We all knew this series would be a long one – six or seven games – and nothing less. That’s just the norm when two evenly matched, defensively structured teams get together. And so here we are with Game 6 from Bradley Center in just a few hours and it’s the Aeros with a 3-2 series lead after thrilling, back-to-back overtime victories from Toyota Center.
Talking with the Aeros’ Patrick O’Sullivan this morning, he said he felt that both teams would get a boost knowing that it’s an “elimination game”. The Admirals will obviously be inspired, trying to save their season, but he said the Aeros should have some extra juice as well knowing they can advance to the final four with a win today.
It’s no secret that the hardest game to win in the series is usually the last one, the one where you can send a team home for the summer. We all saw the late surge Peoria made in the opening round as the Aeros attempted to sweep them on the road. Tonight will be no different…
The Admirals will get Finnish-born defenseman Teemu Laakso back for today’s Game 6, as he was sent back by their parent club in Nashville today. That should certainly help slow down the Aeros’ attack a bit (53 shots in their Game 5 win) and in talking with Admirals’ head coach Lane Lambert this morning, he talked about his team needing to play better defensively and, at the other end of the rink, trying to put more pucks at the net of Aeros’ goaltender Matt Hackett.
The Aeros will need to match the desperation and urgency of the Admrials – if they can do that and execute their game plan, they should have success. I’d like to think the Aeros will have some mojo going early in this game because of their two overtime wins, but who knows…it could be the Aeros that have to “weather the storm” if the Admirals come out flying.
Keep in mind that in each of the last two games, a two-goal lead has been blown. The Aeros blew one in Game 4 before winning in overtime and then they surged late on Friday night to stun the Admirals and take a lead in this series for the first time.
On a non-hockey note, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful parental units out there – keep up the good work and hopefully the Aeros can get a win today for all you hockey moms!
Don’t forget about the watch party today at The Maple Leaf Pub! Face-off is at 5 pm…
– Aero Joe