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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Aeros earn a split, blast Stars 5-2

I didn't see either game live, but I think the Aeros could have had four points this weekend had the real Tyler Beskorowany showed up for both games. The Stars rookie goalie was the real deal on Saturday night, allowing five goals as the Aeros pushed their way to a respectable 3-5 on the 11-game road trip.

I think Superman showed up the night before and traded gear with the netminder. The Aeros pounded shot after shot, especially late, but just could not get the game to overtime.

Really, I think getting down 2-0 was the killer on Friday, but Saturday, the Aeros just dominated from start to finish and really were determined not to leave Cedar Park with out two points.

And boy what a difference a few players make. What wonders skating with a full roster can do for a team that is still in the conference top five, but just four points ahead of the teams that are on the outside looking in.

Now the team will sit and watch the other teams play for a week. With 64 points, the Aeros can't get any better in the standings until next Saturday against one of the hottest teams in the AHL, the San Antonio Rampage.

Most of the other teams behind them in the standings play at least one game between now and then, and it is very likely the Aeros will fall anywhere from 7th to 9th place in the process. Make no mistake, next Satruday's game is going to be an absolute monster for the team that could look a bit different next week.

The NHL trade deadline is Monday, and there are all kids of rumors surrounding the Wild and what they are going to do at the deadline. I think they'd be foolish not to move Josh Harding, and if they do, Aeros fans have likely seen the last of Matt Hackett in bomber gear.

Also, do not expect to get Scandella or Prosser back until the playoffs start. Those guys are staying in Minnesota, and Warren Peters would have to clear waivers before he could be sent back to the Aeros. The Aeros could get a few players from the Wild before the end of the regular season, but it may be a new face.

All three players they got for Marek Zidlicky have spent time in the AHL this season.

Half glass full? The Aeros are getting players back and are still tied for fourth place in the standings. Half glass empty? Well, they very well could lose their best goalie this week, they are just three points ahead of two ninth place teams, and the last three games of their road trip are very, very losable (San Antonio is last years Aeros, and Houston has not beaten Abbotsford one time this season.)

My gut says the Aeros are still good enough to play .500 hockey the rest of the year and make the playoffs. And say what you want about Jim Mill, but if you can find a more competitive guy in the organization, you let me know. I think he, John Torchetti and the rest of the staff have done a very VERY good job of keeping this team afloat in the midst of the Wild gong show.

What do you think? Are the Aeros going to make the playoffs? How much scoreboard watching will you do this week?


Anonymous said...

I think we've been watching Hackett under perform when he's down, and come off as a hero when he's up. Harding has had a rough time with injuries, but is still a great goalie, and considering how fast Backstrom was pulled for Hackett to get put in net the other night...I don't think harding was all that injured, quite frankly. That was Hack's big test, and he passed, the team, passed, and I think the Wild see him as being ready for the back up job there. Aeros have also already got Nolan as another goalie here, so a trade of Harding sounds likely.

Personally, I think Harding has out-performed Backstrom in goal when he's been healthy, and would be better to hang onto, but what do I know?

Anonymous said...

I agree about Hackett seeming to under perform when playing with the Aeros. I've felt for quite some time now that something is off. Even his body language often says he's ticked at having to be here. That attitude will not do us any good in the playoffs. Maybe there's some other logical explanation, but how can he be so good when he's "up" and not so good when he's "down?" The way the Wild have been playing, I don't think he can blame all his allowed goals on the rest of the team when he's with the Aeros.

Anonymous said...

Any idea why Keumper was not on the bench on Saturday night. I haven't seen an explanation.

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I, too, noticed that and asked. I did not get an answer back from the team or the Wild. Nolan is on his way back to the ECHL, though, so maybe Kuemper was sick or had a minor injury.