The final installment of the media’s preview of the 2019 PBR Cup playoffs.
5) What The Puck
Richie Hero: Ooooooh I forgot about WTP when I deemed Isaac captain of the year. Great season from them, I do expect them to beat the Gremmies. Not sure if I’d pick them to win another round. I still think they are far away from the olden days of championship contenders from WTP, but on any given Sunday, they can beat anyone.
JW: They were the only team who swept us in the season series this year, and they moved up a division. Their high finish this year is not only because of the level of competition in the 3rd and 4th divisions, as they have the talent to beat any 1st division team. IF they beat us, I could see them winning in the next round, also. But, again…”no prediction from me as I’ll be reffing this game”. (Hi, Hicks.)
Meatbox: When Hogg isn’t telling me to shut up for trying to plan semi elaborate goal celebrations on the bench, he’s sending me useful Pavel Barber instagram videos. If that’s not captain of the year material (he was already snubbed Rookie of the Year, so I’m sure he’ll be snubbed this too), then I don’t know what is.
As a team, they really bolstered their depth with the additions of Henry, Mike McC, Annie, and Ed in net this year. They also have a jacked guy on their team who multiple people have insisted can out bench me. That is 100% fake news. No one out benches the box.
WTP showed us they were for real when they put together the longest win streak of the year and I think they’ll make it to the Elite 8 where if the bracket goes chalk, the Rehabs will be waiting. Less than ideal, but I feel like that will be a much closer game than people expect. In years past, teams may have slept on these guys, but I’m pretty sure nobody is going to after what they’ve put together this year.
Arya: What The Puck has been on the upswing for a couple years now but they really hit their stride this year. McCauley, Henry and Ed have been big acquisitions on the manliness front but don’t underestimate the impact of adding two field hockey legends the past two seasons in Sam and Annie to give their lady contingent some scoring punch. This is a tough, gritty team who I could see losing in the 1st round to a talented Gremlins squad, but who I could also see pulling an upset and reaching the final four which would be an amazing achievement considering they haven’t won a playoff game since I’ve been in the league. It’s been a breakthrough season and while I think they’ll probably get knocked out in the quarterfinals, don’t be surprised if they’re knocking on the door of D1 in a couple years.
Richie Hero: Campbell. The team needs Campbell to play or they are in huge trouble. The good news for Cobra Kai is they really have no one you can expose. The bad news is they don’t have a game-changer among them. Liam is excellent but he’s not the type of guy that often goes end to end and scores. Their girls are very very good, but they aren’t Rehabs/Hookers/Fresh Kills good. Campbell is where they get an advantage that most other teams can’t match. I don’t think this is their year.
JW: Rich mentioned Campbell. I thought Campbell isn’t eligible to play, no? Campbell is clearly the X factor for Kai (wait, did I just say “X factor”? What are these other 3 clowns turning me into??). Oh man, and we still have 9 teams left to do?? Why did I agree to this.
Meatbox: With Campbell in tow, I expect Cobra Kai to be one of the toughest outs in the playoffs (assuming he is able to make the trek down from Boston every weekend in October). However, given their seed, their path to the finals will end up being much tougher this season and it’s hard for me to see them going beyond the Elite 8.
Arya: I hate to make this all about Campbell but seriously, this Cobra Kai season has basically been a case study in how much they miss that guy. Even with him leaving, I still picked them to win their division. Losing Campbell is a tough blow, sure, but other teams manage to win without a top 3 goalie, and the dojo still has a bunch of great players. As you probably know by now, my prediction was proven wrong as the Biters and Hookers both finished top 3 while Cobra Kai finished 10th. Fortunately, they were rewarded with a great first round matchup against the Demons (not an easy out, but preferable to the alternatives around them) and if Campbell comes in, they should win easily as it’s basically the same team who got the #1 seed last year. A more alarming question is whether the win/loss and goals against splits with and without Campbell demonstrate that he’s been covering up some sloppy play these past couple years. A deep playoff run without him would put those conversations to bed. A deep playoff with him wouldn’t, but they’d be happy either way.
The Heat Fears makeups from Week 12 were played this past Sunday. Some streaks ended and new streaks began, but none of that matters anymore, as next Sunday it’s win or go home for the month of October as the black top high school playoffs get under way.
In the meantime, on to the box scores…
Fresh Kills 0 @ Rehabs 2
Rehabs – Bryan’s Fruit Snacks (2), Monique (10)
Goalie Shutout Win – Matt T via FA
Goalie Loss – Barch Pile
Gremlins 2 @ Karma 1 F/OT
Gremlins – Erich (10), Carcella Molson (4)
Goalie OT Win – Charlie O’D via FA
Goalie OT Loss – Steve F
Game Notes: Gremlins came back to tie it on the strength of the not often known lack of 6 foot requirement for a goalie ball restart. Following the rules ain’t shenanigans.
Filthier 3 @ Fresh Kills 2 F/OT
Filthier – Thomas W x2 (8), OP James (13)
Goalie OT Win – Tim K (13-3, 4 Shutouts, 1.29 GAA)
Fresh Kills – Nate (8), Gabe (8)
Goalie OT Loss – Barch Pile (4-7, 1 Shutout, 1.96 GAA)
Poutine 1 @ Gremlins 3
Poutine – Brian S (3)
Goalie Loss – RJ F (7-6, 4 Shutouts, 1.44 GAA)
Gremlins – Cody (3), Courtney (2), Erich (11)
Goalie Win – Charlie O’D via FA
WTP?! 2 @ Karma 3 F/OT
DaPucks – @ballhogg x2 (14)
Goalie OT Loss – Ed P (10-6, 2 Shutouts, 1.83 GAA)
Karma – Derek Zed x2 (17), Scory Cory
Goalie OT Win – Steve F (7-6, 1 Shutout, 2.43 GAA)
Game Notes: After giving up another late one goal lead in the final minutes of the game, Karma put together a quick shift at the start of overtime to grab a third point on the day.
Editor’s Note: We don’t have a photo of Erich’s goal so I’ll have to post the tying goal from this game instead.
GANK 2 @ Pounds 4
Anklebiters – Joe P (4), Andy M (2)
Goalie Loss – Craig LaC (13-2, 5 Shutouts, 1.31 GAA)
Pounds – Karsten P (4), Davis A (3), Macayla E (3), Nick R (1)
Goalie Win – Sizzler (12-2, 1 Shutout, 1.57 GAA)
Math 2 @ Cobra Kai 6
Math – Lindsey H (1), Jon M (8)
Goalie Loss – Andrew via FA
Evil Dojo – Rachel L (3), Eff Gill Ween x2 (7), JJ Murph (2), Liam M (4), Pete FlaminGo (5)
Goalie Win – Ryan “Levine” (1-6, 2.22 GAA)
Game Notes: This was quite a late day game for a Levine goalie to play…someone really wanted that first win of the season!
Advanced Analytics: How do Cobra Kai never win any games? I dunno, because Olivier and Liam can only score 6 goals combined in a season perhaps? Guys hobbling on 1 leg have done better. Or at least, I assume Crime Stopper’s Rbrt Glnzr’s 73 goals last year were all legitimate.
Riots 0 @ Rainbows 4
Goalie Loss – Dave GdR (3-12)
Rainbows – Dan C x2 (6), Ryan M (3), Yetter (8)
Goalie Shutout Win – Casca via Demons
Demons 2 @ Gut Rot 1
Demons – Gino (5), Miles S (9)
Goalie Win – Zach L (7-5, 1 Shutout, 2.02 GAA)
Rut Rot – Mike F (1)
Goalie Loss – Sam S (1-8)
Game Notes: For all that this game was touted (and then deleted) to be, this was not much of a game at all. Hope Demons get some earlier games for the playoffs, not that they ever do anything remarkable in October over the years, anyways.
Mega 0 @ Sky Fighters 2
Goalie Loss – Mike T (6-6, 2 Shutouts, 2.03 GAA)
Sky – Tori x2 via FA
Goalie Shutout Win – OG James (5-4, 2 Shutouts, 1.98 GAA)
Game Notes: Was this past Sunday a live look-in at the 2020 Michaliga Katz divisional race?
Hookers 0 @ Butchers 1 F/SO
Goalie Shutout Shootout Loss – Dustin O (9-4, 3 Shutouts, 1.49 GAA)
Game Notes: There were zero goals scored in both Butchers/Hookers matchups this season, played in both the opening and de facto closing weeks of the season, with two 1-0 shootout decisions, one going each team’s way. Dustin played for both games, and Tim Burke was snubbed for a star only once (as Max subbed in Week 1) this past week.