Everyone loves a BTSH Cinderella story, but since the Modern Era (2008-2015) they have been pretty rare. I’d venture to say the last terrible team to win a BTSH Championship was the Lbs., in 2012. With 7 teams left there really are still two teams that can shock the BTSH Universe, win the PBR Cup, and more importantly, claim Cinderella status. The Gremmies and Instant Karma.
Outside of giving stars to girls who play the whole game, the most played out thing for the media to do is say, “What xxxx is this team.” Punch me in the face because, “Still the Same” by the late great Bob Se-ger would be their song.
They rarely get superstars but when they do they often get poached (Craig, Joe P., Hicks), yet never do any poaching. While you rarely see a Gremlin outside of Jamie and Walker at a bar (and those two idiots don’t even drink), this old veteran crusty crew is surely a team everyone would pull for if they made it to the finals. They have a top 10ish player in Erich and a really good goalie, so it’s not out of the realm here. The odds are slim, but that’s what makes them a Cinderella team, dummy. Ha.
In the hand pass heard round the world*, the Gremlins blanked WTP and stonewalled their 10 game winning streak while simultaneously destroying their playoff dreams. While the reffing calls of a week ago are neither here nor there, the Gremlins won’t be so “lucky” this time and will have to bring it against the #2 team in the league. Speaking of luck, Walker is sidelined yet again due to injury in a game where his defensive skills are greatly needed. If Jamie can have another shutout it would be v much appreciated but like, no pressure at all Jamie!!!! It’s important to note that last game they were missing Walker and Rockoff. If the Salt Boyzzz return in full fighting form this game might be closer than I originally thought.
*side note, does anyone else picture Walker as the evil emperor from Star Wars who says “good, let the hate flow through you” whilst everyone was getting pissed about the hand pass call?
The Biters decimated the Sky Fighters 7-1 last week and that was without Probie (who was busy getting inducted into his high school lacrosse hall of fame IT’S TRUE YOU CAN FACT CHECK ME ON IT). The narrative is always Biters + Probie but I think last week’s game showed just how much of a well oiled machine this team really is. They’ve all played together for quite some time and have a good mix of new blood, with a veteran goalie. I would say their “weakest” point is their defense, which will match up nicely against the feisty offense of the Gremlins.
Key Matchup: Erich v Probie- this tough because Erich, as you all know, is my best friend but I’ll still stick with Probie on this one nabbing 2 goals to Erich’s 1.
Dominant narrative: They don’t win a lot of games. Also, they’re the fun team.
These things are both true. However, Captain Diane DID win at trivia the other night. Someone who shall remain nameless had a lot to do with this victory because there was a classic horror films round, but I digress. Nicely put, this game is a mismatch. (It’s the top seed vs. the bottom seed matchup.) This doesn’t mean Gut Rot cannot win. I suspect they are looking ahead to Halloween festivities more so than thinking about hockey, however I do know that they love The Schlitz. So, heck, let’s all get a good seat for this one.
Player to watch: Whoever is between the pipes. Will it be Sam, their regular goalie? He didn’t make a lot of games this year. Will it be #GoalieBecca? Will they have no goalie and pull some rando off the street who was walking by eating a slice of pizza and looking wondrously at the courts? Man I hope so.
Bandwagonability: You know the answer to this. As I’ve always said, Gut Rot are the team that everyone loves to love.
In this corner: What The Puck
Dominant narrative: “They’re probably going to beat Gut Rot”.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – we know that this is the top vs. bottom seed. We also know that What The Puck finished #5 overall this season, including an impressive 10 or so game win streak (probably the longest win streak in 3rd division history?). However, the Pucks have lost their last 2 games coming into this one, and a source texted me that the Gut Rot/Pucks game this season was a close game. (Can someone check the score of that one for me? Feeling pretty lazy right now.) So, will it be upset city in this one? Political pundits are stating that the potential is there, though it is still unlikely. Why are political pundits commenting on street hockey games, you ask? This is BTSH, nothing surprises me anymore.
Player to watch: Hogg. Always Hogg.
Bandwagonability: They’re a nice team who had a very impressive season, seemingly out of nowhere. We like them a lot, however, let’s be honest – there are probably underdogs who you’d rather see win The Schlitz.
Prediction: No prediction from me as I’ll be reffing this game. Wait, shit, Isaac, I don’t seriously have to ref, do I? I know I agreed to help you organize The Schlitz but I have never reffed a game in my life and I was hoping to keep that streak going throughout my entire career.
To celebrate having my Sundays back, I volunteered to do the stars. And by “volunteered” I mean I made the mistake of asking in the BTSH media thread, “who is writing the stars?” And by “having my Sundays back” I mean being completely devoted to winning the Schlitz.
It was a great week for the beef beat. People yelling at refs. Arguing about rules. Goal or hand pass. Is that win even an upset. Nothing like the playoffs to bring out the worst in everyone!
I really believe that this is one of the more evenly matched years. We have low division teams that completely hold their own against upper division teams – see: WTP’s applause-worthy win streak, Mega Touch holding it scoreless for more than half their game against Rehabs, the Rainbows pulling a repeat upset over the Butchers. We have historically meh teams at the top of their game (most notably Anklebiters) and historically impressive teams starting to sweat as they hold onto their crowns (Fresh Kills, Hookers, Filthier – I’ll add Cobra Kai and Fuzz to that list, as they both had A+ seasons in 2018). The median skill level of the league is soaring.
So I guess what I’m saying is… don’t we all deserve stars?
Ironwomen of BTSH
Fielding enough players for the playoffs is tough. October is wedding season, football season, holiday season. We’re working off of pre-approved rosters, limiting the use of subs.
A lot of teams as a result had girls playing the whole game: Sam for Karma defense, Ryann and Andrea on Fuzz both played the whole game, me!, Nico from Poutine played defense the whole game, a position she had never even played before… probably more that I don’t know about because I’m not omniscient…
My number one fan, Rich, likes to give shit for giving stars to girls just for playing but honestly boys are douchebaggy and girls make 78 cents on the dollar so I do what I want.