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PLL Power Rankings: Atlas stay on top, everyone else moves

Week three in the books, now everyone has played at least two games. Two teams have played four. The Atlas are without a doubt the top of the table right now. Whatever you want to rank, they probably lead it. But otherwise, teams are battling. Even the winless team in last place has two OT losses. A team missing their DC held Carolina to seven goals. Really, the standings to me are a clear one, and then 2A through 2G. It’s going to be a battle.


1. New York Atlas (4-0) Last Week: 1


The Atlas got to 4-0 with a win over California this week. They put up a 20 spot on the Woods and shot 42%. Second time this year they shot north of 40% as a team. The best team shooting percentage in the PLL since the league launched is 33.1% by the 2021 Cannons. That team shot over 40% twice all season. The Atlas are currently shooting 36.5%. Jeff Teat has hit the 30 point mark and the season is four games old. New York is cooking. They activated Jake Stevens and Payton Cormier this week, they’ll need to start working them into the 19 man roster without upsetting the rhythm this team is in.


2. Utah Archers, (2-1). Last Week: 5


Despite the fact that the only regular member of the coaching staff on the sideline in Philadelphia was Chris Bates, the Archers held Carolina to just seven goals and won 9-7. Tony Resch was coaching LaSalle in the PA state title game and Brian Kavanagh had a personal commitment, so Matt McMahon showed up to serve as DC, and it looked like Nick Washuta ran the box. Brett Dobson might be the talk of the MVP race if not for what Teat is doing. To see Utah, with a young defense that’s still a work in progress, get a win in a defensive battle should be encouraging for Archers fans.


3. Boston Cannons (2-1) Last Week: 2


The faceoff has never been more back. The Cannons won in overtime on a goal from Zac Tucci, which made him the team’s leading scorer on the day. Tucci also hit a hail mary two pointer from 30 yards out just before the half time whistle. Tucci dressed against a Waterdogs team with no specialist, his four points made a massive difference. Boston’s defense has been very good the past last two games even with all the personnel turnover and missing pieces, a serious testament to Kyle Hartzell as the DC.


4. Carolina Chaos (2-2) Last Week: 3


Carolina had plenty of good looks agains the Archers this week but couldn’t can them. Brett Dobson stole some, but Carolina also made it a little too easy for him at times. Shots he could easily pick up and track that didn’t make him move were happening too frequently. Shooting on one of the best goalies in the world, you know he’s going to steal a few goals from you, you can’t make it easier by giving him some easy ones too. Carolina’s defense only allowed nine goals, usually a winning formula in the PLL, but the team’s down shooting day did them in. Jack Rowlett broke his stick on the goal after the game, a sentiment that, it appeared, was shared by many on the Chaos sideline.


5. Denver Outlaws (1-1) Last Week: 4


The Outlaws were on a bye this week, meaning two straight weekends off for them with the league bye coming. Up next in Minnesota, a date with the Redwoods.


6. Maryland Whipsnakes (1-2). Last Week: 8


Whips break into the W column in dramatic fashion. They shook up the roster a bit, particularly in the midfield, and got immediate dividends. Zed Williams drilled a two, and Jack Koras looked very effective in his debut. In OT, Brendan Krebs stole a game winner from the Waterdogs with a remarkable doorstep save, and Matt Rambo hit the game winner on the ensuing possession. After the league bye, the Whips may have Levi Anderson in the lineup, and possibly Tucker Dordevic back, suddenly making them a very dangerous team.


7. California Redwoods (0-2). Last Week: 7


The Redwoods hung tough with Atlas for the first quarter, but the Bulls ran away with it after that. The Woods had a 5-3 lead after one, but got outscored 17-10 the rest of the way. California is still a team getting used to each other with so many new faces. Post game, Nat St Laurent used the now famous Dan Hurley quote, “you better get us now.” Two major factors in this game. Ryder Garnsey was electric early, but the Atlas switched the matchup and put Gavin Adler on him, which quieted him down a lot. Second, the Redwoods controlled the faceoffs. TD Ierlan was excellent, going 24-34, and the Woods wings outplayed the Atlas wings, no small feat. The Woods also had to battle through the loss of Chris Fake to a hamstring injury, using Brian Tevlin at pole to spell Jared Conners at times. Playing a pole short, against the Atlas, in that heat, is impossible. It’s not really an excuse, it’s reality. It becomes when, not if, you get to tired to defend the Atlas attack.


8. Philadelphia Waterdogs (0-3). Last Week: 6


Unusual territory for the Dogs. They were 0-3 in the 2020 bubble season, but have been 0-3 otherwise. Lax twitter is doing what it does, pushing the panic button, blaming the faceoff (or lack thereof when it comes to specialists), goaltending, all sorts of things. The reality is, the Waterdogs have two OT losses and the other is by a goal. They have put the ball in the net as many times or more than their opponent in every game, but have lost because of twos. The Dogs have yet to hit a two this year. Jack Hannah was activated this week, he’s a good enough shooter to help there. Philly has the league bye week, and then Carolina.

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