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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On the road again; Back to the Midwest

After a 1-2 homestand, the Aeros will hit the road for eight in a row, and they need to win a minimum of three games with an OT point or two to keep this thing afloat. I watched the game on my couch last night because of flu-like symptoms, and it played out exactly like I thought it would. With all the injuries, the new players, the Coyle recall to the NHL and the fact that they were playing their third game in four nights, I too thought the Aeros did all they could to stay in the game and give themselves a chance in the third period.

The Aeros celebrate one of their two goals Monday
Houston Aeros photo
They had a chance until Matt Hackett gave them their third goal, which Torchetti said was gift-wrapped - and appropriately turned out to be the game-winner. 

And that was another thing the Aeros had stacked against them. Hackett was playing his first game in, what, two weeks? Kuemper, who'd been very good, needed a break ... And you can't fault the goaltending for the first two goals.

When you add up all the variables, Monday was not going to be "good result Monday." I am glad the coaches continue not to make excuses for the team, but all you have to do is look at the injury report - and the same guys that keep going back on it - and you can see that the season is slipping through their fingertips.

(Bagnall back after just a few games, and Cuma is out 4-6 weeks with a broken left foot)

Heather made a good point in her story from last night - maybe another long road bonding trip is just what the doctor ordered. Right now the Aeros are not one of the Top 8 teams in the West when you factor winning percentage, and the odds are stacked against them from a scheduling standpoint.

They have three more games this week, and I'd love them to win just one of them to help them survive this really rough stretch of a lot of games in just a few nights.

All is not lost. This team can still make the playoffs and the No. 5 seed is well within reach. But the injuries are going to have to stop now, and fans are going to have to hope that the Wild are still in the playoff race this time next month.

Have a good Tuesday. Anything will be better than last night.


artandhockey said...

Did not see the game, but heard
and read plenty.

IMO for what it's worth... when Palmieri first came he and Bulmer seemed a good match. But then Bulmer got injured, Palmieri lost faith (or something)- did show up "Finally", and so it went.

Maybe Granlund is overrated and so it seems from what I read about on the Wild blog/info. Should have kept him down here for more 'seasoning' but then it did seem he was 'being a bit protected so as not to damage the prospective wonder boy for his NHL career :-)!

Veterans do have their places.. vide the successes of Di Salvatore, Taffe and - now Ortmeyer - just not in on this team ;-(.

Kuemper has shown good talent, but then so did Hackett in his 1. appearances.. vide "Wundergoalie" label - way back then!

Goalies can do better as long as the defense does as well.

It will all be 'under the bridge' if the team is moved elsewhere and all we Houston fans have left is watching hockey on roadtrips ;-)! Prepare and save for them!

Anonymous said...

Hope between now and then a bit of chemistry happens with all of the new guys.
Would be nice to see Zach Phillips to produce the level of play we were led to believe existed.
With the callup of Petr Mazrek and Tomas Tatar there is a slight glimmer of hope Wednesday.
Trust Darcy will be between the pipes.

B2 said...

Well, Sunday's game was the first home win since January 5th. I think the home crowd is a bit weary of seeing the team lose at home. I know I am. Secondly, the team was highly touted at the beginning of the season. There were reports regarding the Wild's prospects in the AHL as one of the best. All I have is ?
I recorded last night's game and watched it when I got home. I could tell from the puck drop that the team had little to no effort. Now, this is disheartening. I think I'm even more disapointed than the last season Daum was coaching. Winners find a way to get the job done.

Anonymous said...

From the onset Hackett looked like there was somewhere else he would rather be.
There have been issues that are beyond the control but given all the hoopla we were led to believe this team was already in the calder cup
title game.
Sure would be nice if they could sign someone who can shoot and / or score instead of grinders.

ICEVET said...

Coach Torchetti recently said that "goaltending will have to carry us"....to which Ms. Conduct has expressed concern that there is not enough (professional) maturity in the net.

To be sure, your Blogsite is littered with my comments about Matt Hackett's eroding performance over the past two years and Kuemper's lack of opportunity to play (until recently) when healthy.

Based on performance and HISTORY, Mr. Kuemper has the talent, temperament and character to carry a "less-than-stable" Aeros team over the remainder of the season...if the Team can pot a couple of goals per game.

Conversely, Mr. Hackett has let his emotions interfere with professional commitment and wants a way out. One commentor put it well after Monday's game..."Matt Hackett just did not want to be out there".

Hopefully, the Sunshine Kid will now get his chance to step up as the Aeros PRIMARY netminder.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that the AHL for goalies mostly is to develope their maturity in this league before they move on to the NHL where they are expected there then to be the mature goalie that the team expects at that level. It seems most goalies for the most part all began in the AHL.

On behalf of Kuemper, he seems to be a very mature goalie, that is for the team. Whenever interviewed about his personal play or when the interviewer trys to "pump his tires" up, he always gives credit to the team and their performance. In my opinion this is a great sign of a goalie who is already very mature. Being able to have this much composure is very important as a goalie, especially for one who plans to make the jump to the NHL. I believe Kuemper will be a great goalie as long as he can continue to get a chance to show his skill. I think he will make a great NHL goalie in a few years if the opportunity is there.

Anonymous said...

Tough 2-0 loss. This was one that I had calculated as a win due to the callups.
This has all the earmarks of an ugly road trip.
Hate to beat a dead horse but sure could have used the veteran influence of Ortmeyer.
This decision sort of states where the Aeros fit in the eyes of the management.

ICEVET said...

Unfortunately, the Sunshine Kid needed a SHUTOUT at Grand Rapids to overcome his Team's anemic offense (notably, most Aeros SOG were by defensemen.....not forwards).

Meanwhile, Barry Brust, our old friend, had a bad night against Rochester, losing his Premier standing among AHL goalies.

With the departure of Danny Thomas to the Flames, Robin Lehner now becomes the AHL No. 1 netminder (1.79 GA, .948 SV%) with stats that mirror his MVP performance against the Aeros in 2011 Calder Cup Finals. In contrast, Lehner's 2011 opponent, Matt Hackett, is now ranked No. 35 among AHL netminders.....an interesting tale of two goalies.

BTW, with a just few more minutes of playing time, Darcy Kuemper would be ranked No. 3 among AHL goalies (1.91 GA, .932 SV%), a fact that might surprise many Aeros fans.