Friday, October 31, 2008

Aeros v. Providence Bruins - Game 9

What an odd game.

The word that came to mind during the game was "mellow" but the more I think about it, I think a better word is "tame." And this was explained to some degree in Joe O'Donnell's post-game interview with #1 star Danny Irmen, who said they were placing a big emphasis on keeping penalties at a minimum due to the Bruins crushing penalty kill.

Successful, the Aeros were assessed only one penalty (a blatant hooking call on Kolanos), and the Bruins only got two. What a shocking contrast to Tuesday's game with 29 infractions total between the two teams!

So, if the game appeared to be fairly polite... well, it was by design. We'll call it the Lady Byng game for the season, as I don't expect to see many more like this.

And by the way, the Bruin's PK really is a phenomenal sight to see. The Aeros had maybe 30 seconds of real offensive traction in their 4 minutes of power play time. And it was a different style of kill from the frenzied shot-blocking you get with the Aeros PK. They won't even let you in the zone. They just put up a wall at the blue line and good luck getting in.

Without all the rough and tumble of a typical Aeros game, what's left other than to discuss the goal scoring that led to the 4-2 score? Oh, besides how Clayton Stoner led the Aeros SOG after the first period. See? I told you it was a weird game.

Jason Deitsch had a big night with 1 goal and 2 assists and the #2 star, though the goal was a strange own-goal by a bumbling Bruins defenseman and Bruins goalie Kevin Regan. To be honest, I don't understand how that was his goal, as I thought I saw it go from Kolanos, rebound off the goalie, and then swept back at the goalie and in by the Bruins d-man, but I obviously missed something. And the second assist was on Lundbohm's empty netter for the Aeros fourth goal.

Kolanos' goal was another slick wrap-around. The guy really just has a knack for that play. He was also a turnover-forcing machine tonight, breaking up plays at the Bruins blue line and getting the Aeros back on the offensive more times than I could count.

The Irmen goal was a nice chip-in off a rebound. One of those typical Aeros "never give up on the puck" goals. Not pretty but a game winner. And Dietsch got the second assist giving him his second point of the night.

Beyond that, Ryznar had goal that was waved off. He banged the puck under the goalie and then the goalie slid into the net with the puck and then the whistle blew. The red light went and goal horn sounded, but the ref said the goal was after the whistle. It wasn't, but the whistle probably should have blown a couple of seconds earlier than it did. Nice chance though.

(ETA: Fred's correcting me again. Apparently the puck was not in the goal when the whistle blew. I am clearly stretching the limits of my distance vision up in the press box. Will be making an eye appt. this week.)

Anyway, definitely one of the most unusual Aeros games I've been to, just in terms of the energy on the ice. It's funny playing these eastern teams; you don't see them much so you never really know what you're going to get. Sometimes those games are just nasty (see last year's Hartford game) and then like last night, it's as polite and tame as an all-star game. I'd say games against Western conference opponents are a bit more predictibly smash-mouth hockey. Not that I prefer that or anything... *innocent face*

The Schaefer Brother match-up didn't lead to much drama, which I suspect is what both guys really wanted. The elder Schaef had two shots on goal but no points. Hopefully they got some nice family time out of the deal though.

Aeros are back on the ice at the TC on Sunday against the Baby Penguins, another good eastern team, and won't play at home again for two weeks. They have 4 days with no games and then a really tough road trip with another 3-in-3 against 3 different teams next weekend, then off to Grand Rapids on Tuesday and Lake Erie on Friday. The grind is set to Coarse.

Okay, it's actually set to medium, but ya can't win 'em all. Unless you're the Aeros playing at home.

Houston Chronicle report

Royal's blog report (which, incidentally, catches a bunch of little things I meant to say but was too lazy to dredge up, so go read it)
Photos from the game

ETA: I forgot to add the...


Scratches: Crowley, Hamilton (upper body injury), Adams, Kassian

Starters: Lundbohm, Ryznar, Irmen, Albers, Stoner, Schaefer

Captain: Lundbohm

No. of times Thriller by MJ was played: 2

And finally, from Russo's latest Strib article, a little bit of "feedback" for Cal:

Lemaire also wants Clutterbuck to shoot, not just hit. Clutterbuck leads the Wild with 23 hits in seven games, but he has no points and has taken just three shots.

"In practice, he's got one of the best [shots]," Lemaire said.

Nice. That's a good compliment there from ol' Jacques!


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