I didn't see either game live, but I think the Aeros could have had four points this weekend had the real Tyler Beskorowany showed up for both games. The Stars rookie goalie was the real deal on Saturday night, allowing five goals as the Aeros pushed their way to a respectable 3-5 on the 11-game road trip.
I think Superman showed up the night before and traded gear with the netminder. The Aeros pounded shot after shot, especially late, but just could not get the game to overtime.
Really, I think getting down 2-0 was the killer on Friday, but Saturday, the Aeros just dominated from start to finish and really were determined not to leave Cedar Park with out two points.
And boy what a difference a few players make. What wonders skating with a full roster can do for a team that is still in the conference top five, but just four points ahead of the teams that are on the outside looking in.
Now the team will sit and watch the other teams play for a week. With 64 points, the Aeros can't get any better in the standings until next Saturday against one of the hottest teams in the AHL, the San Antonio Rampage.
Most of the other teams behind them in the standings play at least one game between now and then, and it is very likely the Aeros will fall anywhere from 7th to 9th place in the process. Make no mistake, next Satruday's game is going to be an absolute monster for the team that could look a bit different next week.
The NHL trade deadline is Monday, and there are all kids of rumors surrounding the Wild and what they are going to do at the deadline. I think they'd be foolish not to move Josh Harding, and if they do, Aeros fans have likely seen the last of Matt Hackett in bomber gear.
Also, do not expect to get Scandella or Prosser back until the playoffs start. Those guys are staying in Minnesota, and Warren Peters would have to clear waivers before he could be sent back to the Aeros. The Aeros could get a few players from the Wild before the end of the regular season, but it may be a new face.
All three players they got for Marek Zidlicky have spent time in the AHL this season.
Half glass full? The Aeros are getting players back and are still tied for fourth place in the standings. Half glass empty? Well, they very well could lose their best goalie this week, they are just three points ahead of two ninth place teams, and the last three games of their road trip are very, very losable (San Antonio is last years Aeros, and Houston has not beaten Abbotsford one time this season.)
My gut says the Aeros are still good enough to play .500 hockey the rest of the year and make the playoffs. And say what you want about Jim Mill, but if you can find a more competitive guy in the organization, you let me know. I think he, John Torchetti and the rest of the staff have done a very VERY good job of keeping this team afloat in the midst of the Wild gong show.
What do you think? Are the Aeros going to make the playoffs? How much scoreboard watching will you do this week?