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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wow, what a thriller! Aeros lose, 7-6, in overtime

Zucker scores on his first shot back with the Aeros / by Morris Molina
Normally a home loss after you've had the lead in the third period would be quite the bummer. But, with the way the game went last night, just about everyone on the ice will take the point and be someone satisfied with the result given how the game played out.

Yes, Matt Hackett was rusty, but the guy had not played in a month, and he was sent down here specifically to get a game in before maybe be recalled to play with the Wild this weekend. The defense in front of him was horrible, too, and I feared before the game that the Aeros would get blown out.

Just a recipe for disaster when you're facing the best team in the AHL and one that just got two more players from their NHL parent, the Dallas Stars. Here, you can read the chron.com recap by Mike Damante, who filled in for the wayward Mrs. Galindo.

After the Stars won it in OT, the final count for the game was 13 goals. If you are scoring at home that's 24 goals in two games between the two organizations. The night before in Dallas, the Wild beat the Stars 7-4. Texas got payback on Tuesday, but the Wild won the mini-series three points to two.

OK, so that is a stretch on the sunshine there.

The bottom line is that the defense has to be better. Yes, there are some key clogs missing with Dowell being recalled and Stephane Veilleux being hurt. But Jason Zucker was a minus-two in the game after scoring the first goal. And based on where I was sitting for the game, I can't tell if Tyler Cuma was that bad or just a victim of extremely bad luck ... but he was minus-four in the game and was on the ice for the last four Stars goals.

My players of the game were Justin Fontaine and Steven Kampfer, who continues to be one of the best Aeros on the ice every game. The penalty shot by Brett Bulmer was a beat, so let's hope that gets him going for the home stretch ...

The Aeros have eight games left on their homestand, and they are 0-2 so far with two OT points in the process. Friday night, they'll host the Grand Rapids Griffins, who seem to win every game and score 11 or 12 goals in the process.

The defense and goaltending will be tested again.


JaredR said...

WOW what a game indeed is right. First off congrats to the players, managing 6 goals and a come back to get a point at least, it made for a real exciting game.

But what really doesn't suprise me is again the defense of Hackett's play. It seems no matter how bad he plays he will always be given the golden ticket for his chance ahead of Darcy. Yes I am a Kuemper fan based purely on their differences in attitude. Hackett gets his way plenty and when he doesn't it seems his play suffers for it (perhaps pouting). Kuemper goes along and enjoys every moment of his career and always gives a best effort even though the lack of opportunity. It may be because he realizes he doesn't have this "golden ticket".

So make the arguement Hackett hasn't played in awhile. No excuse. Darcy the whole season had periods of time where he didn't play weeks-month. Did he let in 7 goals? no. He came off injury and pretty much had a shut out until a collaspe at the end and the guy went end to end. Kuemper has now outplayed and outshined Matt for 2 seasons now, but yet he still doesnt have a chance it seems. Reasons why it's this way? 2 philosophies I have since skill is clearly not the choice:
1) perhaps they drafted Hackett first and therefore see him as the guy. These players are drafted at a young age so hope this is not the case. Lots has changed since 18.
2) is it the name of hackett? does Jeff have anything to do with this?

It's funny though. All the games Darcy played in the NHL were against the top teams in the league. Almost like the organization was hoping for him to get lit up, so they had an excuse to call up their favorite. Good job Kuemper on shutting down the door and opening peoples eyes!

All in all, I heard Fletcher was there last night, and if Hackett gets recalled to play for the Wild this weekend ahead of Kuemper, then red flags will be going up.

Anonymous said...

So when Hackett plays against all top teams last year in his call up and has the exact same stats as Kuemper and played 9 more games what does that mean Jared? And on last nights game give me one goal he had a chance on... Because 4 of the goals his team put in out himself if you watched closely .. And the others he had the shooter covered but the lone guy in front was always way too open . So please tell me which goals he should of had . Because watching that last night its hard to find one he had a chance on..

ICEVET said...

JaredR's Synopsis highlights the key issues which this humble fan has raised, in this BLOG, over the last 2 seasons.

Seriously, can any Houston hockey fan remember the last time an Aeros TEAM scored 6 goals and lost.....or allowed 7 goals against and won??? PLEASE.....don't attempt to put the 7 goals on the defense and the recall of Jake Dowell (and injury-prone Tyler Cuma).

To be sure, Hockey is a TEAM sport, and Mr. Hackett, the BACKBONE of the Aeros defense, once again, disappointed ALL with his poor performance. After 2 seasons of decline, most fans may, rightfully, question his CHARACTER. Wonder what young Cody Reichard must have thought on the bench, following his inspiring performance against Rochester?

To be sure, the Stars managed to pot 25% of their SOG, with 6 of the 7 goals even-strength....quite remarkable, even for one of the top-tier AHL teams. In contrast, along the way, the Stars managed to barely equal their average shots-for (SF) and shots-against (SA) season Stats, further highlighting their "high productivity" against Mr. Hackett.

The WILD are headed to a playoff berth, and Mike Yeo is not likely to take risks with this inconsistent netminder with an "attitude". You can expect to see the Sunshine Kid in goal in Dallas this weekend.

Go Aeros!!!

OldFan said...

Yes, the defense was not on top of things on the whole, but that's when the elite goalies step up. I thought we had the momentum going into overtime. Sad ending for the Aeros after they worked their butts off to tie it up. I don't think the loss was entirely Hackett's fault, but he does have to take responsibility for his share. He did look rusty, and I agree that it's no excuse. His job is to be ready.

mark b said...

My read last night, was that the Stars forechecking was superior. Darn near a full court press. Managing to keep the shots somewhat equal was a testimony to good offense...meanwhile the Aeros seemed probably a little hesitant to get ourselves hit with penalties.... a key portion of the team's strategies.
Defense pulled a few boners, but not a lot worse than normal. Like Hacket, but love Kuemper.

Joe said...

noKampfer as a star of the game? Yeah he had two points, but he was also on the ice for 5 of the 7 shots made by the Stars, and he ended up with a -2 for the night.

2-3 of the goals were definitely and totally Hackett's lack of motivation, or maybe lack of ice time as my daughter says. Good excuse, but Kuemps doesn't seem to have trouble sitting on the bench forever and then stepping in. One other Hack could have made put forth a better attempt. The others were no chance at all.

Ultimately this one was all on the defencemen. They were no shows. As I told my wife, after the third goal by the Stars, "We suck without at least two veteran defencemen at puck drop." Bags and Scandi out. Chay traded. As mentioned, Kampfer was on the ice for 5 of the Star's scores. I don't care if you get two points. Get off the ice if you're a defencemen and you're not going to play defence. Cuma was on the ice for 4 of them and picked up a -4. I watched two get by Mara. And unbelievably as bad as Connely was playing, he was only on the ice for only one of the scores by the Stars. Connely's timing is completely off. I really like him, but sometimes he leaves you scratching your head. As in the last two games.

Yet, surprisingly I'm happy we came away with a point.

I think Kuemps gets the start on Friday in Minnie.

Afterthought, glad to see Zucker came back ready to play and without an attitude of being sent down (as I sit here and recollect about Palmieri being sent down)

AeroFan said...

If backstrom doesn't travel sounds like Hack will be called up and potentially start. IMO they should call up Reichard, as they've spoken before they call up players who deserve it. He's done well and can sit on the bench. its hard to reward someone after 7 GA. Find out later today I assume whats happening though.

Ms. Conduct said...

No chance of that. Reichard doesn't have an NHL contract and they need their prospects to play these games. Am curious to see who they start tomorrow though.

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

This is great made for TV stuff ... I think we'll all soon find out who gets most of the blame for Tuesday's game.

Of the 7 goals, were enough of them directly Matt's fault not to get the start in Dallas Friday?

If I had to bet on this, I'd say they start Hackett against the Stars. We'll see.

JaredR said...

I would also bet on Hack starting, he is the favorite after all.
I do agree with AeroFan though in the sense of "those who deserve it", and by starting Hackett they go against previous statements.

Anonymous said...

unbelievable. I can't believe the sunshine kid isn't starting. obviously the wild see something in hackett that I keep missing.

Anonymous said...

Well Russo states its official..The close friendship of Bob Mason and Jeff Hackett once again gives Matt his golden ticket. Matt gets the start tonight. When before have you ever seen a goalie give up 7 goals and get the start. I know we all like Darcy but unless the kid is involved in a package deal this week he is in a no win situation. He is playing incredible, lighting up the league and not being rewarded. Where on the other hand, as we all pointed out, Matt gets his ticket despite consistently being outplayed since Darcy has arrived. The red flags are up.

OldFan said...

Matt may do well for the Wild, but when he comes back down here his heart doesn't seem to be in it. He doesn't come with the attitude that he can benefit from playing here. His expressions and body language shout resentment of having to be here at all. That doesn't help us and shouldn't help him.

AerosFan said...

We'll see tonight if he has a shutout in him at the NHL level because he hasn't had one for the Aeros yet. I see deterioration each year in his game, last year he bowed out in the playoffs for Brodier and was outshined by Joe Fallon a career ECHL player. I wish Matt the best but if he's unhappy like Kassian playing for the Aeros keep him in Minny or trade him.

Anonymous said...

Well Reichard in what his 3rd or 4th AHL game only surrenders 3 goals tonite, Hackett is sitting on 5 with plenty time left in the third. 12 GA in less than 2 games?

Anonymous said...

Well Reichard in what his 3rd or 4th AHL game only surrenders 3 goals tonite, Hackett is sitting on 5 with plenty time left in the third. 12 GA in less than 2 games?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain the love affair the wild has with hackett? so after giving up 12 goals in two games he gets rewarded by remaining with the big club.

OldFan said...

I think Reichard did well all things considered. I can't believe the Aeros had as many shots as they did since we spent so much time at the other end of the ice....or chasing the puck. Our passing and puck control left a lot to be desired. When they're "on" they're on and when they're "off" they're really off. Can't blame the loss on officiating, but good grief, could the officials get any worse?

Anonymous said...

After reading the recap on the Wild it seems Hackett made some miraculous "play-of-the-week worthy" saves. Funny, we are rarely treated to those in Houston because he doesn't expend the energy down here...at least it appears that way to most of the spectators. I'm thrilled to get Darcy back, but I don't think it's particularly fair to him.

Anonymous said...

Hack is gone he is not on your team right now and all you guys keep talking about is him haha . Leave the kid alone he's not with you guys ! You all should be HAPPY!?!?!?!? The SUNSHINE KID you all LOVE is back Smile be HAPPY for once you downers !!