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Battalion Prepare for Important Weekend in Fort Myers

Forward Bryson Walz carrying the puck up Ice.

As the Bold City Battalion approach the halfway point of the season, Premier comes upon one of the most important weekends of the season. A three-game series with the division leading Florida Eels. Although the Battalion trail Florida by seven points in the standings, they have enough games at hand to make up the spread. Given both team's remaining showcase schedule wining or losing this weekend series could determine whether the Battalion control their own destiny in the division title race.

Winning in Regulation is Important

Of course winning any game is in important, but in division games against a team you are chasing in the standings carry extra weight. As it stands Bold City has four games at hand on the Eels. This means that if the Battalion win those four games they would leapfrog Florida into first place. Three of those games are against Atlanta (who matched up well against the Battalion) and 1 of them are against Palm Beach. However, if the Battalion lose this series the spread would be too much to cover by winning the games at hand. On the other hand, if Bold City wins 2-of-3 this weekend it would put them only 5 points back while keeping the four games at hand. Meaning Bold City could in theory lose one of their games at hand and still win the division.

Being that it is an in division series winning in regulation matters. The more games that go into overtime, the less points the Battalion make up. The Eels would have to get just one game to overtime in order to force the Battalion to win all of its games at hand to avoid a tie at the end of the year. Now this weekend won't determine who wins the division. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that Eels would lose games they are supposed to win. However, when dealing with a team that doesn't do that often it is important to control your own destiny. Winning this series, and winning the games in regulation will, at least for the time being, ensure that the Battalion control their own destiny.

Showcase Schedules

Playing four games in three days is no easy feat but couple that with playing two to three of the best teams in the country and you have yourself a tough weekend. This is what Bold City will deal with at both the Florida and Tampa showcases. The Battalion will face 5 teams in the Dan K Show power rankings over the course of their reaming eight showcase games. This includes three in the top 10 of which number-one Charlotte and number-three Carolina come on the same day.

Compared to Bold City the Florida Eels have a lighter showcase schedule. Only 4 of their opponents are a part of the power rankings while only two are in the top 10. Likewise Florida only plays one top five opponent through the remainder if their showcase schedule. Given the Florida usually wins the games its supposed to, its likely to imagine them having a record worse than 3-1 at either of the showcases. This makes this weekend's series even more important. Picking up points in this series allows for a little bit of breathing room at the showcases.

Why This Series

Of course this is not the only time that the Eels and Battalion will square off. They meet again for a three-game set the first season of February to close out the season series. So why is this series more important than the one later in season? Truthfully, it might not be. If the division race is close down the home stretch those could actually be the most meaningful games of the season. However, that only happens if Bold City win this series. If they don't, they will have to rely on other teams beating Florida in order to gain points. Which given Florida's track record against inferior teams, the Eels might well run away with the Division by that point. Thus rendering the series in February almost meaningless for a title race.

Don't Forget About Elite

Although it is unlikely that Elite will prevail in a series vs the Eels it is a great point to see how the team is growing. Over the last month and change they have gone from losing 12-1 to Tampa Bay to losing by a score of 7-4. This included holding a 2-0 lead in the most recent game. Something they hadn't done in the previous two contests. This is bolstered by the fact that they are receiving some much needed reinforcements. Michael Gugliotta (tied for the team lead in points) will be taking a more permanent role on the team after spending some time with premier. The same can be said about Cal Cady. For each an opportunity log top line minutes and help reinforce some of the good things growing. Hunter Kifer has points in three of his last five games. The same can be said about Brody Szostak. These young men are starting to find ways to put some things together. Now it's time to see if they can take it a step further and be competitive against the eels.

Let's also not forget that Elite is currently in a playoff spot. As of today they sit one point above both Florida and Palm Beach for the last spot. Both The Jr. Blades and Typhoon have already played and lost this weekend. Florida is in Atlanta for a three game series and lost 2-0 to the Madhatters last night. Palm Beach also played last night in Tampa and lost 6-0. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that both teams do not win a game this weekend rendering Bold City's result meaningless for playoff race. However, if the Battalion could somehow squeeze out a point this weekend it would help to solidify their chance at hanging on to that last playoff spot.

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