Photo of Barry Brust with his eyes closed as the puck flies past courtesy of Fred Trask.
Like his team during the game, Kevin Constantine was rather calm and lifeless after the game. And seeing as how the Aeros had just lost an embarrassing 5-0 shutout to the Quad City Flames before a crowd of friends and family, one would have thought there might have been some anger.
One would have thought wrong.
Kevin Constantine doesn’t do anger after these type of games. He does resignation. He speaks of the team not being able to play after taking days off. He speaks of rhythm and rust. He speaks of lost chances.
“We had some chances in the first ten minutes to get a goal and have the game go the right way,” Constantine said from his office. But when the chances are led by the likes of Paul Albers, Brian Lundbohm, and Morten Madsen, then one really shouldn’t expect too much.
“Our guys demonstrate that time away from the game just doesn’t work for us,” he said about the team having not played or practiced since Saturday. “We’re a better team when we’re tired with rhythm that when we’re rested with rust.”
And no one showed the rust worst than starting goalie Barry Brust who let the first shot he faced get into the net at 12:04 of the first period. Brust let in two goals in the second, then he let in two more goals in the third. And while the rest of the team just looked slow, Brust just looked lost and outclassed for most of the game.
“All you can do with goalies is to try to find a rhythm and play a hot hand,” Constantine said. “I think our goalies are better when they play a lot. They’re going to have to figure out how to come off not playing and play. That’s always a challenge.”
And no one’s going to have to figure that challenge out, at the moment, more than Brust, who Constantine said is going to have earn his playing time from here on out.
The Aeros play again on Friday against the Binghamton Senators. And I would say that one should expect Nolan Schaefer in the goal for that game because Constantine does like to play the hot hand. Then again, there’s the old rested and rust problem with Schaefer. And Constantine does like to play hunches. So honestly I wouldn’t be surprised to actually see Brust skate out to the crease tomorrow night.
But I could be wrong and he could follow through with Schaefer. So show up at Toyota Center for the puck drop at 7:35 to find out. Well that, or read me tomorrow night.
MISCELLANEOUS GAME NOTES:
I knew that the Aeros were doomed about 30 minutes before game time. That’s when I got to my spot in the press box, after having been down in the press dining room, and heard Paula Abdul’s “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” playing throughout Toyota Center. And it didn’t get better when, just before the team came out for lineups, the sound guys decided to play some dirge from The Smiths.
And it didn’t get better when John Scott was announced as starting at right wing because, seriously, as much as I like John Scott, he’s not a forward. And again, the doom feeling continued because when the game actually started, Mitch Love was at right wing and Scott played the blue line.
About the only time the entire night when things seemed right was when the sound guys played “Beat It” at the end of the game.
Now some of you might have been wondering about Krys Kolanos. After all, you’re probably thinking, he passed through waivers and was reassigned to the Aeros. So why, you’re probably wanting to know, wasn’t he in the lineup? Well, the answer is pretty damn simple.
“He was here and ready,” Constantine said. “His equipment just didn’t show up.”
I don’t know if the presence of Krys Kolanos would have made any difference, but you might want to file a complaint with Northwest Airlines for losing his gear. Again. Yep, this isn’t the first time this season that Northwest Airlines has lost Kolanos’ luggage. He was called up to Minnesota for a brief stay very early in the season. And he didn’t play that time because, you guessed it, Northwest lost his gear.
“Now he has balance in his life,” Constantine said. But I’m guessing that, if he had his choice, Kolanos would reject that whole balance thing if it meant that he stayed up in Minnesota.
And I’ve got to confess, I’m in agreement with Kolanos on this, especially when you consider that he was sent back to Houston because he’s too talented for the Wild roster.
I kid you not.
I thought you might like a few notes on how bad the defeat was. For instance, the 5-0 Quad City win was the largest margin defeat for the Aeros this season. And this was their worst defeat since a 5-1 loss to Hershey on January 9. And did I mention that John Scott was announced as the starter at right wing?
I can think of only one way to play us out tonight. And that’s to play the video of the song I heard when I walked to the arena. So here’s Paula Abdul with “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.” I just wish the team would have played like there’s no tomorrow.