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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Aeros Win, Aeros Win, The Aeros Win

I've been hearing about how bad the Aeros have looked this season. But aside from a couple of practices, I haven't seen either of the games. So I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw during tonight's 5-1 win over the Texas Stars.

First, here's Heather's gamer over at the Chronicle. It has quotes and everything.

The Aeros got the early lead, with Charlie Coyle putting the Aeros up early and with Marco Scandella Jason Zucker putting the team up 2-0 later in the first with a shot from the blue line (okay, I was down in the corner, so it looked like the blue line to me, but I didn't have a good view) tip-in of a Marco Scandella shot. The Stars made it 2-1 early in the third, but the Aeros put up three more goals and put this game out of reach.

The offense seemed to have a bit of a slow start early on in the game -- goal notwithstanding. It kind of looked as if the guys are still trying to learn each other and develop on-ice chemistry. But it looked like they began clicking as things moved on.

So here are some random thoughts.

1. I was impressed by Jason Zucker. It seemed to me, from my view down in the corner, that wherever there was action with the puck, you would find Zucker.


Zucker in action.

2. John Torchetti thought the most important thing for the Aeros was that they got a week off after losing their opening two games. It gave the team a chance to see what happens if they don't play the system. It also got him some time to sit the guys down with video so that they could watch their play. He said that this was the first time that some of the guys had ever seen themselves on video, and gives them a feel of what it'll be like on the next level.


Torchetti in action during the second period.

3. The win was good for the team, Torchetti said, because it showed the guys that the system does, indeed, work. And that if they play that system, the team wins. There's still a little too much individual play on the ice, but the improvement was notable.

4. Torchetti thinks some of the other guys have to step up and bring the tough-guy attitude. He likes that he's got Drew Bagnall -- Bagnall was in two fights during the game -- but he thinks it's better for the team if Bagnall's actually out on the ice instead of the penalty box for fighting. But it appears so far that Bagnall's the only guy who really wants to get physical.

5. The Aeros got over one hurdle by getting that first win. Now comes the team's first three-in-three. There are a bunch of guys on the Aeros who have never experienced anything like a three-in-three, and Torchetti says it's important the guys learn how to play on such days.

6. Brian Connelly was the quarterbacking the power play, and Torchetti wants him to start shooting the puck more than he is. Torchetti says that Connelly's used to being a pass-first guy on the power play, and he really wants Connelly to concentrate on taking his shot.

7. This is a big season for Matt Hackett who is hoping to make the leap to full-time action in the NHL (for the uninitiated, the NHL is supposedly the highest level of professional hockey that can be played. But the NHL has shut down the league once again. Frankly, I think the NHL is one of those myths, like Big Foot). Torchetti says the key for Hackett this season is consistency.


The team gives Matt Hackett the first of hopefully many celebratory head pats following the end of tonight's game.

8. And Wild fans, speaking of mythical beings, here's a photo of Mikael Granlund in action on the ice. Maybe someday.


6 comments:

Forecheck said...


1. I was impressed by Jason Zucker. It seemed to me, from my view down in the corner, that wherever there was action with the puck, you would find Zucker.


Agreed. Also saw flashes of brilliance (or at least hustle) from Brodin and Bulmer.

Torchetti thinks some of the other guys have to step up and bring the tough-guy attitude

Also agreed! Outside of Bagnall, the team appears a little soft, but we've grown accustomed to that in Houston, where one or two guys do all the though stuff.

6. Brian Connelly was the quarterbacking the power play, and Torchetti wants him to start shooting the puck more than he is. Torchetti says that Connelly's used to being a pass-first guy on the power play, and he really wants Connelly to concentrate on taking his shot.

Sheesh, was that 4:00 power play WEAK or what?

Overall, I thought the guys were dominant in the first. The came out a bit flat and it only got worse. The first part of the third was getty really sloppy - resulting in the goal.

I know he had two assists tonight , but I'm still waiting on MiG to be really unleashed. Is it just me, or does he still look a little lost out there sometimes?

Jeff Smith - as slow and in the way as ever. As many missed calls and phantom calls as usual. What other ref needs to review a goal scored six feet in front of him? The other (ony... another issue) 5,000 people in the arena knew it was a goal, including the Stars. Maybe he needs to go down to the "E" for a while to work on his game.

With so many NHL refs out of work, why is the AHL still working single ref games? I thought that this year 75% of AHL games were supposed to have two. We have yet to see that. This would be a perfect mentoring opportunity for the leagues.

Forecheck said...

Just watched the (partly soundless - some things never change) archive on AHL Live.

Was that the Stars #1 goalie? Or just a bad night?

Ms. Conduct said...

I think they're just letting Nilstorp and Campbell duke it out, but personally, I'm a big Campbell fan. Some leeway can be given to Nilstorp because he's been playing pro in Europe for several years, so he's likely still adjusting to the larger ice surface and tightness of the game, etc. For a guy as big as he is though, I can't say I was too impressed. Campbell 1, Nilstorp 0 in the battle for #1 last night, I think.

Forecheck said...

Larger ice surface?

Ms. Conduct said...

Smaller. Meaner. Spittier. Thanks.

Joe said...

These guys were impressive Friday night. I saw sparks of the 2010-2011 Aeros. Yes! I hope it gets even better the more they gel as a team.