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

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Throwing a few more articles at you...

Just a little cross promotion here if you guys don't mind:

I wrote my playoff preview for my own mothership, Pro Hockey News, so if you're interested, it's right here. Now, don't go flying off the handle when you see my prediction.

I'm generally of the opinion that predictions are pointless, particularly in a series like this where both teams are very strong in a lot of the same ways. In all honesty, I think it could go either way quite easily, so I picked Peoria to hopefully get some reverse mojo going.

But Peoria's game does honestly scare me a bit. I think the Aeros are going to have to be very patient in wearing them down and very tough and determined to win all those puck battles.

I think a lot also rides on goaltending. Ben Bishop is out with an injury and nobody's saying when he's going to be back. If he misses all or most of round 1, then I think that makes the series favor Houston. Jake Allen's a good goalie, but I don't think he's that much better than Hackett, and their backup isn't as good as Tordjman.

And in that 3 in 3 stretch next week, I'm not sure you want to play the same goalie all 3 days. That's a real grind, mentally and physically.

So yeah, I said Peoria in 6, but I'm never right about anything, so don't sweat it.

Here's a link to the Peoria side of the series preview. 

Also, here's my story at InGoal Magazine (which, if you're into goalies, is just chock full of goalie goodness every single day) on the media day skate with the Aeros coaches and a few players. That was a lot of fun and I appreciate the chance to get whiplash watching pucks fly past me into the net. :)

10 comments:

SLBatPHN said...

Mine is up. I am sure Heather will make the link all nice in the article but here it is for those who don't want to wait.

http://www.prohockeynews.com/hockey/publish/ahl/Is_the_third_time_the_charm_for_the_Rivermen.shtml

AiH said...

Very nice review Heather!

SLBatPHN said...

Also, if anyone in Houston is interested, I started "live-blogging" games for Blue fans at

http://interact.stltoday.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=10

It certainly won't replace your radio play-by-play, but the Blues fans have enjoyed it. Of course, my commentary is pretty one-sided, commenting mostly on the plays and mistakes the Rivermen make.
(and all bets are off when it comes to spelling, punctuation and grammar).
Just another source of info you might enjoy.

Ms. Conduct said...

Thanks Shaun! We'll be tweeting the home games for sure, and the away ones as much as possible.

ICEVET said...

For serious Aeros fans, "the truth may hurt".....whether Ben Bishop returns or a "new" BEN (Erikson-4/5 PTO) takes his place, the odds-makers have to favor Peoria in this series.

Peoria's season (2.5 vs 1.8 pg) goal advantage (including 2 shutouts) can be traced to the difficulty the Aeros have had in dealing with the Rivermen's Systems: (i) Peoria 11-7 even-strength goals, (ii) Peoria's 88.6% vs 86.3% PK advantage, and (iii) the Aeros futility (4 of 35) on PP opportunities, "gifted" by Peoria's higher PIM (17 vs 12) per game.

Not to forget, Phil McRae, Chris Porter (SHG @ Minni on 2/13), Ian Cole will be joining the team from the playoff-less Blues to strengthen Peoria's offense and special teams.

While Matt Hackett will be under the radar and Josh Tordjman could be an X-factor, the series balance should favor the team that maximizes puck possession, gets more pucks to the net, and outperforms in special teams play.

Go Aeros!!!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

Quoting ...

"Not to forget, Phil McRae, Chris Porter (SHG @ Minni on 2/13), Ian Cole will be joining the team from the playoff-less Blues to strengthen Peoria's offense and special teams."

Those players are locked in with St. Louis and will not be returning for Round for the AHL playoffs.

I think its a little more even than Shaun Bill and ICEVET seem to indicate. The Aeros have three very good lines and Peoria ... doesn't.

That three in three in their building (where Peoria won just half its games this year) could tilt the scale toward the Aeros.

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

To clarify one point ... I am not saying Peoria is one dimensional up front, but they are not as deep as the Aeros.

The Aeros top two lines could be phenomenal. COULD be.

This is going to be a very hard-fought series. As for a meaningless prediction? I am going with Aeros in seven.

ICEVET said...

@ Andrew Ferraro:

Thanks so much for your update on the "locked-in" Blues group. Indeed, it is confounding that the Rivermen did so poorly on home-ice, in particular, given the crowd-noise intensity factor in that Barn.

Whatever else may transpire, the "Coaching Advantage" should tip to Mike Yeo and his talented staff.

Go Aeros!!!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

Could not agree more on Yeo/Sydor/Wiseman ... well respected coaches and they had a great first year together.

I think the key will be getting that PK in order in the first two games.

Game 1s usually bore me, to some extent. There is always this feeling out process. Natural, I know, but man ... Game 2s and 3s are usually pretty special.

SLBatPHN said...

There you have it.
Ben Bishop did not make the trip to Houston. Neither did Ian Cole.
Both due to injuries.

Akim Aliu did no make the trip due to disciplinary reasons.

This is per the PJStar.