Sometimes I get a chance to sit in the stands on Sundays. I don't have a real tight deadline, I bring my kiddo, and today it was nice to see more than 8,400 fans out there cheering on the Aeros before their longest road trip in team history.
Too bad they lost. Too bad they missed out on taking a 2-0 lead in the first period when they controlled play.
Too bad their only two glaring errors in the second turned into goals, and too bad DiSalvatore missed that penalty shot.
But one thing that surprised me by sitting in the stands today was all the hate for Hackett.
To be fair, I questioned whether or not he should have got the start, and ye, he was real slow reacting to that wraparound goal by Wilson that ended up being the game winner.
I am not the only one who thought they should have went with Kuemper today, but hey, we are not coaches, and we are not in charge of developing kids into NHL stars.
So we asked Torchetti about the call to start Hackett, and true to form, the Aeros' first year coach defended his second year goalie.
"He wasn't a little slow on a couple of slot plays, though. You have to (consider) that, too," said Torchetti. "He played a great game today, and he kept us in this game.
Torch went on to say that Sunday's start was more about getting him mentally ready for the grind that is a) this upcoming trip and b) the playoffs when they get there.
"That is what this one was all about, and I just wanted to push him, too," added Torchetti. "He is going to be playing a lot of games in the playoffs.
"He'll be playing three in four and four in six nights, so that is what it is all about. I know he did it last year, and so I just want to get him back in a groove for us.
"I felt comfortable with that move and the decision we made today to play him."
I heard a lot of fans getting on him for wandering and being lazy and just being a little scrambled.
To be clear, I think Hack was great, save for that second goal ... and I agree with the coach; he did make a lot of tough saves Sunday.
The only issue that I have is that for a team so desperate for home wins, it might have been better to go with the fresh legs and mind in a game where you almost need a shutout to win.
But after talking to Torchetti, I completely understand the decision and appreciate the candid answer when it's hard to sound like you are doing anything other than second-guessing.
Now the team heads out for 11 in a row. While the team did not discuss specific goals, I have to think that getting 11-14 points has to be the floor of what this team should expect.
We'll see, beginning Tuesday in Chicago.
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