The 2021 championship matchup in The Price is Right was a blowout. It seemed only fitting that the only time Top of the Rock reached the final game of the season, then bowed out with grace. The boys may have been losers in the end, but the franchise’s most successful season was a bittersweet swan song.
If we had the opportunity to edit our lineup daily, we actually would have won the championship. The numbers are always calculated based on our bench numbers, not on our opponents, so there is no accurate way to tell the final numbers. However, when you plug in our wasted bench numbers, we would have turned a 7-2-1 loss into a 5-4-1 victory.
Our most significant complaint about The Price is Right is what makes the league unique. They set the rules over a decade ago, and the managers have adapted to play within them. We’ve struggled to compete with those rules for three seasons, which is why part of us is happy to have lost in the big game, which makes our exit easier.
The plan for Top of the Rock is to return to the public leagues where daily lineup changes are more than welcome.
On paper, the final score was 7-2-1 in favour of the champions, but five categories were decided by less than five points, meaning the matchup was up for grabs for the majority of the week.
Donkey Kong Country secured goals by one point (10-9), and the goalie wins by the same margin (2-1). Their victory in assist was three points (11-8), but it was in shots on goals and plus/minus rating where they opened things up, winning by a +10 rating (11-1) and 19 shots, 87-68.
Both teams tied goalie shutouts with zero, while Kong proved to have the better tandem, employing both Vegas Golden Knights goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner, who posted outstanding numbers 1.97 and 0.933. Those numbers were much better than Igor Shesterkin (New York) and Brayden Holtby (Vancouver), who was shelled in a handful of their outings to the tone of 2.56 GAA and just a 0.912 save percentage.
Top of the Rock walked away with more penalty minutes, 15-5 and power-play points 5-3.The title game started in our favour, but by Wednesday, we lost two crucial players, Viktor Arvidsson (Nashville) and Patric Hornqvist (Florida), who went down with injuries. Losing those players put us at a disadvantage, only rolling out eight eligible players for the remainder of the series.
The score stayed close through Friday, then the wheels fell off, the offensive dried up, and our goalies got a tan from the goal light. This last matchup was by far our worse of the season as we failed to score more than two points for the first time.
Donkey Kong avenged a beat down (9-1) from week two, which happened to be our best matchup all season. To add insult to injury, they also took the cup away from us.Despite finishing second overall in the standings, Top of the Rock was one of the worse teams on paper and in the stat column. The team’s only category that earned some respect was save percentage, which was 4th best in the league.
There were four categories: the seventh-best numbers, assists, penalty minutes, shots on goals, and goals-against average. The team racked up the eighth-most penalty minutes while scoring the ninth most goals. The boys had the ninth worse plus-minus rating, finishing as the lowest team with a positive rating.
Between the pipes, our netminders had the 10th most shutouts and the league’s worse win total.
As the 2021 season came to a close, the top three teams finished in the same order as they did in the regular season.
Donkey Kong Country (1st) rolled over Top of the Rock (2nd), while the 2020 champ, Benn Tallon Sens Won (3rd), mopped up Bros Before Ahos, who finished in 4th overall after finishing the regular season in 6th.
In other matchups, The Real Deal (7th) slaughtered Horcoff’s Manly Wife (8th) while two bottom teams, GLASS OF MARLEAU (9th), tied No Ice in Ireland (10th).
Teams without matchups this week were B Gallo (5th) and Bettmans Bubble (6th), Carmine’s Team (11th), Haz&Franz (12th).
As we mentioned in the opening, a handful of categories won the championship matchup, and we had those numbers…they just didn’t count.
Top of the Rock lost the goals category by one goal, yet had five between Jesper Bratt (New Jersey) and Elias Lindholm (Calgary). After that, our opponents won assists by three. As you’ll see, we had six wasted assists between Mathias Ekholm (Nashville) and Nicklas Backstrom (Washington).
Our numbers wouldn’t have changed the plus/minus category, but a combined 32 shots would have given us that point. The new total would have been 100, some 13 shots ahead of our opponent.
The inability to alter our lineup cost us the chance to shine when it mattered most.
Top of the Rock made no roster movements during the championship matchup.
Weekly Move Total: 0/4
Season Move Total: 16/50