The good news is that it did seem like the team responded from an embarrassing loss Friday night that really felt like the last straw. Another weak effort tonight would have said, at least to me, that they'd checked out just as much as I have. But nobody's paying good money to watch me write, so...
Lucky for Peoria that Jake Allen was both good and lucky tonight in goal, often getting something in front of shots, not always knowing where the puck was after the fact. His defense did a good job clearing those out, but left him hanging several times, letting the Aeros toy with him on a couple of those goals.
Frustrating for a goalie for sure, but how about poor Hackett, making that HUGE paddle save on what was otherwise an open net, and then still getting scored on. I felt for him there. That blows to make save like that and then an easy goal. Bahhhh.
Also a difficult game for Hack in terms of how few shots he saw. It's made a bit better by the fact that even though he didn't see a ton of shots, there were good periods of activity around the net to keep him warm and in the game and moving with purpose.
Torchetti on the goalies: "(Jake Allen) played incredible tonight. He really kept them in the game. I was sitting there watching and the shots were 28-6, and I was like you have to be kidding me. But we battled; that was a tough game for Hack to play in. I think he is ready to get on a roll for us."
Funny story from Torchetti regarding Chad Rau, who Torch said he did not include in the heavy message to his veteran players Friday night:
These are the situations where you learn about the kids. This morning, we were talking and I asked him how his game was last night (vs. Chicago), and he said, 'You know what, I stunk.' And then I was like, 'Oh, I didn't want you to be that hard on yourself. I just wanted to ask you how you played.' He told me, 'Don't worry, I'll be better tonight.'
And that is the difference between a guy who wants to be a pro ... and that's him, and then I told him that I only saw him like that twice all year. He's been so consistent for me. He's a little man that plays like a big man, and he's definitely ... if you're a fan, you definitely love watching this kid play hockey.
Tomorrow, per reporting from Russo, the team will have Nate Prosser back in the fold. They're going to talk to Marco Scandella about coming down and, I presume, let him have some say in that decision. He's turned into a real stud for them this season, so it's a nice little show of respect to do that.
We talked to Drew Bagnall after the game, too, and while he praised what the younger guys have done for the defensive corps, the veteran presence of a guy like Prosser, who's been to war with all these guys already, has a calming effect for the team.
Torch, on the other hand, said he'll believe he's got Prosser back when he sees the whites of his eyes. Spoken like a guy who's had his roster jacked with about 30-too-many times this season.
For those scoreboard watching, which is apparently everybody BUT Torchetti, the Aeros are in 8th place, tied with San Antonio at 81 points. But Milwaukee, Sunday's opponent, would sure like to rise out of 9th to beat the Aeros, as they're only 1 point behind.
More Torchetti: "We need 86 or 87 points, I don't know ... All I am doing is worrying about us. We've got four games and we just need to keep playing good. I am proud of our guys and even though we have not played our best as of late, we've got a group of guys that are hanging in there right now."
Unfortunately, we don't have an update on Sean Lorenz, who left the game fairly early after getting pushed and slamming his face into a goal post. Blood and difficulty skating and a trip straight down the corner tunnel to the doctors' office was the result of his 2nd-ever pro game. Bless his heart.
See you tomorrow, full of ham and scalloped potatoes. Yum.