Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aeros v. Quad City Flames - Game 48

Game 48... when I walked into the arena tonight, I found myself catching my breath a little bit, like I do every time I walk into the arena. I love watching hockey more than anything. It's not hard. The game, the players, the smell of the rink, the fights, the goalies, the goals, the saves... I love every little bit of it. So even if I was just there the night before, I still find my pulse a little faster when the puck drops, and every game feels like a wrapped gift just waiting to be opened.

I even love it when it goes terribly wrong. Partially because it's still hockey. No matter how bad a hockey game gets, it never turns into basketball. And partially because I know better days are ahead and the bad days are what make you appreciate them.

But tonight.... tonight was the first time I've ever given up on the team and just completely checked out. The feeling I left the arena with was the one I left with so often two seasons ago when the team had no goalie, no discipline, and no hope. They should have handed out Prozac at the exits that season, and tonight's game felt just like that.

The most fun I had tonight was when Love, #6, got in a fight with Sutter, but the fighting penalty was announced as going to Albers, #3. And as Royal and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes, I said, "Well, he got it half right." And we had a big laugh at my dumb joke.

So there it is. Two+ hours, one good one-liner, and a 5-0 shut out where the Aeros, front to back, seemed to get worse and worse as the minutes passed.

I'm guessing they'll blame the extended break and the guys aren't back to focused yet, but guess what... Quad Cities had the same break and they played like a team who picked up right where they left off.

But because I want to say at least one nice thing, I will say that, even though he still made some very lazy plays, Pouliot had some moments of great hustle and physical play. More more more, Benny. But relatively, it didn't matter.

Tomorrow has to be better. The easy schedule right now is a gift that is currently being squandered.

You want a prediction?

Here's my prediction: If the Aeros don't beat the Binghamton Senators tomorrow, they can forget about the playoffs. If this team can't display that much resiliency and come-togetherness this deep in the season, I'm don't think there's much hope for surmounting the challenges that lie between here and a playoff berth.

For the less angry version of the game, check in on Royal and Ferraro.

3 comments:

Anonymous  January 30, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

If you listen to the color commentator for the game, Warren Holmes, I believe, he is repetitive in the fact that we never have any guys in front of the net. Also, I can't stant watching when the puck carrier crosses the red line and the other two forwards peel off and change. Absolutely no offense with 1 vs 4. To me this is coaching and their schemes they keep talking of. Last year, with less offensive skill, we used to involve the defense more and following a shot from the d they'd all head to the net looking for a rebound. Maybe a good idea.

Rob  January 30, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

I think our Zamboni guys drive with consistant precision and determination. Lots of heart. And as best I can tell, they seem to have a good game plan every time they roll onto the ice. I just hope neither of them gets called up before the playoffs.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine....

Ms. Conduct  January 30, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

Ha! Nice, Rob. It's true, the Zamboni guys are consistently good. In fact, I thought the ice looked really nice after each intermission last night. I should have added that as a positive note in my blog.

Anonymous, I felt like we had people at the net a lot last night, but I do find myself thinking, "SOMEONE GET IN THE SLOT!" a lot typically. (That's what she said.)

But they weren't shooting! They'd have the puck and be wide open or at least open enough to get a shot off and they'd spin around or overhandle the puck or try to pass when they just need to shoot. Just too cute and QC was pouncing on that stuff and getting the puck away.

It amazes me when teams fall into "too cute" mode because it's never just one guy (well, except for Rosa for a while earlier in the season). They ALL do it on the same night. Makes you wonder what the hell they did in practice that morning that they're complicating everything.

I look back at this game and look at the roster and think, "Where was he all night?" about almost every guy. I remember Pouliot, Ryznar, and Love. Ryznar had some decent battles. Locke was there later in the game. It was absentee night.

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