Chaos vs. Chrome: Matchup Preview
By Doug Greenberg | Jul 24, 2020
Chaos and Chrome play the second half of Saturday’s Championship Series doubleheader at 7:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
The second game of the PLL Championship Series is a battle between two teams with something to prove following disappointing endings to the 2019 campaign.
Chaos finished last regular season with the best record in the league but were stunned by Whipsnakes and Redwoods in the playoffs to miss a chance to play in the Championship Game. Chrome, on the other hand, finished with the worst record in the league and lost out on the number one pick in the College Draft by dropping both of its postseason games.
Storylines to Watch
To say that Chrome overhauled its roster in the offseason could be something of an understatement; of the 22 men on the roster, only 10 were on the team last season. One storyline to watch will be at the faceoff stripe: Connor Farrell, despite his successes as the lone FO last season, may cede playing time to newcomer Hunter Forbes.
Additionally, this squad returns just one longpole, Mike Manley. As such, it will be interesting to see how the defensive and LSM units fare against a Chaos offense that led the league in scores (130), shooting percentage (31%), and two-point goals (12, tied with Whipsnakes) last season.
Speaking of the Chaos attack, though it lost midfielder Myles Jones to Redwoods in the offseason, it gained talented attackman Austin Staats, who is a prime breakout candidate for the Championship Series. On the other side of the field, the reigning Goalie of the Year Blaze Riorden is amazingly fighting for his job from Team Canada keeper Dillon Ward. At the time of writing, it’s anyone’s guess who will start this game but expect a potential tandem situation going forward in the Championship Series.
Connor Fields was a force at X last season: the Albany product scored a league-leading 17 unassisted goals and created 56 assist opportunities, the third-best mark in the league, though Fields’ teammates converted just 23.21 percent of these chances. It will likely fall to Jesse Bernhardt, the second overall pick in the Entry Draft, to contain Fields, and if the rest of this revamped Chrome defense can force those bad shots, much like it did in Week 6 last season, it could be a long night for Chaos.
Thanks to DraftKings, fans will now have the opportunity to bet on PLL games throughout the Championship Series. Chrome come into this matchup as 1.5 point underdogs, but at -165, the play there isn’t too enticing. Alternatively, taking Chrome on a +135 moneyline, though risky, could really get the blood pumping. After all, with so many unknowns surrounding the team, it may be a good time to take advantage.
This game represents a massive opening for each of these teams to flip the script right at the onset of the Championship Series. For Chaos, it’s a chance to remind everybody that it had the best record in the league last season and shake the moniker of the “forgotten” team.
For Chrome, it’s an opportunity to show that it can be a contender despite its shortcomings in the last campaign. This team is coming in with a massive chip on its shoulder and would immediately put the league on notice with a win here.
You can catch this heated matchup Saturday at 7:30 PM ET only on NBCSN.