Houston Hotdish: Special "OMG We're in the Playoffs!" Edition

Joel Broda, with goals in the last two games of the season, will need to keep it up in the playoffs. Photo by Chris Jerina/AHLinPhotos.com

Just when you think the fat lady is done warming her vocal chords and is about to start belting it out, the Aeros send her back to her dressing room.

With a little help elsewhere in the conference (namely, a win in regulation by the Milwaukee Admirals) and the Aeros' own 2-1 win over the Texas Stars tonight.

It really did come down to the last minute of the last game of the AHL regular season to decide whether it would be Charlotte or Houston who would be continuing on later this week. Pretty crazy.

So, the Aeros are in the 8th seed, and they will play terrifying juggernaut OKC Barons in a 5 game, best of 3 series, which starts Thursday and Friday in Houston.

Oak City has lots of swanky fire-power and one of the best goalies in the league in Yann Danis. While much of the season, the Aeros have been a bit suspect defensively, their problem in this series is simply going to be getting pucks in the net.

In the Aeros' favor, Matt Hackett is playing well and, with Nate Prosser back, the d-corps is stronger and smarter than it has been. Scandella is out for another couple of weeks and Steve Kampfer has yet to play a game since being sent down either.

Also, the Aeros tied the AHL record for shootout losses this season, so it goes without saying that YAY NO MORE SHOOTOUTS EVER!

The bottom line for the Aeros is that they're going to have to get nearly flawless goaltending, play smart defense, block a ton of shots, and execute with desperation and focus on offense. Basically, bring your A-game and you have a chance. Don't, and the Barons will eat you for dinner.

From a prospect perspective, it will be interesting to see how the rookies handle the pressure. Kris Foucault has two goals in the last two games and his defensive game is coming along. He's a nice kid, too, so I'm excited to see him really bloom next year, and being hot in the playoffs this year wouldn't hurt that at all.

So, I don't hold high hopes of seeing round 2, but stranger things have happened. And it's always fun to squeeze a little extra hockey out of a season that looked like it was going to the dogs just a week or two ago.

The team, coach, and staff were clearly excited and maybe a little surprised that all the piece fell in place to get the team into the post-season. As Torchetti said, "We're just happy to be here. We're the underdogs!"

The optimistic side of me thinks that underdog, no-pressure framing will be good for this team, and that this is sort of a clean slate to regroup and stop chasing failed expectations. All you have to do is get in, and they did. I'll keep you posted on what comes next.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hockey Wilderness

You must be a member of Hockey Wilderness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hockey Wilderness. You should read them.

Join Hockey Wilderness

You must be a member of Hockey Wilderness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hockey Wilderness. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker