Monday, October 13, 2008

Aeros v. Milwaukee Admirals - Game 2

Maybe it was my crappy end zone seats Saturday or maybe the Aeros are finding their groove, but the team tonight looked like the team I expected to see when the season started. Smothering defense, incomparable goaltending, and plenty of shots on goal, some of which actually see the back of the net. And they're just getting started.

There was some show stealing going on by a few players tonight in the Aeros 3-0 win:

Schaefer was even better than he was Saturday (but so was the defensive play in front of him). Other than a couple of really ugly goal mouth scrambles where I think Nolan and several others literally stood on their heads to get the puck out of danger, he was on target all night.

Kolanos' first goal (second was an empty netter) you could almost see coming in slow motion just a few seconds into the third period as he battled a single defenseman half the length of the ice hanging on to the puck the whole time, until he got in close and fired it past goalie MacIntyre. I had Pouliot flashbacks as it was a similar breakaway situation we often saw from speedy Pouls, except he would have tried to get fancy with the puck to get away from the defender where Kolanos just powered through the pressure, kept the puck movement simple and safe, and got the biscuit in the basket. He's really skillful at creating great opportunities for himself at severe angles around the net. I'm not ready to eat crow yet, but it seems he's doing more than enough offensively to make up for doing just enough defensively. Hey man, whatever works.

Clutterbuck looked good, but completely outdid himself during a penalty kill with 4:41 left in the second. He lost his stick at the beginning of his shift and played a full minute+ without his stick and was amazingly effective in spite of the handicap. Just as the penalty was ending, he managed to literally shove the puck out of the zone on his hands and knees. It was an impressive display of "I don't need no stinking stick." If there's a supersecret 4th star, Cal should get it for that shift.

Hamilton got the third star and really was just playing the game he always plays. Parking his ass in front of the goal and MSH (making shit happen). His PP goal was beautifully set up by Schultz and Locke and poked in the back door. Great stuff.

Tonight's raspberry goes to Milwaukee's Grant who was jawing and grabbing at Clutterbuck early in the game (believe it was 1-0 at the time, so he was rebuffed). And then when the game was 3-0 and Grant laid a hit on Hamilton that he took offense to, but when Hamilton offered up a tête-à-tête, Grant suddenly had a prior committment elsewhere on the ice.

Bottom line: More of this, please. The top two lines are nailing the puck possession game. I'm not sure how long it lasted but at one point in the second period, they kept the puck in the Aeros attacking end for so long, they finally had to let the choke-hold go and change lines. And what's more, they're SHOOTING.

Speaking of lines, for you folks who like to know who's playing with whom (and it's been pretty consistent):



Scratches tonight were the same as Saturday: Adams, Rogers, Lammers, Kassian, Khudobin

Also very nice to finally meet my fellow Aeros writers. I'll link up their articles when they're available. Check back. Meanwhile, the game notes.


Life_As_A_Redhead  October 14, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

I love Clutterbuck.

That never say die mentality is what makes hockey SO awsome.

Ms. Conduct  October 14, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

He's got that in spades. Really, that's what I love so much about this team. You pretty much have to be a never say die type of guy to play for Constantine, so they've really amassed a quality group of guys as a result.

Life_As_A_Redhead  October 15, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

Definately what I like about this team.

There's hope for the Wild, with these kids down here. Personally I'm kind of disinfranchised with the Wild, right now. (Mikko excluded) They could be doing so much better, but they just seem, blah.

Ms. Conduct  October 15, 2008 at 10:04 AM  

Yeah, the Wild are not lighting any fires right now. I think the Gaborik situation is dragging people down a bit, injuries are mounting, they're playing a lousy road stand (GA/FL) against teams nobody cares about...

But things will pick up once they deal with Gaby and start playing some division games.

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