Chaos vs. Waterdogs: Matchup Preview
By Josh Schafer | Aug 1, 2020
The Waterdogs and Chaos enter Saturday’s matchup looking for their first win of the Championship Series. Both teams played Friday night, with the Waterdogs losing 13-12 to Chrome and Chaos falling 12-7 to the Whipsnakes.
The loser of this game will solidify themselves as the only team without a win through four games of group play.
So how good is the Waterdogs defense?
The expansion team has struggled thus far through three games. But most of those struggles have come from lackluster performances on offense. In all three games, the Waterdogs have had scoring droughts that last more than a quarter, yet they’ve always stayed in the game.
On Saturday, those offense droughts might not matter as the Waterdogs meet the worst offense in the PL, through three games. While the Chaos have allowed the same amount of points as the Waterdogs, 11 points, the Chaos offense has totaled 23 points.
Brodie Merrill, the leader of last year’s Chaos defense, was left unprotected during the expansion draft. In the spring, Merrill was scooped by Waterdogs and has led the new team’s defense since. If Merrill and company can silence the Chaos offense, as many other defenses have, the Waterdogs should find their first win in the PLL.
Like many of the Chaos’ games this Championship Series, the faceoffs stripe may be a determining factor in this game. Through three games, the Chaos have won 36% of its faceoffs, while the Waterdogs have won 53% of their faceoffs. In their most recent game, Waterdogs faceoff specials Drew Simoneau scored two goals.
It’s a simple point, but if the Chaos can’t find a way to win draws at the faceoff stripe, or at least limit transition opportunities, it’ll be a tough hill to climb for the team’s first win.
With two 0-3 teams, this game will decide who sits in last place and draws the PLL’s second-best game come the elimination round. While this game doesn’t eliminate anyone from the tournament, it should provide insight into which one of these two teams could figure it out before the elimination round begins.