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

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rise of the Wolves continues

If the Vancouver Canucks can stay mostly healthy down the stretch, the Chicago Wolves are a final four AHL team in my opinion. Since the new year, they have done nothing but win, and right now, I'd take them in a best of 7 against just about any team save for maybe the OKC Barons.

Wolves move into Top 4 after an
impressive week on the ice. 
With Climie and Lack in net, the pressure is off to score four goals a game to get a win. The continuity is there to build chemistry and confidence. (In the dictionary, that is a synonym for "Houston Aeros"). Since most of our readers are Aeros fans, be very glad that the Wolves are in a different division this year. Playing the Wolves just two more times this year may be a blessing in disguise.

Other big winners this week were Abbotsford, Hamiltion and Texas .... All three had great weeekend, and the Bulldogs have won four straight. Toronto won two of three last week to keep a hold on the No. 2 spot. They are probably the best home team in the AHL and will be a very tough first round opponent for someone.

Big losers last week were the Rochester Amerks, Grand Rapids and Rockford. King Loser title for the week goes to the Houston Aeros for playing with just 16 skaters on Friday, 17 on Saturday and losing both games to the Abbotsford Heat. Houston lost all three in the stretch, but did play a very good game against Milwaukee on Valentine's Day. The Aeros probably deserved at least a point in that game, but the posts were very kind to the Milwaukee netminder.

The Aeros exist to help the Minnesota Wild, and they have to field what they think is a competitive team in the NHL. Aeros fans will continue to suffer until the ship is righted in St. Paul. When they get their act together, things should stabilize in Houston. That does not mean they'll get better, but that will likely put an end to playing with too few players in big division games.

Minnesota has been a joke for about two months, and the Aeros are only in the top 8 of this poll because they continue to have the fewest regulation losses in the conference.

Right now the Aeros are a team without confidence, and the guys in the locker room, while not publicly, are questioning their stance with the organization. Jim Mill keeps saying that he is trying to do everything he can to make the Aeros better. But his No. 1 priority right now is helping his GM make the Wild better. Things have to change for the better up there, or those guys are only going to have one more year to show they've made some progress.

Don't expect sweeping changes for the better in advance of the trading deadline. The best moves for the Aeros right now is just hoping the Wild get healthier before too long.




2011-12 Western Conference Power Rankings
Edition 4, February 20, 2012

PR
Team
Record
Streak
Last
+/-
For the record …
1
OKC
33-14-2-3
0-1
1-2-0-0
-
Lost 2 of 3 to MKE and SAT
2
TOR
29-18-4-2
0-1
2-1-0-0
-
16-5-3-1 at home
3
CHI
30-18-1-3
4-0
3-0-0-0
+2
Hottest team in the West
4
CLT
30-19-2-3
0-2
1-1-0-1
-
Jumped TOR in standings
5
SAT
28-22-2-1
1-0
1-1-0-1
+1
Lost two straight to Texas
6
PEO
28-22-2-1
1-0
2-1-0-0
+1
Won four of six to stay hot
7
HOU
25-16-3-9
0-3
0-3-0-0
-4
Expect more disappointment
8
ABB
28-20-3-0
2-0
2-0-0-0
+2
Powered past weak HOU
9
MKE
26-22-2-1
0-1
1-2-0-0
-
Split huge series at OKC
10
LEM
26-23-2-2
1-0
2-1-0-0
+1
Keep moving up with wins
11
RCH
23-21-6-3
0-2
1-2-0-0
-3
Have lost 4 of 6 to fall back
12
HAM
24-23-1-4
4-0
3-0-0-0
+2
4 straight wins, but 5-5 in L 10
13
TEX
23-25-2-2
2-0
2-1-0-0
+2
Huge weekend sweep of SAT
14
GRR
20-21-5-4
0-2
0-1-1-0
-2
Played fewest games in West
15
RFD
21-26-2-4
0-3
0-2-1-0
-2
Lost 3 straight in a bad week

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doesn't look to me like there is much chance of the Wild getting healthier and staying that way, or that they will get their act together. IF we make the playoffs and IF we get our guys back, maybe we can put something together. IF the Wild make the playoffs, we're in trouble.

Forecheck said...

@Anon - Ther first two are pretty big ifs.

B2Bomber said...

Maybe the God's were looking out Robyn and I in that we passed on season tickets this year. We're hoping she can find a teaching job this spring or summer as teachers retire and move districts. Alas, though, it's tough to listen to the radio when things aren't going right. On a bright note it was nice to watch some of our guys on TV yesterday defeating Boston.