guessing by his tweets and, IIRC, what Joe said on the radio, was a healthy scratch.
Given that Almond and Genoway were scratched two nights in a row, I'm assuming they've got injuries. And perhaps that explains the Radja signing.
Anyway, I'll have more later, but here are a couple of pictures from Saturday's game courtesy of Chris "Make it Rain" Jerina.
|Ortmeyer beats Bishop|
|Nesbitt's shot gets through Kuemper|
As of this writing, Hackett is still with the big club and missing out on the rookie party downtown tonight. Here's hoping the youngsters survive with a few shreds of dignity or at least some fiendish plans for next year's kids. See you Friday!