FL 3s – #2 Wolves vs #1 Shadow – 6PM EST
Quarterfinals: 3-1 vs Hurricanes (GD: +9)
Conference finals: 4-3 vs Foxes (GD: +2)
Journey to the grand finals: The Wolves were set for success in the playoffs with their regular season series record of 7-3. They dropped game 1 against the Hurricanes in the Quarterfinals, but bounced back and scored 8 goals in game 4 to win the series. Their Conference Finals match went much longer – to a full 7 games. The Foxes won the first 3 games, almost secure in their victory until the Wolves activated on match point to reverse sweep.
Player Profile: Bender- In the playoffs, Bender has been the primary Wolves striker. In the regular season, they averaged 2.48 shots per game and a whopping 1.37 goals per game – the highest in FL 3s. In addition to this, Bender holds the highest MVPR of all players in both of their playoff series, signaling that they are a threat to their opponents outside of just scoring.
Player Profile: thepiggybuggy- Thepiggybuggy is the grinder of the team, with 618 MLE games on record. That’s more than both their 3s teammates combined. They contribute to the offensive pressure of the Wolves with their 1.93 average shots per game.
Player Profile: Anu.- Anu. is the proud holder of the most saves in the regular MLE FL 3s season. It’s a good stat to have under one’s belt, but could signal that the team has a defensive issue that leads to them being scored on so much. No matter the reason for the amount of shots being sent at the Wolves net, Anu. is able to save them confidently.
Quarterfinals: 3-0 vs Flames (GD: +10)
Conference finals: 4-2 vs Elite (GD: +4)
Journey to the grand finals: Compared to the Wolves, the Shadow have had a relatively chill run to the Grand Finals. This is expected of a first seed team with a 7-3 series record and a 32-18 game record. The Elite did take 2 games off the Shadow, so they are not indestructible.
Player Profile: Aquatic – Aquatic is at the top of the FL 3s scoreboard for lowest shooting percentage against – meaning that when Aquatic is in the game, their opponents on average only get 28% of their shots in. Aquatic is not near the top of any leaderboards in saves, which lets us know that their defensive ability lies in disrupting plays and stopping shot angles rather than waiting in net.
Player Profile: Mighty – Mighty has an impressive 912 MLE games played on record. The nonstop grind is commendable, and is the key to making a playoff ready team. They are the main striker of the team, with an average of 3.48 shots per game and 1.65 goals per game.
Player Profile: mentalmentis – Out of all 6 players in tonight’s match, mentalmentis is the strongest 4mans player. Of course this is a Standard playoff match but mental has put in 35 games and has a 72.1 rating. Of course mental can’t leave all the scoring to Mighty, and also contributes an average 3.45 shots per game and 1.58 goals per game.
AL 3s – #6 Wizards vs #1 Hive – 7PM EST
This grand final is going to be a fantastic match. I can tell you that much right now with full confidence. The Wizards and Hive are the two most in form teams in academy league 3s. That may sound obvious, but it has to be said. And with that being said, let’s talk about the narrative that I think the casters may try to sell you. That this is a David v Goliath scenario. And if you look at it only briefly and see “Hive (1) vs Wizards (6)”, you’d probably be inclined to agree. Let me tell you why you’re wrong.
First, the Wizards were extremely close to clinching the 3 or 4 seed. If that week 10 loss to the Demolition is 3-2 instead of 5-0, the Wizards finish as the 4 seed. If they win 3-2, they take the 3 seed. Second, this team has been ROLLING through the playoffs. On average, they are finishing their series with the following stats: +9 Shot Differential, +7.33 Goal Differential, average team mvpr of 3.415. In week 1 of the playoffs, I foolishly said the Wizards would have to play lights out to beat the sharks. They did so, easily. In my defense, they had not yet fielded the Rockstar trio of Jonsey, Trouble, and Royalty at all yet.
ORANGE CONFERENCES CHAMPIONS – WIZARDS
Playoff Form 10-2 // Regular Season Form 27-23
Expected Lineup: Jonsey // Trouble // Royalty
An offensively gifted team, the Wizards seem to score when they want and how they want. Jonsey is one of those players who can just make goals happen it seems like. While he is no slouch on offense either, Trouble is the veritable third man who makes this offensive machine tick. Royalty brings the physical play to the table, striking fear into all who he chases. Oh, and he also likes to score nutty redirects. Not a Cat – easily the best 10.5 in the league – will surely be watching and waiting should his services be needed.
BLUE CONFERENCES CHAMPIONS – HIVE
Playoff Form 7-2 // Regular Season Form 35-15
Expected Lineup: poisson // Crusty Cribbits // Incogneato
If you checked the author of this piece I hope I don’t have to say it but, grain of salt etc etc.
The Hive have found success as a team oppressive in the midfield. They don’t necessarily score a ton, but they concede even less. The team is very fluid and has no designated roles, with all three players willing to do what it takes. They are the number one seed for a reason, avenging their only regular season loss this past week in a 4-1 rout of the Jets to claim the blue conference title. After season 12 the AL Hive was completely rosterless, having only their three drafted players – poisson, Dougie Jones, and Revolting Hades. First round pick poisson was given the captain band and tasked with building a team. Quoted as saying “I just want to Moneyball this league”, I think he must be pleased as his team is grand finals bound (EDITORS NOTE: he is J).
Prediction: As genuinely unbiased as I can be, I am going to predict a game 7 OT winner. The wizards are a fantastic offensive powerhouse who can create goals out of thin air. The Hive are a seemingly unmovable object who refuse to concede goals. The real question is who shows up on their A game this Sunday. Either team can win it all.
c’est la vie bien sûr
CL 3s – #5 Sabres vs #2 Rhinos – 8PM EST
The Sabres roster took down the Rhinos roster last night in the Doubles Grand Finals. Mople and Buttermilk Biscuit won 4 – 2 against The End Of You and Spidey720.
Play-ins: 3-1 vs Ducks (GD: +4)
Quarterfinals: 3-0 vs Knights (GD: +4)
Conference finals: 4-3 vs Wolves (GD: +5)
Journey to the grand finals: In our first of two rematches from last night, the Sabres are looking to build upon their CL Doubles Grand Finals win against the Rhinos. The Conference Finals found much tougher opponents for the Sabres as they went to game 7 after cruising in prior rounds. They look to become the second franchise to two-peat in a single league.
Player Profile: Buttermilk Biscuit- Buttermilk Biscuit has assisted 26 goals over the course of the season, putting them in 2nd on the CL stat leaderboard. In a tense series against the Wolves, Buttermilk was the MVPR leader.
Player Profile: Needless- Needless is the highest scoring Sabres player with a total of 38 goals over the course of the regular season. This averages out to 1.09 goal per game, though in the playoffs they have also been a top defender in addition to the expected goals. Needless doesn’t often make 2s appearances and will be a great asset for the 3s Grand Finals.
Player Profile: Frehgrunce- Their 3s playoff performance has varied, as Frehgrunce was at the bottom of the MVPR scoreboard against the Wolves but solidly at the top against the Knights. They have perfectly balanced stats, and Frehgrunce’s strength most likely comes from solid 3s play with teammates they are familiar with.
Play-ins: 3-0 vs Pandas (GD: +4)
Quarterfinals: 3-1 vs Elite (GD: +0)
Conference finals: 4-3 vs Outlaws (GD: +0)
Journey to the grand finals: The Rhinos will be looking to stop the Sabres CL dominance and avenge their loss in Doubles last night. The Rhinos also had a much tougher Conference Finals going to game 7 after putting away previous opponents in just 4 games.
Player Profile: The End Of You- The End of You is 10th in CL for average MVPR at 3.45. They’ve already beaten players with “better” MVPRs in early rounds of the playoffs.
Player Profile: Spidey720- Spidey720 has been the highest shooting, scoring, and saving player thus far for the Rhinos playoffs run. In their last match against the Outlaws, Spidey scored 7 of the 10 total games for their team. While being a star scorer, they also managed to save 17 of the total 26 shots made on their net.
Player Profile: Smitty Cena- Sitty Cena is the only member of his team who made it into the top 10 of CL 3s for goals and shots. They bring the offensive firepower to the team that should give the Rhinos a better chance in 3s than they had in 2s.
ML 3s – #1 Flames vs #5 Sabres – 9PM EST
The Flames as the number one seed out of the Orange Conference come into these grand finals like a well-oiled machine. They received a first round bye, handled the Sharks with relative ease sweeping them 3-0, then defeated the Tyrants 4-2 this past weekend. As strong as they looked, there is a little bit of doubt surrounding this team. In their series win against the Tyrants, they went down 0-2 in the series and subbed in Gala for Carsn before game 3. After their substitution, the Flames went on an absolute tear and rattled off four straight wins. It is yet to be seen who we will see alongside Sulace and Remy this weekend. In either case, if we see the Carsn who played in the Sharks series or the Gala we saw in the Tyrants series, the Flames will be simply formidable. Specifically Remy, who finished the regular season as a defensive monster being top 10 in goals against per game, score against per game, and shooting percentage against.
Though the Sabres did not get the results they were looking for in doubles, they were able make their way to the championship finals for standard, representing the blue conference. The Sabres had a difficult path up until this point. In their first-round match up, they swept the fourth seeded Lightning in convincing fashion. They followed up that performance with a 3-1 victory over the third seeded Knights, then a 4-2 win over the Ducks in the conference finals. The Sabres have been running a slightly different lineup for standard, in comparison to their double’s duo. The trio of Liotta, Godkitty, and Roman have been putting up beastly numbers all post season. In the series against the Knights and Ducks, one of them leads the way offensively, putting up an MVPR over 4.0, while the other two support with MVPRs ranging between 2.5-3.5. This high octane and balanced attack has been difficult to handle, which is evident with their ability to take down incredibly talented teams.
The playoffs are all about resiliency and being able to perform under pressure. The Flames exhibited that ability to perform during their Tyrants series. That experience will aid them greatly in the grand finals. However, the Sabres have taken down several strong opponents and are looking to make up for a disappointing end to their doubles season. The largest question mark is around the Flames starting roster come Sunday. They may very well go with the hot hand and start Gala after their impressive display against the Tyrants. If Gala does start, they will be the only non 16+ salary player in the lobby. If they perform like they did against the Tyrants, then that point is rather mute. On the other hand, if the pressure gets to them, and they struggle to be consistent against top salaried players, the series could get away from the Flames. Either way, this series will go six or seven games, with both teams possessing the ability to secure that elusive championship title.
PL 3s – #1 Knights vs #1 Pirates – 10PM EST
Last night, the Knights went 4 – 1 over the Pirates in the PL Doubles Grand Finals.
Conference finals: 4-1 vs Hawks (GD: +4)
Journey to the grand finals: The Knights had a long time off before jumping back into things with their 4-1 victory over the Hawks in the Conference Finals. Windle and Perma were able to bring home the Doubles Grand Finals last night, and Evil joins them tonight as the second team looking for a two-peat.
Player Profile: Perma- Perma is scary to play against. Last night against the Pirates they racked up a 6.03 MVPR. Perma has an average 528 points per game which is well above average for PL. This season Perma only has 3 series on record for 3s, which makes sense for a player that just took the 2s ship last night. As long as Perma is as familiar with 3s as they are with 2s, this game will go in their direction.
Player Profile: Windle- It just takes a quick look at PL stats to realize that Windle is a star player. With an average 3.99 MVPR, 1.31 goals per game, and 1.84 saves per game, anything is possible with Windle on your team. They have great chemistry with Perma and have also performed well in 3s.
Player Profile: Evil- Evil is the 3s addition to the core Knights 2s team that already defeated the pirates. Much like Perma, they have a high points per game average at 520.66. Evil can be a shooter but is not as much of a scorer, which is balanced by their defensive skills. Evil holds opponents to a 24% shot percentage which is 4th in PL.
Conference finals: 4-2 vs Tyrants (GD: +4)
Journey to the grand finals: The Pirates are hoping to avenge their loss last night in Doubles and win their first ever Grand Finals for the franchise. With the momentum of a win over the Tyrants in the Conference Finals, the Pirates know they’ll need to bring their A game in order to bring home the title.
Player Profile: Tater- Tater has made the most total shot attempts in PL, which leads to an average of 1.48 goals per game. Last night was rough as Tater was shut down by the Hawks. Despite not being able to score much, we can expect Tater to continue peppering the net for openings.
Player Profile: madmaxrk- Madmaxrk sits right under Tater with total shot attempts in PL. The two of them create an offensive storm. Max sinks almost exactly as many shots as Tater, and these two players achieve a special balance on the 2s field.
Player Profile: KILT- KILT is the 3s addition to the roster for the night. They are a steady and consistent 3rd that brings chill vibes to the team, finding ways to contribute without being much of a solo superstar.