Aeros Shut Out Admirals, Even Series


That’s the answer Coach Lane Lambert gave after the game, when asked about what kind of an adjustment he’d like to see from his team when the series resumes in Houston Tuesday.

The Admirals laid a bit of an egg at the Bradley Center Sunday evening, held scoreless by the Houston Aeros, evening the series at one game apiece.  2-0 was the final score.

Rather than cherry pick some Coach quotes, we’ll give you the full unedited raw audio.  You can’t get this stuff on pay per view, ya’ll.

The Aeros were first to strike while Michael Latta and Grant Lewis were getting cozy in the sin bin, giving the Aeros the 5 on 3 advantage.  At 11:47 it was Warren Peters that beat Jeremy Smith off a juicy rebound to give the Aeros the lead.  The play started with the Aeros sending the puck around the point from station to station when they found Casey Wellman down low. Wellman tried a stuff attempt from point blank, resulting in the puck to coming out to the slot, and ending in a very easy goal for Peters.

The second goal for the Aeros was an odd man rush in the 3rd period created by a sloppy turnover just inside the offensive blue line.  With 3 Aeros players on the break out against two defensemen, the Aeros made one pass to the near side circle, where Colton Gillies fired a shot that beat Smith top right.  Ryan and I were trying to figure out what the Admirals’ forwards were doing.  The only thing we could figure was that they were checking out the out-of-town scoreboard on the corner matrix boards, maybe checking out the Caps vs Bolts game. The turnover at the blue line is what caused the rush, but the forwards didn’t seem all that interested in getting back to help.

The Admirals finished 0-6 on the power play, and were whistled for a couple of minor penalties down the stretch to further thwart any kind of flow or momentum.

Notes and Questions:

We would give you the lines but they were shuffled more than a paying dealer at Potowatomi.

How about the ‘ATO line’ of Watson, Conacher, and Latta?

Ellis:  Buying or selling after two games? Or, too early to tell?

How would you grade Smiths performance from 1-10?  With 1 being the backup goalie for the Islanders and 10 being ‘The Pekka’…

We did enjoy watching him scamper back on to the ice after starting a shift on the bench.  Don’t think I had ever seen a line change bringing the goalie back on.

What was the most frustrating part of this game for you?  Were the Ads that bad or were Hackett and Company that good today?  Did this look anything like the team that took care of the Texas Stars?

21 thoughts on “Aeros Shut Out Admirals, Even Series”

  1. I give Smith a 9. That rebound on the first goal was costly.

    Once again the Admirals could not finish! I like Ellis, he doesn’t play like a rookie.

    I didn’t like Earl. He got away with a lot of cheap shots behind the play.

  2. after watching a differant team play against the aeros tonight i have one word to wrap it up FLAT. what happend ? thehat ads played hard and strong on friday ,did they use that all up? 0 for 6 on power plays. come on ads your a first place team. play like it ..

  3. Fodder for the Ouch machine for sure. Tonight’s game was the perfect example of my b*tch about this team. Today marked the 88th game of the season, most of the players have been playing together since October, and they are still playing like it IS still October. OK, I’ll give them November, but that’s it. Do these guys just plain not like each other, or what???

    Totally outplayed again. Our defense looking over their shoulders only to look into the face of a Aero player three feet behind them, over and over again. I keep hearing that we skate with speed, yet almost every friggin’ game our bird dogs can’t move fast enough to recover the puck. Houston need one, count them, one person in our defensive zone to keep three of our players from advancing the puck.

    As for Ellis, too early for me to sell him. His blind passing didn’t work well, more so because the people were playing with weren’t in position to take the puck. I’d guess that is a throwback to playing with his previous teammates, where he could count on someone being in position. But that just made him fit in with the rest of the gang tonight.

    The line hopping was frustrating. It’s too bloody late in the day to be trying to make something happen by switching people around so much. I thought that, up until tonight’s game, we had one line that could perform. The line swapping that went on tonight told me that that isn’t even true, which doesn’t exactly instill confidence.

    Smith- not a bad game today. I’ll still place plenty of blame on the defense for the first goal, and the reaction from Smith on the second one could have been read as he was frustrated by being scored on, or he caught sight of it, and just missed it. In any event, both goalies faced near enough the same number of shots, but we just couldn’t finish the job in front of Houston’s net.

    Don’t forget to pack your Thorazine, boys. You’ll need it for the next few games.

  4. They all must have stayed up late to watch the predators game like i did. Too bad they couldnt follow suit and comeback.

    Ellis is going to be phenominal player once timing is achieved and forwards realize they need to always be ready!

    Where was Beck? i didnt like watson with bourque and mueller.

    Conacher was horrible!

    Thuresson was invisible.

    All in all bad game but im sure they will bounce back in houston

  5. My turn to vent. THAT WAS PATHETIC!!!!!!! I cant believe i paid to watch that!!! I know teams lay an egg once in a while, but not in game 2 of round 2 of the playoffs! Other than Jeremy Smith, no one else showed up. Hey Lane, great system. Must have learned it from Trotz. Lets see, down 2 goals, produce 3 shots. REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Easter is over, no more eggs please.

  6. For everybody. Adsandpredsfan yelled at me all night long via text. Said i take this to much to heart. I should just relax, everything will be ok. Said we play better on the road. I hope so. They cant possibly play worse than yesterday! Could write a book on what we went back and forth on. Coaching, players, Roscoe(just kidding). Lots of venting. Im better now, GO ADMIRALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I agree, the play lacked intensity and was two steps slower. Smith had a good game though I thought he could have / should have covered the rebound,. Penalties hurt again, though weren’t the reason for the loss. Lack of anything resembling a PP again sucked.

    Houston played better D, there wasn’t much open in front of the net and we couldn’t get a stick on a puck in there. Offensively, Houston played well enough to win and that matters, but I thought if the Ads could have matched the play or even been just a step slow that this game was ripe for the taking – Houston was not overpowering.

    I like Watson in front of the net cuz noone else is willing it seems, he’s just not involved in the game. I think Beck should be in there but not quite sure who should sit. Conacher plays hard but needs to get up some points. Latta has been pretty quiet. I know this board is in mad love with Ellis and he put up good stats previously and should be a good player, though for his 2nd game I thought he played like the other defense men. I thought Van Guilder and Thang continued to play with some intensity and Barlett looked better.

    So, if scrambling the lines isn’t going to do it, what do you do in a game like this to lift up the flat play?

  8. That game was about oppourtunities and slight momentum. The ads had the “mo” on their side until the 5on3. The chances the puck dribbling through the crease the buzzing around hackett all that good stuff! It was there in the first and 8min of the 2nd but as soon as they gave up that goal the air was let outta the balloon and the game changed! No adjustments were made the ads were chasing the aeros around the ice the shots were low quality and they seemed unintrerested down the stretch! Just an awful game! Smith played hard, I barely feel that he’s a backup! This is his crease now, I think dex is awesome and an excellent netminder but even if he’s available I don’t play him till smith just bombs! Where was beck?? Hurt??

  9. Lane – Enough with the line shifting already. Wilson is back, so put him back on the line that he was producing with in Thuresson and centered by Van Guilder. These guys were building chemistry prior to his injury and were producing.

    Watson centering Mueller and Bourque? Are you serious? Mueller has been playing center for the last 60 games or so and you’re gonna put him at wing now? Put Thang-Mueller-Bourque back together ASAP. (…and putting them together for the last 5 minutes of game 2 does not count either…the whole game please)

    The ATO’s actually seemed to play better when they were all on the same line. Kids…

    When is Begin gonna win a face-off and how many times is he gonna get booted from the circle in this series? My over/under is at 50…

    Stop dump and chasing on the PP and start dump and chasing when Houston is in the trap 5 on 5.

  10. One of the worst games I’ve ever seen. I don’t recall the line that was on the ice but there was only one good “pressure” shift, and that was in the 1st and there was some bright spots to start the second period but other then that most of them looked like they just didn’t want to work last night.
    Smith was good but they have to find consistent scoring. Put Thang back on that top line. No clue why he messed with it in the first place.

  11. Interesting read, this discussion. No one in disagreement. Who will stand up and offer a positive position on this debacle. Who wants to say ‘it’s only one game’, ‘you can’t expect perfection’, or my personal favorite ‘can anyone remind us who is the West Division and Western Conference champs?’.

    I wasn’t at the game on Friday, but I should would have liked to have been. Just to be able to say ‘that’s the way it should be played, well done’. But I got to watch Sunday’s game instead. Harumpfh.

  12. Enough of the dump and chase that leads to Houston easily getting the puck, and eventually leads to them getting scoring chances.

  13. Excellent post, Brian. You said exactly what I ws going to say. I’v always hated that about Lambert. It wasn’t broke, so why is he trying to fix it?

  14. Ouch – bright spots for me were that even how flat the game was, Houston only put up 2 goals. Houston knocked some of the rust off perhaps, but did not turn in a dominating game in my opinion.

    Three weeks ago everyone was saying Lane deserves coaching honors this season for the Ads success with ever changing faces, now one game and everyone’s on the I never liked him bandwagon.

    I agree that there’s too much dump-a-puck, but that’s been the case most of the year, we weren’t able to carry or pass it in the attack zone in this game either though.

    Seemed to me like many things were tried to light a fire – juggling lines, dump-a-puck, run it in, period pep talks and there were no more tricks left in the bag. What’s left to try, the only thing missing might have be to throw down and see if that got some emotion going but then you’re taking the 5 minutes and who’s going to it? Wilson’s all there is.

  15. Seems like we’ve had this same discussion all year. They have 1 great game at home, then the next game they’re flat. Don’t think they have come out that bad 2 games in a row, and don’t think they will now. And they do seem to play better on the road, maybe this team can’t handle the distractions at home. I expect them to come out fired up (like they did Friday) tomorrow.

    I agree with Bugs – Houston did not exactly dominate. They fed off our mistakes and continued their shoving the smaller rookies as brought up by the Texas fan earlier. They only had 3 more shots than us, and 24 shots is not a dominating performance. I think Texas would have capitalized on our poor play more.

    Bottom line, they need to forget it, correct it and move on to dominate in Houston.

    Transactions say Teemu and Chet are back. Is that just another paper transaction??

  16. This has been an interesting discussion, absolutely.

    While the Admirals’ offensive execution left a lot to be desired, I think we do need to tip our hat a bit to the gameplan and execution of the Aeros in their end of the ice. They were disrupting everything. They were everywhere.

    Neither team was able to be creative in the offensive zone. Half of that is good news. Patrick O’Sullivan has been kept in check for the most part. DiSalvatore? Kept in check for the most part.

    Something the Admirals have been able to do on so many occasions this year is still win a game, despite not playing a full 60 minutes or not playing their best. Until that 2nd goal on the odd-man rush, all it took was one good play, or capitalizing on one Houston mistake, to tie the game up. That’s why a turnover at the blueline was so deflating……For Coach, it’s a game of details, and that’s a play that just can’t happen. That turnover is the argument for dump and chase. (And Smitty needs to make that save too.)

    Last series, good game 1….and then a game 2 that made us sick. The team will be prepared for Tuesday. They might not win, but I think the effort will be there.

    I didn’t like Watson on the 1st line. I thought Beck was only okay on that line…..he has had a couple of huge finishes in the playoffs, but he needs to shoot more (of course, that can be said for pretty much everybody). Of course Thang was great on that 1st line, but I also have liked Thang and Van Guilder playing together too. Thang is the only guy that Coach mentioned by name as showing him anything in Game 2.

    I think the concept of line shuffling isn’t terrible, but we’re dealing with so many new guys that I’m not sure what kind of spark they were expecting.

    I want to see more from 17 and 12. Fourth year guys need to step up.

  17. Bugs, point taken. At the same time Houston wasn’t wonderful, they skated faster, were able to mount pressure, and defended their goal. The execution of their abilities is what gave them the game. The Ads have the same abilities; we’ve seen it time and again. It’s that their execution is for spit. And if lines need to be shaken up like they were on Sunday, 88 games into the season, that’s just proof that this team hasn’t gotten their act together yet. At this point, we should hope to have a minimum of 2 solid lines in place, and that isn’t happening.

    Agreeing with Ryan also- the oldtimers need to get their act together. Maybe they’re just bored with the system they’ve been playing for years. Maybe they feel like they deserve more than they’re getting. Maybe they just don’t care enough to put out the effort. Maybe.

    And Bugs, count me out of the Lambert for demi-god parade. While I think that he’s a good coach, I don’t feel that he is an inspiring coach. I picture him as more the bad cop in the good cop/bad cop routine. And maybe inspiration is what’s missing…..

  18. Good points, Wilson gave a needed emotional boost in his first game game back and Thuresson plays hard sometimes but nothing much else from either one and they need to step it up. I know its a lot of young guys trying to find their spot, but we’ve lacked a team leader that can motivate and refocus the team.

    I’m not sure who’s at our disposal, is Hunter available or out? Beck should be in the lineup. I’d say let’s see Ryan for a game and sit Watson or give Latta a breather. Maybe Conacher needs a game rest. I’m not a fan of that kind of juggling in playoffs but something has to happen to wake some guys up, I like most of those guys potential but we need to win not just get dreamy eyed on potential.

    I expect the Ads to bounce back in game 3 but I think Houston will also play better at home. Like Ouch said, they gave us fits with better pressure and defense. I expect a more intense game with penalties and goaltending deciding it. We can take this game.

  19. Let’s roll the lines as follow
    1.Thang- Mueller-Bourque

    Bout a month and a half ago we were talking about Some of the nice flynn and bartlett were doing, they both on similar skill set levels, don’t mix them with newer guys or gunners let them bring the intensity on the 4th line and motivaye them to move up to the third line together. Hockey is based on chemistry. lines that work together well don’t need to be spread around they need to stay together hopefully lane doesn’t keep swapping everyone around! Go back to what has worked! Go ADS!!!!!!!!!!

  20. I like your lines, frj and I agree that you want to lines to play together and develop chemistry as much as possible.

    The Texas series started with the first line producing and nothing from the others. Its a seven game series so there isn’t a lot of time for the lines to work it out. A little change up in the lines proved somewhat effective because others (Thang, MVG, Beck,etc) got in the game.

    Since then, the top line stopped producing. So, like you, I say go back to those lines but be prepared to continue to adjust because they have to produce now – the series is too short and its not the regular season that you can give guys 3 -5 games to get it going.

  21. I’d swap Flynn for Latta in those line combos.

    I’ll bite on an earlier comment and say… the dump and chase has worked all season. Look at our record. What the real problem is Houston appears to have done their homework and either Lambert or the players themselves have not been able to adjust their games based on what Houston is doing to counter the dump.

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