The Crease King
By Jake Watts | Apr 13, 2020
The Crease: a 255 square foot forcefield enclosing the goal. The painted circles serve as the last line of defense for goalies and teams guard their crease as if it were the Red Keep. Numerous offensive players who lay siege upon the crease will also often pay a price for getting too close. Conquering the crease is no easy feat in the PLL and few players maneuver their way past the vanguard to duel with the gatekeeper. Attackers and keepers alike fight for the title of “Crease King”.
The first recipient of the coveted Crease King crown is Atlas LC Attackman, Eric Law. No one is better at infiltrating the enemy's gates and Law is the PLL’s specialist at finding the weakest point of the defense and ransacking on the doorstep.
The two yards of earth in front of the crease are truly “No Man’s Land”. This hostile area makes both invaders and defenders the most vulnerable to opposing ambushes. As always, the long-sticks are also patrolling the area and eagerly waiting to induce pain on any short-stick raiders. In 2019, the league’s leader in successful missions across the heavily defended battle site is the “5 & In” unit officer.
Eric Law’s Five Yards & In Ranks
Shots: 35 (T-1st)
Goals: 21 (1st)
Shooting: 60% (1st)
Average shot distance: 4.53 Yards (Closest in the PLL)
Here is a map of his strikes on enemy territory.
Every soldier has a role and Law takes the claim as Atlas LC’s assassin. This bull consistently tiptoes around the opposition and attacks when the enemy’s guard is down. Law’s strategy is all about understanding his opponent's positioning and then influencing his adversary’s perception. The veteran is a master of disguising his intentions. One second he is an outlet and the next he is sneaking behind enemy lines.
However, the beauty of Law’s game is in the details. His spacing not only puts the first slide in a bind but also takes out the second slide as neither crease defender recognizes Law until it is too late. In the clip shown above, had Law been parked on the crease at the start of the dodge it would have been easy pickings for the Archers.
While others are playing checkers, Law is playing chess. The savvy player knows the Atlas LC knights will preoccupy the defenders and, at the same time, he is analyzing for counter measures to predict the second-third slides. He always knows beforehand what the defense is going to do and it makes his skillset so invaluable. Four of Law’s nine assisted goals in settled situations were on the second pass of the initiation. Truly impressive.
Again, his spacing throughout the play is ingenious. He stays active backside, floats high to not set the crease alarm and then cuts back to the ball to evade the Bryce Young trail check. Law’s field awareness is second to none.
The attackman is one of the toughest covers in the league. The key to Law’s success is his constant movement. He presents a target and is subsequently able to put his defenders in difficult positions. Law had a stellar first season, but there's no doubt he will have to make adjustments in year two.
It is no secret that Atlas LC acquired Team USA X-Attackman, Rob Pannell. Pannell excels in dodging from behind the cage - the spot Law primarily operated from last year. For the new attack unit to be cohesive, Law will have to be a nuisance above GLE rather than below, for the most part.
There is no cause for concern though; the vet is unselfish by nature and can work with any roster. Law will have to find new ways to penetrate the opposing force’s front lines and we can expect an equally impressive output in the upcoming season. He is the Crease King for a reason.