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

Monday, March 4, 2013

Aeros Split at Abbotsford, travel to Charlotte this weekend

The Aeros played like the better team for five of their six periods against the Abbotsford Heat last weekend, but they only got two points to show for it.

With a lead going into the third period Friday night, the Aeros lost their heads, took too many penalties and handed the Heat a "W" on a silver platter in the first of the two-game set. In Saturday's rematch, the Aeros dominated from start to finish and beat Barry Brust and the Heat, 5-1.

Their current standing has them in fifth in the conference, but they still have played more games that just about everyone else. The other teams will catch up, though, in the next two weeks, so Aeros fans will have a better idea of where the team stands for the final month of play.
Genoway fires one toward the net - Abbotsford Heat photo

Their next opponent, the Charlotte Checkers, will play two more games before they host the Aeros this weekend at Time Warner Cable Arena. They'll host OKC tonight and then travel to Norfolk Wednesday. The Checkers will be without No. 1 goalie Justin Peters for at least a month, because Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward will miss some time with a sprained knee.

Personally, I think the Checkers will just just fine with John Muse tending the pipes, but we'll see. His numbers are not that great in limited action ... but he did beat the Aeros at Toyota Center earlier this year.

The big picture

Like I said before, the Aeros are currently the 5th best team in the West, points-wise, and would have to suffer a terrible collapse not to make the playoffs. With 19 games left on the regular season slate, the Aeros probably need about 21 more points to make the playoffs. The could accomplish this by just winning nine of those 21 games with a couple of OT points scattered in there.

Obviously a lot could change, but the Aeros are playing quite well over the last month or so, and they have a 10-game homestand coming up in the not-so-distant future. Their schedule is home-heavy, but not easy by any stretch.

While most of their remaining opponents are better at home, they play some of the best road teams in the conference at Toyota Center down the stretch. Just counting Wins and Losses (not OT points), Charlotte and Texas are plus-11 on the road. Grand Rapids is plus-6, and Rochester and Chicago both have winning records on the road.

Of their remaining seven road games, Charlotte is "just" plus-four and is the only team left on their slate with double-digit regulation losses at home.

It's going to be a real fun ride through Mid April!


ICEVET said...

For hockey data WONKS, John Muse was the MVP of the 2012 Kelly Cup (ECHL) Playoffs (sporting 1.78 GA....939 SV% stats over 13 games).

His team, the perennial-strong Florida Everblades (Estero, Fl) won the Cup for the first time, despite lacking home-ice advantage, in large part due to the net-minding finesse and consistency of Muse.

BTW, Forecheck and other loyal followers of this BLOGSITE might want to catch the recent BLOG at ARTandHOCKEY ("Anonymous Strikes Again") which is a hilarious smackdown on certain (Anonymous) commentors who provide little value to ongoing serious hockey discussions. This BLOGSITE also has a history of providing very colorful action photos on each hockey POST.

Go Aeros!

Anonymous said...

I think the Aeros will either win or lose Saturday. Hackett might be the goalie.

They will either renew the lease this spring or they won't

MK. VIII said...

Granlund heading back to Houston?


Forecheck said...

I don't see any need to send him down unless there is some forward who needs to come up.

I do expect a goalie swap between Houston and Minny soon.

Anonymous said...

Just think go go go Aeros !!!

view from afar said...

Goalie swap? Yea, I could see that too. Time to send Hackett up to back up Backstrom and get Kuemper back down so he can keep his timing and skills sharp. It is a good problem for the Wild to have....

AeroFan said...

The Wild probably want Larsson,doesn't Granlund only have 1 goal in NHL so far? Zucker passed him up already. I agree they should flip goalies, Matt needs some encouragement and Friday's his Birthday so good timing. Plus I'd love to have Kuemps for the home stand.

After much thought I think they'll resign the lease @ TC it makes the most sense. I would like to see someone develope a hockey arena somewhere around Htown and possibly bring in an echl also, dream BIG! I just hope they announce before the playoffs start.

Mark B said...

Ok, all the really good posts from anonymous were actually mine.

Mark B said...

Hackett has seemed to improve his game watching Darcy from below for a while. Still think Darcy s the better goaltender. When is Kassian going to get in shape?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with flipping goalies. Darcy's done well and the Wild have a busy schedule coming up where he'd be guaranteed to get more games in. Why discourage him by sending him down, keep him up he's proving to be the better goaltender that he has always been!
Don't worry though, I'm sure Jeff is pulling some strings.

Anonymous said...

"Time to send Hackett up to back up Backstrom and get Kuemper back down so he can keep his timing and skills sharp."
Darcy is getting more games up in the NHL to work on his skills than we ever gave him in Houston so this makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

"Time to send Hackett up to back up Backstrom and get Kuemper back down so he can keep his timing and skills sharp."
Darcy has got more playing time per week in the NHL than we have given him in Houston so the above comment makes no sense at all.
AND look at the teams they put him in.. All top end.

MK. VIII said...

Kuemps filled in well last night in relief of Backstrom, so maybe he gets to stay in Minny. Granlund was minus-3, so who knows. My guess is they keep him with the Wild. Gotta break out at some point.

Anonymous said...

I honestly question the whole Wilds organization. So they want to send Kuemper down to keep his games up. That comment really is not accurate. Lets look at his games in the AHL. Oh shocking he went 2 months in Nov and Dec only getting 2 games. Jan he had 5 only. So now lets look how much icetime he's had in NHL, oh 4 games in 3 weeks of being up there. Thats the exact same amount if not more than he is used to, plus the Wild now have a busy schedule coming up where he will be getting more games.

Now for his stats, 2.22 GAA and a .924 SV%, pretty great stats for a rookie who has had to play against, 1st place Chi in relief, 2nd place Ana, 3rd place Van, and 4th place Det. Curious how he'd do if for say he gets a team like Columbus? His NHL stats are still better than Hacketts AHL stats, but lets call up Hack cause hes deserved it!
I feel bad for the kid, I hate to say it but I feel Darcys only chance is with another team. Would be sad to see him go as a Wild and Aeros fan, but politics always take over in this game.

Mark b said...

I remember them sending Darcy to Florida for one game just so he could get some ice time in nov, dec. curious what the organization is thing with their goal tending.

AerosFan said...

Yep Kuemps obviously the best choice for backup now but the Wild like to jack around with the line up thus the record moves last year. Hopefully Yeo decides to let things "jell" this spring and let both teams gear up for the playoffs. Go Aeros!

Anonymous said...

yeeeah, because there weren't a record number of injuries for the wild last season. yeo was just "jacking around with the lineup".

ICEVET said...

For serious Hockey Fans, the March 8th edition of the Wall Street Journal (Ref: Section D10) has an inspiring article discussing some of the key factors driving the success of the NHL-elite Chicago Blackhawks, (unbeaten in regulation, thus far).

In a "collision-sport", the HAWKS have emphasized speed, superior stick-handling and puck possession to Win games.

Go Aeros!

Aerosfan said...

Sorry about the "jacking with the lineup" comment I had no idea the Wild set a new record for injuries and googled that and found still nothing... So sending a player to the Aeros and taking another one seems kinda like "jacking with the lineup" to me but if they are the most injured team in the NHL good thing they took Kuemps because he is 2 for 2 in injuries after limited play. Personally I like the Wild and Yeo and hope they can make the playoffs this year after spending Millions in the off season but it's no mystery that the Aeros or future Iowa Wild are just puppets.