Saturday, February 14, 2009

Aeros v. Iowa Chops - Game 54

I haven't watched the whole game, so I'll just comment on the highlights. Sunday's home game is so close I can taste it and watching on AHL Live, as nice as it is (particularly the Chops games, as they do a great job with their broadcast), is getting really old. It's just so hard to judge the tempo and intensity of the game that way.

Anyway...

Pouliot started the scoring with a shorthanded goal. He just picked the pocket of the Chops player out at the far point on the PP, jetted up the boards with Locke keeping the pace on the other side providing a passing threat. With only one defenseman and one goalie, who couldn't be happy to see what was coming at him, Pouly just wristed one right under the crossbar from the circle. Good, simple hockey. Didn't dick around, didn't give and go, just shot the puck. Love it.

Not to be outdone, later in the first, Foxy Chop Drew Miller nabbed the puck on an Aeros PP and beat Rogers and Noreau to rocket one past Schaefer. The Chops scored again with about one minute left in the period in a goal mouth scramble that found Schaefer out of his net and a rebound going in behind him.

Apart from one minor penalty per team, both teams just battled the second period out without a change in the 2-1 score (which means I'm not watching it), but midway through the third, Rogers tied it up.

Then with Earl and the Chops' Evans in the box for coincidental penalties, Pouliot showed he's more than just hot in a suit when he smoked the Chops D with Rosa coming up the middle a step behind him. Pouly passed to the middle and Rosa got a stick on it and just banged it past LeNeveu.

I gotta tell ya, much has been made this week in the interviews with Aeros folks about how professionally Pouly has handled his demotion and while I'm not around the guys, I feel like I can see it. He smiles more, his face looks relaxed, his body language is confident, he's playing like he's not afraid. I'm just completely impressed. Keep it up, Ben.

The insurance goal came less than a minute later on a power play ignited by a Kolanos breakaway that drew a tripping call. Noreau took a hard shot that rebounded off Rosa (not before leaving him pretty gimpy) and then Schultz banged it in. Seems like Rosa should have gotten an assist for pain and suffering.

Amazingly, not a single point for Kolanos, but some nights, his best and highest use is as a decoy, drawing penalties with his speed, etc. It's nice to have a game here and there where he isn't the hero. Definitely gives the team a better sense of balance when he's not involved in every goal.

Scotty's thumb was well enough to play, so it looks like Alby got the "Foster Scratch" for the game. I believe Mojzis is injured, and of course Irmen and Madsen are still out with bum ankles. Kilpatrick was scratched as well, but if Rosa's injury at the end of the game is still smarting today, I would assume he'll get in the game tonight.

So, what's up with this crazy team anyway? This getting behind and then locking down in the second and then scoring in the third happens too often to be a coincidence, right? My theory is that they don't like playing with a lead because they tend to choke them away. So if you play 75% of the game a point or two down, and THEN bring the noise, there's no time for the other team to hit back.

Plausible? What do you think?

Either way, happy for the win. The game got increasingly chippy as the evening progressed, so it will be interesting to see how tonight goes. With four games against each other in two weeks, this puppy is likely to blow at some point.

Happy Valentine's Day, lovelies!

2 comments:

"Dave Schultz"  February 14, 2009 at 12:40 PM  

Benny and I had a little "conversation" and I told him to stop effing around and play hockey. Then spanked him for being a bad boy when he through his hissy fit. Glad it's working out now.

:)

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