PLL Power Rankings Week 2: Chrome Is A Wagon

(Photo Courtesy PLL)

The PLL saw a couple lopsided victories, a scoreline that felt a lot closer than the final outcome, and an overtime thriller as the finale to top it off.

The Whipsnakes edged out the Waterdogs in overtime thanks to a gutsy comeback that showed how valuable their experience in one-goal close games was. The Redwoods’ stock plummeted via the lowest scoring output in PLL history. Atlas asserted themselves last week and kept it going this week. Chaos have one more week until their NLL cavalry arrives.

Let’s get to power ranking!

1. Atlas

  • Last time out: 16-8 W vs. Cannons
  • Next game: vs. Whipsnakes, Friday 8:45 pm (ESPN +)
  • Differential score: 14
  • Last week: 1

The Bulls brought a hangover from the Week 1 first-placed ranking power rankings for the first 10 minutes of the first quarter, but then Trevor Baptiste completely took over. Atlas scored three straight goals to end the first quarter, highlighted by a spin and dunk from Baptiste, to spur on a devastating 11-0 run. ESPN commentator Anish Shroff said on the broadcast Ben Rubeor’s group has set themselves apart in a different tier from the rest of the league and at this point, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

2. Whipsnakes

  • Last time out: 12-11 W (OT) vs. Waterdogs
  • Next game vs. Atlas, Friday at 8:45 pm (ESPN +)
  • Scoring differential: 2
  • Last week: 2

If you’ve been following along with Terry’s Top 20 columns throughout the college season, you’ve read about the “can’t lower a team that just won” rule. It’s good rationale, but this week that rule was put to the ultimate test as a team ranked just below them now had dominated and sports a far better scoring differential after two games. But the two-time title winners keep their No. 2 spot because of that championship pedigree and the experience and belief required to pull off the comeback against the Waterdogs on Saturday night was on full display.

3. Chrome

  • Last time out: 12-3 W vs. Redwoods
  • Next game: vs. Waterdogs, Friday at 6 pm (ESPN +)
  • Differential score: 10
  • Last week: 4

When head coach Tim Soudan drafted JT Giles-Harris with the third overall pick in the 2021 PLL Draft, he was addressing a need (Curtis Corley was sent to the holdout list). Not at least leveraging the NCAA’s all-time face-off wins leader to the team who clearly wanted a face-off guy in the Redwoods who drafted fourth seemed like a head scratcher at first. Ierlan doing as well as he did (tied with Baptiste for best FO% in at 65% as a rookie) and Giles-Harris missing his debut season due to an injury he suffered at the end of the season with Duke seemed to have confirmed that notion.

Fast forward to this season and Connor Farrell (who went 48% in 2021) went 67% against Ierlan, and Giles-Harris helped solidify one of the best pro defensive outputs in recent times thanks to his cover job on Rob Pannell. After going without a goal in his debut following an exhausting week, No. 1 pick Logan Wisnauskas scored five goals vs. the ‘Woods. The Chrome wagon is getting as hot as Atlas with those kinds of performances.

4. Cannons

  • Last time out: 8-16 L vs. Atlas
  • Next game: vs. Archers, 4 pm on Saturday (ESPN +)
  • Differential score: -2
  • Last week: 3

Without Lyle Thompson, the Cannons were dominated against the league’s clear best team at a huge face-off disparity. There were a few positives in that second-round pick Asher Nolting looked good as the quarterback in the possessions the offense did get, Brodie Merrill returned and can still deliver huge hits at age 40 years old, and they don’t have to gameplan against Baptiste again this regular season.

5. Archers

  • Last time out: 17-12 W vs. Chaos
  • Next game: vs. Cannons, 4 pm on Saturday (ESPN +)
  • Differential score: 4
  • Last week: 6

The Archers struggled to close that win out against Chaos, but a win is a win in this league. Matt Moore was the stellar version of himself he showed in Charlottesville. His three goals and assist showed off the power dodging and efficient shooting (60%) that made him a two-time college champion. Tre LeClaire got involved with an impressive take on the right wing for one of his two goals. Will Manny showed off his off-hand and put five total in to move into ninth all-time in career points at the pro field level. Tom Schreiber’s spin and sidearm 2-bomb was elite. Adam Ghitelman’s hit was electric. Things are looking up for Chris Bates’ men.

6. Waterdogs

  • Last time out: 11-12 L (OT) vs. Whipsnakes
  • Next game: 6 p.m. Waterdogs on Friday (ESPN +)
  • Differential score: -7
  • Last week: 8

It was night and day from the Waterdogs when comparing their opening weekend performance to Week 2. Unfortunately for coach Andy Copelan, Jake Withers got hurt on a wild backhander attempt in the second quarter, and Chris Sabia pulled up with an apparent hamstring issue a couple clears later to hinder their LSM depth. Michael Sowers, Jack Hannah and Co. tried to hang on to the lead they had built, but the misfortune caught up to them and were no match to the Whips’ late game execution.

7. Chaos

  • Last time out: 12-17 L vs. Archers
  • Next game: 1 p.m. Redwoods on Saturday (ABC)
  • Differential score: -6
  • Last week: 7

No movement for the reigning champions this week as the bigger news than LSM CJ Costabile willing his squad back in the contest against an Archers club was the fact that the Mammoth forced a Game 3 in the NLL Finals. Dhane Smith, Josh Byrne, Chase Fraser, Chris Cloutier, Tehoka Nanticoke, Max Adler, and Ian MacKay will all play one more week of indoor before returning to the 2K22 field tour.

8. Redwoods

  • Last time out: 3-12 L vs. Chrome
  • Next game: vs. Chaos, 1 pm on Saturday (ABC)
  • Differential score: -15
  • Last week: 5

The Redwoods shot at Sean Sconone’s net 19 times in the first half. In the second half, the ‘Woods managed four shots, two of which hit twine. That’s a “throw out the film and move on” type of performance akin to the Atlas’ season-opening loss a summer ago. Can Nat St. Laurent inspires a similar rally to the top?

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