Here are the things we know unequivocally about the Houston Aeros after this weekend:
Need shorter pre-game naps
That or they need to find a way to sneak a fake 0th period in before the 1st period to get the boys going in time for the actual game. Because bad Aeros starts are like hot days in Houston: There are too many of them.
In 10 games, the Aeros have scored only 4 goals in the first period, where opponents have scored 8.
Unstoppable the rest of the game
On the flip side, if you play the Aeros, you better not be within 3 goals of them because they have every bit of the ability to come back and smack you upside the head with a bunch of goals once they get their legs going.
They have scored 14 and 12 goals in the second and third periods, respectively, over the first 10 games. 4 vs. 14 and 12. Lopsided much?
Vets provide the foundation
Lots of scoring coming from prospects like Justin Fontaine, Kris Foucault, Casey Wellman, and David McIntyre is being supported by the vets like Jon DiSalvatore, Jed Ortmeyer, and Warren Peters. How lucky are these young guys to have wily vets with great vision and hockey smarts setting them up? Very. That’s how much.
Bad at shootouts
Aeros are 0 for 3 in shootouts so far this season. Before you start blaming goalies, look to the other end of the ice, where the shooters have 1 goal (Fontaine) in 20 attempts during the skills competition.
In spite of his 4 game suspension, Carson McMillan has quietly racked up 5 points in 6 games. Chay Genoway is finding his inner Max Noreau, too, heating up the score sheet with a few apples over the weekend.
Jeff Taffe has two goals from the weekend as well, looking like his scoring is ramping up as he adjust to the system.
Coach isn’t worried
John Torchetti is, understandably, unhappy with the bad starts, but said he knows this team is good… or at least will be when they figure out how to play a full 60 minutes.
Part of me wonders if this team isn’t so confident in their ability to pull things out at crunch time, they’re a) failing to prepare for individual games but also b) pacing themselves game to game, because even with these problems, they still lead the conference with 15 points and are tied for the league lead with the Norfolk Admirals.
Defenseman Jordan Hendry leaves a hole on the blue line as he heads off after 10 games to the Swiss league. It never seemed like it was quite clicking with him, and with Prosser getting the first defenseman call-up, that was probably his cue to bail.
We'll see Thursday if this means big Mike Hoffman finally gets in the line-up or if the Aeros end up calling someone up.
Short and sweet this week, y’all, since I’m on the road and didn’t get to see any of the games over the weekend. When all else fails, stats stats stats! More first-hand meatiness next week, I promise!