Tuesday, April 12, 2011
So I should probably do one of those preview, prediction things for the playoff series starting tomorrow. I hate writing those things, but what the hell, right?
For those interested, I think the lines will look like this.
1. Almond, DiSalvatore, O'Sullivan.
2. Wellman, Earl, Rau.
3. Gillies, Ortmeyer, Peters.
4. Palmer, McMillan, Kassian.
1. Noreau, Bagnall.
2. Spurgeon, Falk.
3. Prosser, Scandella.
But I reserve the right to be very wrong about all of that.
I'm sensing this gloom and doom from the fandom, and I can't quite understand why. I understand the Aeros had their difficulties with the Rivermen this season, but the worst of it came during the first two months of the season when the team was still figuring out itself and Jed Ortmeyer and Patrick O'Sullivan had yet to arrive.
This team has some incredible depth with two lines of legit goal scorers. The third line with Peters/Ortmeyer/Gillies can work the spaces and put the puck in the net, and with Kassian healthy and teamed with McMillan -- I'm guessing they'll be teamed up -- the team will have some physical guys who can make sure Patrick O'Sullivan and Robbie Earl won't have to fear for their heads.
The defense has been troublesome lately, but there have been injures and there have been a lot of guys up in the NHL. So with the addition of Spurgeon and Scandella, I think things will be much better.
Everybody seems to be worried about the match ups with Peoria. And Mike Yeo and the guys will be worrying about that as well, and how to manage them. But here's the thing, the important thing for the Aeros is their game. They need to concentrate on their game, on doing their thing. It's along the lines of what Jon DiSalvatore talked about last week. The team has to concentrate on those things that it can control. And what it can control is the way they play on the ice.
It's also like Yeo said on Sunday. Just do things the right way and things will work out.
"We’ve got guys that are going to go out and do things the right way, but I think we’ve got a great understanding of what our game is," Yeo said. "I think that we should have confidence going into game one that if we go out and play our game, then the right things are going to happen."
And the thinking has to be in line with what Jed Ortmeyer told us. It's about how the team handles itself after the game that's most important. How they recover, and how they focus. And it's that message he's preaching to the kids.
"It’s the first one to win four," he said. "You need to understand that you’re not going to win every game, and you can’t get too down on it. It’s about recovery – mentally, physically. And being ready to go for the next night. You never want to lose two in a row, so for us to instill that on these young guys and the rest of the group will help us to go a long way."
And yes, I know you're all worried about Matt Hackett. Just remember, you were all worried about Anton Khudobin two years ago, too. The guys believe in him, and he one of those guys who, if he gets in a zone and gets his confidence then he could be very very good out on the ice for a nice long run.
So my prediction? The Aeros win it in six, on home ice. But I could be wrong.