If you look closely, you'll see a slight problem with the brand new gigantic scoreboard.
This is getting tiring. The Aeros get off to a crappy start. They get back into the game. They tie it late. They play a tough overtime, then lose in the shootout. Yeah, it's a familiar story.
It happened again tonight as the Aeros lost to the Lake Erie Monsters 5-4 in the shootout. They're now 5-4-1-2 (12 points) 12 games into the season. And as head coach John Torchetti told us after the game, with their offensive skill guys out of action for several more weeks to come, the Aeros are going to have to get used to playing these types of games, and somebody is going to have to step up at some point and take over.
"This is our team," he said. "Until we understand that we have to come out and play consistently our roles, and do what we're asked to do and play our system, we're going to be playing like this for a long time, until we get to work and understand that commitment as a hockey team."
The Aeros fell behind quick, losing 2-0 midway through the first period. Nick Palmieri got the Aeros on the board late in the first, then Justin Fontaine tied early in the second with a spectacular goal that had him falling and flipping the puck off of his stick.
The Aeros would fall behind again, only to have Chad Rau tie it, then they fell behind again, only to have Jason Zucker tie just before the end of the third period.
Then came the shootout and shot after shot into the stomach and pads of the Lake Erie goalie. And just like that, it was over. The Aeros got a point, yay, but do these things really feel like wins? Not after the last two years.
Torchetti might have been even-keeled-like after Thursday's loss, but he seemed to be trying to send messages tonight. Messages of disappointment. Messages of guys just not getting it.
"We've got to play defense, bottom line," he said. "We've got one line tonight that wanted to cheat all over the ice and gave up two goals and they didn't want to commit to playing defense, and until they do, we're not going to be a winning hockey club."
And this: "We have to be more focused. Our young guys have to understand that we have to be ready for a 60 minute hockey game. They think that they're going to free points. This is a tougher league. Tough league."
He said several times that with the skill guys like Mikael Granlund out, there are some other guys who really need to step up there games, and aren't. This is their chance, and they're not taking it. "We've got guys who are still sleeping," he said.
So ends another night from Toyota Center. Another night ending in another defeat in the shootout. Yeah, yeah, they got a point. Yeah, yeah, it's always nice to get a point. But wouldn't it be nice for them to actually get two points for once.
Dear Toyota Center, thanks for that huge-ass video screen and scoreboard. But how about making sure the damn clocks are synchronized. Is that really to damn much to ask?
If you look carefully at the photo above, you'll notice that clocks show a different time. And this is during game action. It happened at the end of the first period, the end of the second period, the end of the third period, and the end of overtime.
Yes the Aeros are just a mere tenant. Yes the Rockets are the masters. But would the clock really keep malfunctioning like that if the Rockets were playing the Lakers? No, no it wouldn't. So why was it happening in period after period tonight?