Boy, what a great press conference Allen Iverson “hosted” years back – the infamous “We Talkin Bout Practice” diatribe (you can fast forward to the 50-second mark if you really want to cut to the chase). Well, with the Aeros having some extended time off due to their sweep of Peoria, it’s all about practice right now for the second seed in the West Division.
Here’s the deal…
If the Milwaukee Admirals beat the Texas Stars tonight, the Aeros will be heading to Bradley Center to open up the West Division Finals on Friday night. If the Stars win tonight’s Game Six and tomorrow’s Game Seven, they will head to Toyota Center to open the West Division Finals on Thursday. Either way, it’s a lot of time off for the Aeros…
I caught the end of PRACTICE!!! today and got some audio from Colton Gillies and Nate Prosser. Check it out on the multimedia page. (Aero Joe note – the links don’t appear to be working, and I think it’s a web site provider issue, so you may have to check back for this audio).
The atmosphere / vibe around the practice facility seemed to be fun, yet focused…remember, the Aeros dealt with a long layoff between regular season games #79 and 80, so this is old hat to them at this point. This coaching staff has a plan in place, so I really don’t anticipate a layoff adversely affecting this club.
Now some quick, random thoughts…
- The Stanley Cup Playoffs have been freakin’ amazing – the hockey is so good, it’s addicting (I was hooked already by the way).
- I think the NHL should start to look at protecting “defenseless players”, much like the NFL. I see so many hits now where a player is engaged in a puck battle and another opponent takes a run at said player. Look, the only intent of a hit like that is to hurt somebody, and the league should focus on such plays and see if they can be eliminated. I’m all for the physical violence that makes hockey great, but while the league is trying to eliminate head shots / blindside collisions, I think they should broaden their scope.
- AHL road teams are 7-4 in overtime in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs and 24-22 overall, so it’s not just at the NHL level where visiting clubs are finding success.
- The Hershey Bears were eliminated yesterday following a Game 6 overtime defeat against the Charlotte Checkers, meaning a new AHL champion will be crowned this June. Ironically enough, former Bears’ Alexandre Giroux and Bryan Helmer were also sent packing as members of the Oklahoma City Barons after they lost Game Six in Hamilton yesterday.
- The Binghamton Senators won their first round playoff series, upsetting the Manchester Monarchs in overtime in Game Seven, to move on. Keep in mind, they won the series without the efforts of league MVP and former Aero, Corey Locke, who missed all seven games due to injury. On a side note, getting 14 points (including five in Game Seven) from Ryan Potulny didn’t hurt! 14 points in seven games, really?!?
This audio file I posted today is working, I promise. Here are some audio highlights from the Aeros’ 46-win regular season. Enjoy!
More to come prior to Game One of the West Division Finals…
– Aero Joe