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

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Road trip starts out with a loss to Chicago

Well, the "road warriors" dropped the first game of this 11 day trip, 2-1 in regulation to the Chicago Wolves yesterday in a lunchtime game.

You can watch highlights here:

From where I sit, the goals allowed were off brain farts. First one, Fontaine is under pressure along the wall and inexplicably passes right into the slot and onto the stick of Mike Davies who gets an easy goal.

The second was a shorty that goes through Genoway's feet, Hackett sends a nice big rebound out from the save where Schroeder is waiting to swoop in and bury it. Where was the rest of the team on that one?

On a positive note, Genoway has 3 goals in his last 4 games, after having only 2 all the rest of the season. Whatever voodoo you're doing there, Geno, keep it up.

The boys are hanging in Chi-town for a couple more days before heading to Grand Rapids (probably a wise idea) for Friday and Saturday games. Here's hoping they're able to stay reasonably focused in the Windy City *cough*MattHacketttweetingat3amlastnight*cough*.

Speaking of Hackett, and I say this with all due respect for what he's accomplished in his young career, but WTH is up with him playing every single game? Look, I know what Torch said about wanting him to be prepared to carry the heavy playoff load, but I don't buy it.

Last time I saw a goalie inexplicably getting ice time he hasn't particularly been earning was before Khudobin was traded. And, like that instance, the NHL trade deadline is ~20 days away.

My husband is a big Judge Judy fan and she often says, "If it's doesn't make sense, it's not true."

So, while I don't know what's really going on, what IS going on and the explanations for it don't make sense and I'm officially calling shenanigans, for what little that's worth.

This is a developmental league and when one of your bright young goaltenders is getting splinters in his ass while the other is obviously struggling to get his game on track, it's not right. Something's gotta give here.

Aaaaaanyway... How about some pictures!!

Our camera-toting correspondent, Chris "Dawg" Jerina, has some nice ones from the game yesterday.

Wait, what are "shenanigans"?
Oh, my underutilized puck moving goalie... #FreeKuemps!

Genoway's awesome celly after his goal
My new favorite, CJ Stretch, trying to jam one home past the pads of Eddie Lack
Sweet Broda hip check
All photos provided by Chris Jerina/AHLinPhotos.com

For more in this set, check them out here.


artandhockey said...

didn't watch it, didn't even (really) want to.. but the photos by Jerina are gorgeous.
Re Hack.. am rather positive the push to play him comes from the North, if WE Aeros supporters want to hear it or not! It strated -if one looks back- with Dimples, continued with Endras and now includes Darcy "Vader"... and fresh blood to be on rosetrs next season already battling for in the net spost? SO... we will see more of Hack.

artandhockey said...

oops typos... sorry just too quick of the draw (ahem buttons)
strated ought to be started
rosetrs rosters, spost spot....

ICEVET said...

Ms. Conduct, your frustration is palpable.....tough as it is to lose in the final 4 minutes, the pain level goes WAY UP when it comes from a short-handed goal!

Next to AHL leaders in Shorties (7 to date)...the Aeros have spread the damage: Hackett (4), Endras (2) and the Sunshine Kid (1...the Texas game where he was faced with nearly 50 SOG). FIVE teams have enjoyed Aeros PP unit(s) "generosity": CHI, TOR, OKC, SA, and TX. Unfortunately, this "deflating" STAT does not even include Opponent breakaway goals (like the 2/4 Lake Erie Monsters, Luke Walker goal) potted during 5-5 defensive breakdowns.

With regard to Mr. Hackett, I agree with the tenor of the previous artandhockey comment. Politics will trump performance for the remainder of this season, as Hackett gets the starting nod, whenever practical or he otherwise asks for it.

This comes from the WILD (Bob Mason's call, supported by Mike Yeo) who expect Hackett to replace Harding (free agent) as the 2012-3 BUG....Hackett's spectacular performance against the Flyers and Sharks in December and injury-free career profile strongly support this plan of succession.

Nonetheless, as a serious Aeros fan, I have great sympathy for the Sunshine Kid (used to a heavy workload) who must sit and rust... but, then, he is a quick study and will, hopefully, get his opportunity to be the Aeros #1 netminder next season.

Go Aeros!!!

Anonymous said...

Was it year before last that the Aeros were #1 in PK for a long period of the season? And the PP was so much better than it is now. Wish they could get those special teams rolling again.

Anonymous said...

Ms Conduct as a supposed goalie (from your past comments) I would have thought you would understand the goaltending position better. If you ask coach Torch I would guess that letting in 2 goals per game would not be considered "struggling" as a matter of fact he would probably tell you that you can book two wins in those games.Goaltending is one aspect of the game,granted it can mask problems in other areas. But the bottom line is you have to score goals. 1 goal a game will not win too many hockey games.
Missing from your comments is the fact that we are playing with 6 ECHL regulars. I am not taking anything away from these players as they are trying their best. They do not replace Palmer, Peters, McMillen, Prosser, sorry that is a fact.
With regards to development of players they are developing. The problem is in your opinion not the correct players. Don't get me wrong, I hope Keumper has success as well. Matt Hackett needs to develop as well. By the way the Kid as you like to call Darcy is only 1 month younger than Mr Hackett. Hmm does that make Matt a grizzled veteran in your eyes.

Ms. Conduct said...

I've said it a thousand times but I'll keep saying it until it sticks: Numbers don't matter to me in goaltending. It's the quality of the goals and quality of the saves. And I'll tell you I'm just as hard on myself in my personal life as a "supposed" goaltender. If I let in 4 goals but 2 were tipped in by my D and one was just a great shot and the 4th I had 3 different butts in my face, then I'm not going to feel too bad.

But when it's a 1-1 game and I let one trickle through my knee stacks for the game winner (women's league championship, no less OMG kill me), 2 goals or 30 goals doesn't matter. I let in a stinker and we lost because of it.

So yeah, maybe I look at Hack from TOO personal of a goalie perspective, but that's my perspective. But really, this post wasn't about how Hackett's the problem with this team. He absolutely is not. Struggled is too strong a word and I debated using it, but there is no word for, "He's a better goalie than we've been seeing lately."

This post IS about another good goalie who's growing rust on his ass and I don't believe the explanation we're getting for it is legit.

Absolutely zero reason Kuemper shouldn't have had the start Sunday. None at all. 3 in 4, and 2 basically within "it's not even worth driving home" hours of each other. Doesn't make sense. That's all I'm saying. Isn't a knock on Hackett, though I completely stand behind feeling like he isn't stopping all the pucks I know he can.

So, to summarize, I'm not saying Kuemper should play because Hackett's "struggling". I'm saying Kuemper should play because he's a valuable prospect AND because Hack hasn't been so incredibly hot as to justify keeping him in net this many games in a row.

artandhockey said...

Good for you Ms. Conduct.
You nailed it!
The reason MUST lie with directives from up North. I really see no other reason for letting Kuemper sit and rust.
And now with Ortmeyer on waivers the debate 'pro and con' will most certainly heat up.
And HOW about Gillies and the Blue Jackets?

Forecheck said...

Hmmm... unless they are sure they have Hards locked up in which case they have too many goalies and Hackett gets you more than Keumps. That could explain why they are playing him so much.

The only problem is who wants a goalie who seems to give up a bad goal a game?

Of course, when it comes to having a goalie "locked up" think about the Stars a few years ago, who dealt Smitty sure they had the backup in place only to find that fall they didn't have an NHL caliber back-up anywhere.

This is really quite strange.

Ms. Conduct said...

Well, right, FC. I would be shocked to see that happen as hes a highly regarded prospect, both within the org and out of it. In fact if it made any sense, I probably wouldn't have said anything.

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I loved watching these highlights! What an absolute brain fart by Justin Fontaine on the first Chicago goal.