by Arya Stark and JW

So at this point, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that the semis and championship will be taking place on the same day.  Previews for the semifinals were posted before the rain fears but to get you through the championship without actually going through the effort of writing four potential previews (three of which would end up being completely superfluous), we took the easy way out and just had a gchat conversation about it instead of working.  Think of it as a written version of a podcast because clearly JW would never consent to doing anything as millennial as an actual podcast.

W: ok I forget our plan…what are we doing here again?

Arya: haha no plan really – just a free flowing convo which i am then going to try to somehow edit into a reasonably coherent piece.

JW: i can’t even remember what we are discussing…previews, right?

Arya: potential championship previews

JW: ah thats right.  there we go.  my idea was for them to be really short and stupid…ha.

Arya: short – unlikely.  stupid – guaranteed.

JW: i feel like you’re going to want to talk about actual hockey…you know i don’t know anything about sports though?

Arya: jw please, you are the quintessential jock…i saw you take charlotte’s lunch money and stuff her in a locker.  plus your prom attire speaks for itself.

JW: it’s funny you say that because Charlotte does call me a bully.

Arya: ok potential championship matchups – lets start with lbs / fresh kills

JW: i thought we were just doing the potential final matchups. that isn’t one. (the fools who pick 2 teams who play each other to advance are rubbing off on you)

Arya: oh yeah, youre actually correct

JW: i sure am

Arya: dick

ok rehabs/lbs then…championship rematch.  on paper it seems like a blowout…2 vs 8 seed, plus the fact that last year the rehabs won and cherie went from lbs to rehabs.  but lbs swept the season series, plus in the playoffs anything can happen

JW: i love that you answered your own question. see, you don’t need me!

The Rehabs will be fired up, both to erase the season series sweep by Lbs. and to move on to the final to defend their title.

Arya: i wonder if there might be a sense of overconfidence if they get there and realize they don’t have to face fresh kills, which i’m sure they’re expecting

JW: I agree that if the Habs arrive at the final and it isn’t against FK, they will be relieved….maybe too relieved. (insert joke about someone relieving themself on the rink).  Fresh Kills could be cocky too.

Arya: because of their record and 9-0 aggregate beating of the lbs in the regular season?

JW: 9-0??? Over Lbs.??  Is that true???  I am not sure how I missed that box score. (Jeff probably still hasn’t posted it.)

Arya: even #fuzznation appreciates a good fuzz burn

what do you see rehabs/lbs being like stylistically?

JW: it’s hard for me to predict a Lbs. win, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised.

stylistically, it will be really good hockey. Both teams control and move the puck well….with the Rehabs always looking for the open player. Lbs can sometimes be a little more run and gun…but that will be tough against the Rehabs’ defense.  definitely do not think this game will be the blowout that a 2 v 8 seed normally could be.

Also, it will be difficult for Lbs. to score with both Ramirez and Showtime in net at the same time.

Arya: we’ll need to check the rulebook on that one.

Arya: lbs are a strange team – seeded 8th, but 6-2 against the first division with two losses to fresh kills and a sweep against all others.  also, if its rehabs/lbs and lbs find a way to win, is cherie the BTSH marian hossa?

JW: if that happens it will be a great matchup.  Hmm…..Rehabs/Lbs…..i’d say it goes to OT……Karsten gets the game winner.

Arya: lets move on to the next.  rehabs/fresh kills – its chalk, the matchup everyones expecting

JW: You mean the matchup no one wants…no underdog to root for…

Arya: ya i guess in this scenario lbs and filthy qualify as underdogs even though only four points separated the 2 seed (rehabs) from the 8 (lbs)

JW: it’s really true

it was so tight (insert sexual joke here)

Arya: ok so Habs/Kills….two teams with some of the best female players in the league.  you’ve got cherie/amber/sena/monique/lindsey vs roxy/nicole/sheena/can’t remember other names.  who has the edge?

JW: i think overall the Rehabs have the best women in the league

Arya: how do fresh kills have such a better record? it seems like having such an advantage in the female department would be massive in a co-ed league

JW: It really is shocking.  I don’t understand how they managed to avoid losing a single game in regulation…

Arya: the shift of gabe to defense has been inspired

JW: definitely

I also think the Rehabs had attendance issues, but having either Gabe or Ariel on D throughout the entire game is stiffling.  With Gabe and Ariel and Roxy…..the Kills may have the edge on defense, but the Rehabs have the edge in goaltending.

Arya: would you believe that ramirez has yet to give up a goal thus far in the playoffs?  twin shutouts.  his fantasy owners are no doubt ecstatic, led by none other than ramirez himself

JW: he also has great defense in front of him, but he’s a stellar goalie

one year he subbed in for another team on the final game of the regular season and his winning that game helped Gut Rot (who was his full-time team at the time) avoid the play-in game. If I recall….the Hookers were the team he beat. I can’t recall who he was playing for. But he also won his Gut Rot game that day. It was awesome.

SULTAN FACT CHECK: “Eric actually won 3 games that day. The first was FK beating the Hookers 1-0. The best part was he was the Gut Rot goalie and during a late timeout, he had all the FK players huddled around him as he gave a speech. But Walker was right, it was indeed awesome. (And I think he got at least 2 shutouts, if not three)”

Arya: what would your prediction be for that game?

JW: i feel like i should be working since i am off thurs, fri and mon. ha (editors note: WRONG)

I predict a Rehabs win. You heard it here first. Fresh Kills suffers their first regulation loss of the season.  3-2 Rehabs. Maybe even 4-2.

Arya: ok so we’ve done the two rehabs matchups but lets say filthy is super pumped after having half the team run the marathon last week and they make it to the finals against the fresh kills.  the big storyline there would be that filthy was the only team to beat fresh kills this season, albeit in a somewhat controversial shootout.  how do you see that going?

JW: The shootout was only controversial after it was over…..the ball was in first…..

Though I do think Barch personally will be hungry to avenge that loss.  However, Filthier will be hard-pressed to win that game while missing both Dennis and Suvin.  But I wouldnt be surprised if one or both of them makes it back on Sunday….

Arya: have they played five games?  if not, would be interesting whether they’re given an exemption

JW:they would have to had asked for the exemption already.  and while we’re at it let’s talk about how stupid the exemption vote is….I maintain that it should just be like the regular season, with someone borrowing a player from another team……the captain of the opposing team has to approve it, individually, game by game. Period.

It’s ridiculous that someone else is voting who can play against MY team.

(this should all be in the article too, by the way. ha)

Arya: oh by the way ill try to send you a proof of this before the ranger game

JW: ok cool, thanks

i have tricia tonight, but should be able to look at it later

*trivia

Arya: oh i assumed tricia was a ladyfriend of yours

“i have tricia tonight” YEAH JW

final four features four excellent goalies…three are undoubtedly among leagues best (barch, ramirez, tim k) and zisser is one of the top rookies, especially when it comes to alcoholism.  his unorthodox style works in the net and, from what I’ve been told, in the bedroom.

JW: absolutely

personally, I havent seen Zisser play much…

and weirdly I have never really seen Barch play much.  i guess I dont find myself watching Fresh Kills much.

Arya: you’re all underdog all the time.  most of the league is though.  i mean who wasn’t pulling for math in that crazy QF match?

JW: i dunno about that one, a lot of people wanted Kai to win too, especially because Kai could have given the 1st division teams a run for their money.

Arya: i meant the crazy math/fresh kills game where they were up, then down, then tied it late

but on that topic, i was surprised kai went down so early…having put together the playoff pool, they were an incredibly popular sleeper pick.

Arya: so heres the thing – as we alluded to earlier, this was really an interesting year for the league, with standings so packed (aside from FK) yet you look at the final four and its four first division teams.  do you think this indicates there is a lot of parity, or no parity at all?

JW: i think we THOUGHT there was more parity this year (and to an extent, there was)….but it ended up maybe being an illusion.  we just got more of the same, in the end. Four 1st division teams.

Arya: but how much of that is the first division teams being best, and how much is a coincidence?  i mean lbs almost lost to WTP in the first round, math almost took out fresh kills in the QF…both were lucky to survive.

JW: i do think there may have been some luck involved…..

Arya: do you think the parity in the league is an issue?

JW: Rich does.  (dammit, he came up!  I was hoping he wouldn’t.)

Arya: rich doesn’t care about parity!  he wants every game to be the hunger games

where he plays the part of katniss when in reality he’s almost literally president snow

JW: rich thinks there should be two championships….like in OC.  he’s been saying it for years. he feels no lower division team can win it all anymore. i disagree. and was hoping to prove him wrong with Cobra Kai this season

ok….i cant talk THAT much longer and we have only done 2 matchups….and barely done those.  haha

wow, look at me, actually be the one COMBATING the ADHD

Arya: late nomination for upset of the year: JW combating ADHD rather than contributing to it

ok so filthy/fresh kills…how do you see that going?

JW: i see Fresh Kills playing a possession game….it will be tough for Filthy to play a possession game being that they are missing 2 of their stars. 

And while they have added a couple good guys this season…..those guys arent Dennis and Suvin. 

But Tim will remain steadfast in net, and give them a chance. Ultimately, I’m sorry to say…..I see Fresh Kills taking this one.

Arya: if they win, is that the greatest season in btsh history?

JW: I believe it would be.

SULTAN FACT CHECK: “I don’t remember anyone having a better season besides the 2010 Elves.

JW: This article is going to be terrible. Why are you making me talk about sports??

Arya: YOU LOVE SPORTS

ok and finally, lbs vs filthy

shockingly, lbs swept season series

6-3 and then 5-1, the 5-1 game being karsten’s heroic martin st louis moment

JW: I seem to remember the 6-3 score, and being surprised Filthy gave up that many…

hmm, the 2 respective underdogs in the final four…..the matchup I want to see……

Arya: and yet, its last years runner up vs the 2015 champion…but its as close to underdogs as we’re getting 

JW: Both teams should just shake hands and congratulate each other one taking out the 1 and 2 seeds, and call it a draw. No final game gets played. (this goes in the article, haha)

Arya: glanzer would LOVE that.  a championship game decided by a handshake/hug like the ending of lisa on ice

JW: Classic Simpsons episode. I will let Chadwick know you referenced it, when I see him at trivia tonight

Definitely as close to underdogs as we’re getting. There really is no true underdog to root for of the 4 remaining teams. 

ok, so, for real….lbs/filthy…..Is luke playing?  And that guy avery i don’t know?

Arya: luke and ave will be ready to party.  also don’t sleep on roberts in this one – first off, only emily gets to do that.  also, while he’s not a flashy player, that’s the type of guy you need in the playoffs – simple, effective north/south game with strong two-way instincts.

JW: I forgot about Roberts.  yeah he isnt flashy, but he is solid and tenacious.  Lbs. do have some good young guys….

let’s see….Filthy has the goaltending edge…..both teams have a lot of firepower….

last one…and i cant even close it out…ha

Arya: doesn’t bode well for tricia

JW: i think it would be a run and gun game on both sides, with a lot of fast breaks

Arya: if thats the case, it will come down to whose defense will hold (both teams’ best players are on O so that will be interesting).  and if zisser can match up with tim k.

JW: the neutral zone could get clogged, being that both teams have good centers who want give up much defensively….

but if both teams can break through that, that’s when those fast breaks come

unfortunately, i fear for your sake that Zisser may not be able to match Tim K

Arya: so you think in a lbs/filthy matchup, filthy win on the back of tim k?

JW: not necessarily….I am just not sure if James will be as effective without Suvin. However, James can do A LOT himself

Also Sunny and Shaq should never be overlooked, of course.

Arya: might come down to the ladies.  ann, kate et al vs ali, klion, liz et al

JW: Tim K may have to shoulder a lot of the burden, BUT Filthy will get their scoring chances, too.

I believe Filthy only have 3 girls on their roster.  Hopefully all 3 show up Sunday.

Arya: hopefully theres no rain sunday or we’re all screwed

JW: Prediction: Filthy jump out to an early lead, but Lbs. ultimately crush their hopes…..3-2 Lbs. (unless Dennis and Suvin play. Ha.)

Arya: ok two more questions before we mercifully bring this to a close

1) would an 8 seed winning the championship be the lowest in league history?  and 2) has a championship game ended in sudden death before?

or do we need to call glanzer in for these

JW: Gotta call him in.

the 8 seed winning is prob true….though it’s crazy because Lbs. are SUCH a GOOD 8 seed

SULTAN FACT CHECK: “Not only are the Lbs.not good but…I kinda remember an 8th seed winning once before

JW: In my time I do not believe a championship has ended in OT. 

SULTAN FACT CHECK: “Wrong, you stupid idiot (dummy). FK beat the Hookers in OT in 2014. And you know this. (Ariel scored and a week later he also scored the OT goal for Dependable Scrap. Both wins pale in comparison to his Cecil & Harambe World Championship)”

Arya: well at least we can agree on one thing: no matter what happens this weekend, rich and hicks will insist that fuzz won the championship

SULTAN FACT CHECK: “I know we lost. Ellery and Fatou put a Washington Caps Curse on Fuzz and now we can never get past the 2nd round!”

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