You know how to know I love you? It's 11:30 p.m. and I'm dog tired and I still have 2 episodes of 30 Rock to watch before I sleep.
But this game, a 6-4 win for Toronto, was such a clusterfrank, I couldn't NOT write about it.
I'll say this: The only good thing about it after the 2nd period is that only about 3000 tickets to the game were distributed, and there weren't that many seats filled. If the boys had to pick a night to absolutely go to hell at the end, good job that it was on a night where there were more people working that game than attending it.
If you weren't there, count your blessings while I'll sum it up for you:
Toronto started out guns ablazing, and the Aeros looked like they'd been off for 2 weeks. Toronto scored early, the Aeros found their game legs, and Fontaine scored 6 minutes later to tie it.
Aeros played well in the second. Really well. Goals from Rau, Zucker, and Coyle were answered by only one goal from the Marlies in the period.
And I don't want to gloss over how nice the goals were, because sometimes you have to enjoy the bright spots regardless of the outcome. Fontaine's, in the first, was just his line creating a scramble in front of the crease. Scrivens just couldn't keep up with all the quick little passes and Fontaine backhanded it over the dizzy goalie.
Rau's was a point shot from Corbin Baldwin that tipped in off of him. Zucker's was just one of those power to the net, shoot the puck, beat the goalie deals, unassisted deals that makes goalies hate you.
And Coyle's was my favorite. He and Phillips were streaking up ice, Coyle looks back and points with the blade of his stick to where he wants Phillips to pass it. Phillips puts it right there, Coyle gathers the puck and fights off two defenders to get an off-speed shot on net. Scrivens just doesn't seal the ice, doesn't read the speed of the shot right, etc. and it trickles through him.
Painful goal to let in from a tendy's perspective, but just smooth brilliance from Coyle, who now leads goal scoring among AHL rookies.
Then the horrendous 3rd period with 4 unanswered goals. Someone commented to me on Twitter that the one through traffic was a garbage goal (it was deflected, so no it wasn't), but really, Hackett played well the whole game and got no help. He saw a ton of really tough shots that if Hack weren't more skilled at sending rebounds to safe places, would have ended up in the net.
Torchetti was even keeled after the game, as he tends to be after losses. This is a development league and here's a teaching moment: You don't take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, you get the snot beat of you. Details, details, details.
He said he's glad they're coming back tomorrow with a chance to make it right, but also said that he feels like some guys aren't putting 100% into their ice time and if that doesn't improve, some ECHL guys may get a stab at it while the offending parties watch from the stands.
So, we'll see where that leads.
The good thing is, Zucker didn't hurt himself when he threw himself violently into the boards celebrating his goal. If he hadn't just gotten back from injury, maybe it wouldn't have made me cringe like it did. I'm guessing Chuck Fletcher and Jim Mill were thisclose to needing fresh undies watching that. Toting Granlund and Brodin around to to doctors in Minnesota is probably more than enough for them in one month.
Back at it tomorrow, gang. Maybe it will be more fun with a bigger crowd. Lake Erie is actually quite good this season, especially on the road, so the Aeros are going to have to bounce back quickly.