Welcome back Wilderness. Tonight is day 2 of same time/same place/same teams edition of Aeros GDT. The Aeros will take on the OKC Barons (the Baby Oilers for those of you that are new to our GDTs) at 7pm tonight. Last night we won the game in a shootout, which inches us closer to pass those gross Barons in the point standings. It’d be great if we could pull off a win in regulation tonight, but I’ll be honest by saying I’ll take any win we can get.
Last night’s win puts the Aeros on a four game winning streak coming into tonight. I have a sneaking suspicion that Mikael Granlund will play in tonight’s game. No insider (or is it insider?) information here, just a gut feeling. If Granlund plays and falls into his grove with Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle pretty quickly I think a win tonight is almost a certainty. No offense to the Barons fans, but while last night’s game was pretty even as far as who was playing better, the Aeros were never trailing when it came to goals. If Granlund can come in and play his game, the Aeros only pull father ahead with goals.
It seems like the Aeros offense is really coming together. First (Zucker, Johan Larsson and Coyle) and second (Kris Foucault, David McIntyre and Justin Fontaine) are constant scoring threats. The third line has some decent threats as well with Nick Palmieri and Zack Phillips(his shootout goal was absolutely beautiful last night). The defense is….still on vacation. I really hope that Torchetti can get through to these guys and get them to be productive. The forwards are playing an incredible two way game right now, but it makes me nervous for injuries. Especially since the Aeros have shown to be injury friendly as of late.
Speaking of injuries, Ger had a great question/comment about the number of ECHL guys called up to play with all the injuries the Aeros have had as of late. As of last night, there was only one guy left (Josh Caron) from the Solar Bears, and one guy (Ryan Ginard) one a Paid Try Out (PTO). I’ll try to pay a bit more attention to Ginard tonight to see what I think. So, really that shows how deep this roster is for the Aeros. A few guys are playing out of position (the official roster has Larsson listed as a RW instead of C), but they’ve really only needed to call up a few guys from Orlando. With Mike Montgomery being sent to the CHL there’s a free spot on the roster, and my guess is that Caron will stay in Houston for a while.
My gut tells me that Matt Hackett will start in goal for the Aeros again tonight, he’s on a bit of a hot streak right now. He pretty much won the game for the Aeros last night, and is well on his way to proving he should hold the number 1 netminder spot.
- If Granlund starts, does it mess up the flow and chemistry the lines currently have? Where does Larsson end up?
- How quickly does it take Bryes to try and get Bagnall to fight tonight? Especially after Bagnall denied him last night and got the Aeros a 4 minute PP, and Bryes a 10 min misconduct…
- Last night saw 10 PIM for the Aeros and a whopping 20 PIM for the Barons. Do things even up tonight? Can the Aeros keep the penalties down?
- The Aeros PK is insanely good right now. The PP, not so great. Can the Aeros figure out how to capitalize on having an extra man tonight?
- How many fights/scrums do we end up with? There were 4 last night, and my guess is that it only goes up from here.
As I said last night, if you have the opportunity to watch tonight’s game through legal (or not-so legal) sources, I would seriously consider it. With the talent on both sides, it’s pretty damn close to NHL teams at the moment. I usually regret paying for games through the AHL site, but I was really happy with my decision last night. If watching isn’t for you, stay tuned to Aero Joe’s twitter for radio feed information.