The duality of man. The duality of professional lacrosse.
On one end of the spectrum, we have the Archers.
This team has been a buzzsaw all summer long. They're 7-1 on the season, they've scored the 2nd highest amount of goals and have given up the fewest in the league. With that being the case, they obviously have the best scoring differential in the league at +23. This isn't anything new to the Archers, who have managed to consistently be one of the best regular season teams in the league over the past few years. But this is still a totally new-look Archers team that seems like they're built for a run at the championship. They have one of the best faceoff-specialists in the game, and one of the hottest goalies in the world. Something they've been lacking in the past few seasons.
A win tonight would lock them into the 1-seed heading into the playoffs and would give them a first round bye to the semifinals. They'll look to lock that up against the 4-4 Whipsnakes tonight at 9pm EST on ESPN2.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Chrome.
This team just got their dicks kicked in by Archers last weekend in Denver 13-5. That's just another day in the life of an abysmal summer for Chrome. They only have 1 win on the season, and that came in the final seconds of week 1. Ever since that season opener, they've lost 7 straight games. While they're tied for giving up the 2nd fewest goals in the league, they've only managed to score 64 all summer so far. The next lowest in the league is 88. Yikes.
A loss this weekend would all but lock them up as the only team in the league to not make the playoffs. 8 teams in the league, 7 make the playoffs with the top seed getting a bye. The Atlas only have 2 wins, so technically speaking the 8th spot wouldn't be completely locked in yet. But the Atlas scoring differential is -14, while the Chrome are sitting at -31. So they'd need to make up +17 goals to even have a chance. That ain't happening.
So the only way their season doesn't die this weekend is if they win out the rest of the way. I don't see that happening, but they'll at least have a chance to keep themselves alive tomorrow night at 8pm vs the 4-4 Redwoods.
At this point I think it would just be better off for everybody if they got this over with and got their shit shoved in tomorrow night.
PLL Week 9 Schedule // Seattle
Friday, 9pm // Archers (7-1) vs Whipsnakes (4-4) // ESPN2
Archers being able to lock up the 1-seed with a week left to go in the season would be huge. You don't want to stray too far into the rest vs rust debate, but winning tonight means they could start to rest guys next week. Get everybody the week off for the 1st round of the playoffs, and come back as healthy as possible for the semifinals. The Whipsnakes are already in the playoffs after a bumpy start to the season, so they aren't fighting for much this week. Give me Archers -1.5.
Friday, 11:30pm // Atlas (2-6) vs Cannons (5-3) // ESPN+
This will be the first week for the new look Atlas with Dylan Molloy in the lineup. They desperately need to get something going here to get their season on track. A win this week pretty much secures a playoff spot for them, and then anybody can get hot in the playoffs, I guess. But the Cannons are playing great ball this summer, and they are roughly a thousand times grittier than the Atlas. So I'm not completely sold on the Atlas pulling this one off, but they're playing for enough tonight to at least make it interesting. Atlas +1.5.
Saturday, 8pm // Chrome (1-7) vs Redwoods (4-4) // ESPN+
Please, just end the Chrome already. Redwoods -1.5 and the Under.
Saturday, 10:30pm // Chaos (4-4) vs Waterdogs (5-3) // ESPN+
Chaos vs Waterdogs. A bunch of good ol' Canadian boys in this matchup, so there's a chance we see things get chippy. But neither team really has a ton to play for, and it'll be the late game on a Saturday night. The fellas just want to be able to get out of there healthy. I'd expect this game to be incredible if it were the playoffs, but a week 9 matchup in Seattle? Might be a little watered down. Under 24.5 and everybody leaves happy.