Aeros One Step Closer to Playoffs, One Step Closer to Des Moines
Lost in the talks of the Houston Aeros relocation, of the vitriol being spewed toward Les Alexander, of the jobs being lost, the families uprooted, is one simple thing. The Aeros are still playing hockey. And with four games left in the regular season, the Aeros are still very much in a fight for a playoff spot.
John Royal The Aeros celebrate a goal in last night's game.
Not only would the playoffs prolong the Aeros' stay in Houston, they would give fans a few more chances to cheer on the team before they disappear to Des Moines. And it all seems so fitting that the Aeros could be on the verge of leaving as the most successful professional franchise to have played inside Toyota Center.
But for the Aeros to make the playoffs, they first have to win some games. They weren't successful with that approach on Wednesday night, losing 4-1 to the Oklahoma City Barons, a team the Aeros are fighting for playoff position.
Things were much better Thursday as the Aeros stormed out and defeated the San Antonio Rampage 4-3. The Aeros struggled in the final minutes of the game, nearly losing a 4-1 lead as the Rampage scored twice in the final minutes to move within a goal, then had several good chances to tie the game in the final seconds.
"It's a win," head coach John Torchetti said of last night's win. "It's a big win. But we've got to be way more detailed. We can't be satisfied being average. We've never been average all year."
The win leaves the Aeros one game closer to the end of the season, one game closer to the playoffs. The final home game of the season is tomorrow night, and the Aeros need to once again defeat San Antonio, a team out of the playoff hunt, to move closer to the playoffs. And the Aeros need the win, though they might not entirely realize, for the fans of hockey in Houston who will be losing their team at the end of the season.
There were numerous signs at Toyota Center the past two nights accusing Les Alexander of being a new version of Bud Adams, and urging the fans to Occupy Toyota Center, signs that, surprisingly, were featured on that big, huge new center ice scoreboard that rivals anything seen in Dallas. The players and coaches are, to some extent, aware of what's happening with the team, of the news that the team will be moving to Des Moines for next season.