|Darren Abate Photo|
Win, and the Aeros continue their early season dominance over the OKC Oilers. Lose, and well ... they were due to lose against this circus of a team.
Seriously, if you have not gotten the chance to see this offense at work, go to Toyota Center and take a gander. These guys are good when they have the puck. Just ask the Texas Stars, who went to OKC last night and got dominated from the get-go.
The Aeros seem to have their number because of an aggressive forecheck, and they're not afraid to take it to the Barons, physically. If the Aeros want to ring in the new year with another "W" .... they are going to have to do more of the same.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, this will be a busy week for the Aeros. They'll host the Stars and Rampage this weekend before wrapping up a four-game week at the Cedar Park Center on Sunday. A great week could see the Aeros back in charge of the conference. A 2-2 week will likely keep them where they are, and a bad week could possibly put them out of the Top 8 - that is just how close the league is this year.
Without further delay, here are some notes for the game today, courtesy of the Houston Aeros press office:
Oklahoma City Barons (17-10-1-3, 38 points) at Houston Aeros (16-10-2-3, 37 points)
The Houston Aeros and the Oklahoma City Barons meet for the seventh of 12 games this season. The first three meetings of the season were at the Cox Convention Center in downtown OKC. The Barons visited the Toyota Center for the first time this season with a pair of games in late November. Houston swept the two-game set with a 2-1 shootout win on Nov. 29 and a 4-3 regulation win on Nov. 30. The Aeros made it four straight over the Barons with a 4-3 shootout win at home in the last meeting on Dec. 16. Houston has taken five of the five previous meetings this year (5-1-0-0), including three shootout wins.
|Darren Abate Photo|
Over the last three years, Houston and Oklahoma City have met 24 times. The Aeros are 15-6-0-3 all-time, including an 8-2-0-2 record on home ice. Oklahoma City is 9-8-1-6 all-time against Houston, including a 5-5-1-4 record at Toyota Center. Oklahoma City claimed three of four in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs and posted a 7-0-0-1 record during the 2011-12 regular season against Houston. The Barons outscored the Aeros 26-12 last season, posting a perfect 4-0-0-0 mark at home and a 3-0-0-1 record at the Toyota Center. Houston took nine out of 10 games in 10-11.
Houston has outscored Oklahoma City 23-18 in the six previous meetings this season. The Aeros are 7-for-29 (24.1%) on the power play against the Barons this year, while Oklahoma City is 5-for-25 (20%) in the series. Barons defenseman Justin Schultz leads all skaters with seven assists and nine points in six games against Houston. Oklahoma City center Mark Arcobello is second among all skaters with four goals and eight points in six games versus the Aeros. OKC forward Jordan Eberle is tied for third in scoring with Houston forward Justin Fontaine and defenseman Brian Connelly, all three have seven points apiece. Eberle leads all skaters with five goals in the season series, while Connelly is tied for the series lead with seven assists.