Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aeros v. Peoria Rivermen - Game 47

The Prediction Brothers to my left on press row said, "You're going to write nice things about Ben tonight." I said, "Only if I see him in a suit."

But alas, Benny proved them right. I didn't even see him in a suit. But here goes:

Pouliot had a very good game. I mean, really good. Really physical. Yeah, I said physical. He hit (a LOT), he held on to the puck under defensive pressure, he drew a penalty, he scored a goal.

He still had a few Bad Benny moments, but many more "Why is Stoner Wearing Pouliot's Sweater?" moments. Seriously, he outhit everyone on the team. Sit and think about that for a moment.

Dare I say, he was one of the most dangerous players on the ice tonight. Now, if he can just play like that AND get his shots within 5 feet of the net, I guarantee there's a warm bed in the Twin Cities waiting for him.

He had two or three breakaway opportunities that were literally breathtaking. He's got to be the prettiest skater I've ever seen, at least in person. I forgot how extraordinary it is to watch him fly down the ice. And once, he actually broke through a couple of defensemen, who were putting physical pressure on him, and he not only stood up to the pressure but he hung on to the puck and got a shot off. I'm not sure I've EVER seen him do that.

But of course, it leaves me wanting more, and I find myself back to using my "bad boyfriend" analogy for him: He's like the guy who is really a jerk and you know you can do better in almost every way, but he's SO good in bed, you just keep going back to him in moments of weakness. Of course, you regret it every single time, because he's not going to change and you know it, but damn does he have some sick skills and soft hands.

*sigh* What a tease Benny is. I've been burned enough to know the hustle won't last, but I do appreciate him playing like that tonight. It was a bit of a silver lining around a cloud of a 3-2 loss to Peoria.

And what a cloud it was. My distinct sense during the game was that yesterday's game was so lovely and goals came so easily, that they thought it was always going to be that way. Sorry, boys. Not the case. Yesterday, their legs were moving, passing was clicking, they were simply dominant.

But tonight, it was bouncing pucks, bad passes, and many, MANY brain farts. I can think of at least 3 instances where the puck was just left sitting unattended on the ice by an Aeros player, begging for a swarm of Rivermen to take it and go. Just lots of empty-headed play. John Scott had a bad game and, IMO, failed Schaefer on a couple of those goals against.

I see from reading Royal's blog that Constantine felt the same way.

Locke got the second goal to get the game within one goal with just under 4 minutes left in the third, but he then got a cross-checking penalty with just over 2 minutes left in the game. This, of course, prevented the Aeros from being able to pull Schaefer for the extra man. Given the level of "uh-oh" hustle in the third, I think they had a chance of tying it up if it weren't for that.

As such, I'm not fond of his selection as the third star. It should have been... wait for it... Pouliot. Yeah, I said it. And I mean it. And it's got nothing to do with how ripping hot he is in a suit.

Also, can we undo the Hamilton/Earl trade? Pretty please? I'm trying to be patient. I'm not doing very well. So far, he seems to have no nose for the net and a significant deficit in the "hockey sense" department.

Alright. That's all. Link to Andrew's Chron article here. Royal is linked above. Next up is Locke and Brusty at that ASG Sunday afternoon and Monday night. Go get 'em boys.

ETA: One more thing... I know they don't keep stats about this, but I'd LOVE to know what the Aeros record is when they're wearing a new jersey. The boys were wearing the big charity auction jersey for the first time tonight. They're nice enough. I've seen far worse. But it seems like those are always losing games. Here are some photos from the game.


"Dave Schultz"  January 25, 2009 at 1:30 AM  


the bad boyfriend analogy is awesome. I love it! And the thought of Benny in a suit? rawr. The thought of him playing well and hitting guys? RAWRRRR

Ms. Conduct  January 25, 2009 at 1:41 AM  

Yeah, it was the kind of night where you start to wonder, if you put your mind to it, you can tolerate doing his laundry and the endless drunken nights out with the boys and the birthday dinners at Hooters....

Anonymous  January 25, 2009 at 8:56 AM  

I think Albers has played two really bad games in a row. What's up with the guy anyway. I'm usually an Albers fan, but seems he's had his head up his ass the last two games.


hipcheck  January 25, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

Ok, so I had to go and look up Benny. Yup, I could see where he would look good ina suit and be a heartbreaker.

Ms. Conduct  January 25, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

You know, I've noticed that Paul hasn't been too sharp lately and I'm normally a fan as well. Really since they came back from the road trip, he doesn't seem as focused out there. By the end of the game last night, I was pretty irritated that he and Scott were paired together as neither were playing as well as I know they can.

Ms. Conduct  January 25, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

Yeah, Hip, and photos don't do him justice. Kinda like the difference between seeing the Rocky Mountains in person or seeing photos of them. The grandeur is diminished by a good 90%.

NETminder1  January 25, 2009 at 10:31 AM  

what's with the willie video? i thought you hated country!!!

Ms. Conduct  January 25, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

I hate new country. I LOOOVE classic country. Willie is a god.

Fred  January 25, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

Albers has had a few lapses (who hasn't though) and I can't explain why he just left that puck and skated away in the closing seconds but he had a HUGE play the night before on a streaking Matt Foy. He sacrificed the body and managed to get all puck preventing a great chance on goal. I'll post the pics on IA.

And I've witnessed Willie being a complete asshat to people who work for him. You can tell a lot about people by how they treat those under them. I have ZERO respect for him.

Ms. Conduct  January 25, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

Here's the Foykilling photos of Alby via Fred.

Sorry, Fred, I still love Willie's music. I will, however, avoid working for him. :)

hollcan  January 25, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

I think Albers' uniinspired play is due to the fact that he is the forgotten man on d. He get no pp time anymore(5 g & 19pts on pp last year) yet is better than Rogers, Madsen, SToner, & as good as Noreau & Mojis. Then he has to cover for Scott allowing him no chance at offense. He is great on the PK though and we would sorely miss him there.

Ms. Conduct  January 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM  

Thanks for the insight. I agree that he was underappreciated in the first half of the season (except for right here).

Lots of scouts up there by me every night though.

Rob  January 26, 2009 at 6:38 AM  

There were two things I saw Poo Bear do Saturday that especially impressed. One, he GAVE a hard cheap shot elbow on a trailing play nowhere remotely near the puck. Secondly, he was the first on the scene to forcefully protect an attacked teammate at the net. Pleasant susprises and I'm wishing him the best.

Ms. Conduct  January 26, 2009 at 6:46 AM  

Yeah, he was pretty jacked up Saturday. Glad the ref didn't see that elbow. :)

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