Well, what can you say about that?
If you are going to play one game that poorly, go ahead and get it out of the way, right? It's happened before, and we've seen it in Game 6 a few years ago in Milwaukee, and even though the score wasn't as bad, the Aeros played a couple of duds during last season's Cup run.
But they just didn't show up for Thursday's Game 1 against the OKC Barons at home.
Matt Hackett kept them in the game for the first period, but when the sorriness continued in the second, there just wasn't a whole lot he could have done to keep the puck out of the net.
And even though he was named the No. 3 star of the game and kept the Aeros from losing 8- or 9-0, I really cannot excuse his loss of temper after the fourth goal. When I thought he was injured, it seemed a bit OK to for him to crack his stick over the cross bar, break it and then kick the remains into the back of the net.
I get it; you're hurt and want to keep going ... and you're mad about busting your groin and being out for the rest of the playoffs. But when Torchetti confirmed that not only was he not hurt but that he was going to be playing tomorrow, I realized the only reason he did all of that is because he was mad.
Hackett is a fiery guy, he plays with passion and feeds off that. But he is going to see these kind of games again and again and again ... He's got to learn to control his emotions when the defense is nowhere to be found and Kris Fredheim can't find a loose puck the defenseman should have cleared.
Hackett will be an NHL goalie sooner or letter, and he needs to stay even and use a poker face when things are spiraling out of control both in front of and behind him. He's responded well to these situations in the past, and now he is going to have to do it again to save the Aeros' season.
The Aeros played three must-win games in the last two weeks (Peoria, San Antonio and Texas) and they won all three. They'll need to make it four in a row to give themselves a shot against the Barons in OKC.