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

Monday, March 5, 2012

Aeros fall to 10th in overall standings

Lake Erie has won three straight, and Rochester is hot, so the recently idle Aeros are now on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

Their saving grace right now is the games in hand, and it looks like Jarod Palmer is close(r) to playing again.

I had a nice, somewhat candid chat with a former player recently, and he had some interesting comments about what is going on with the team right now. I hate, hate, hate to do this, but he only agreed to talk if I kept his name off the blog. I am not a big fan of using anonymous sources, but I kind of feel like that was necessary to get the point across.

I am not going to print his quotes word for word, but he said he felt sorry for the veteran players like DiSavaltore and Taffe, who have to come to the rink not knowing there will be enough players on the ice each night.

He did say that injures are a big part of how and why teams make the playoffs, but playing with 16, 17 players more than twice in a season, much less a week, is utterly unacceptable.

I am going to try to get a comment from Jim Mill about his to see what he has to say.

My opinion is this; two more callups from the ECHL is not the difference between the Aeros losing those games at Abbotsford and San Antonio ... But the fact that the team was not prepared - especially given the recent history with the Wild players dropping like flies - is more of an issue that anything.

What say you? I think some of you have already expressed your opinion, but if you have not ... fire away.
Also: do you think the Aeros are going to make the playoffs? Why or why not?

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Anonymous said...

I think we're probably out of the playoff picture. I, too, feel sorry for the veterans who really did want to take care of "unfinished business" this season. Unfortunately the Wild has pretty much bled us dry. As you point out, other teams are hot right now and we're not. I hope I'm eating crow in a couple off weeks.

Forecheck said...

Yep, Anon has it. Can we just get this season over with and move on to October?

view from afar said...

The Wild most likely will miss the playoffs and at some point the organization might or should move some guys back down. The Wild season ends April 7th and at that point, the Aeros still have 4 games left. If they are still in the hunt at that point, the reinforcements should be able to put up 8 points. Should the organization want the Aeros to make some playoff money, they could move some guys back down even sooner and maybe they can pick up 10-12 points.

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree that we are probably going to be out of the playoff picture? However, it has always been said to me that it is the Coaches job to acclumate new players to the system. So imo I think some of the blame should also fall on Torchetti. If I am wrong then Im wrong, but that is just my opinion. I do hope however that the higher ups have a better explanation rather than an "excuse".

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

Opinions aren't usually viewed here as right or wrong ... we can disagree, and I understand where you are coming from.

I cannot fault Torchetti too much here.

The Minnesota Wild is an absolute gong show this season, and Torch has had little talent to work with of the guys that Mill has found to fill the gaps.

They are right there in the thick of things, but personally, there is no reason for me to believe that the Wild are suddenly going to become stable or show any semblance of sticking to a plan.

With Yeo its about about a plan, and systems and sticking to it. But he can't do that because the players there have not been able to a)stay healthy or b) play well enough all season long.

Ms. Conduct said...

I don't see the fundamental issue as being that the players aren't acclimated to the system. It's that he's got 3 or 4 different guys every other game, half the team is ECHLers, and as Andrew has said several times, they've played an unacceptable number of games with a short bench.

I mean, you can have a plug'n'play system, but gosh, even that has its limits. At this point in the season, other teams who have not been juggled nearly as badly as the Aeros have, are in full on late season "we got chemistry" mode, where as this Aeros team is like training camp, there's so much turnover.

I know it feels good to have one thing to point to and say, "This is to blame" but I'm not sure that's appropriate here, or at the very least, you have to aim your sights at Minnesota. Really though, injuries, which aren't really anyone's fault, are the problem and it's had this awful trickle-down effect in Houston.

But that's why the Aeros exist: Feed the big club.

I just hope the guys who are up there can come down and find some joy in playing again, because I can't imagine anybody's having fun up there. Nice chance down here to end the season on a respectable note if they embrace the opportunity and can shake off the stink of the Wild.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think it was the coach's job to "accumulate talent." I thought that job fell to the GM. Could one of you clarify, please?

Does anyone know which of the Aeros up in Minnesota are injured, if any? Isn't Palmer still up there? I've lost track of our injuries.