Worldwide International Game Previews of the World: 4 April 2013

by J.R.

WWIGPOTW is a look at the day’s Conference III games for III Communication readers from around the world. Today, we welcome our visitors from the Czech Republic.

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Blues at Blackhawks, 7:30 PM (Blues na Černý Jestřábi, 2:30 AM)

Records: Blues (18-14-2, 38 points, 3rd in Central, 3rd in Conference III); Blackhawks (27-5-3, 57 points, 1st in Central, 1st in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Chicago’s streak hit dvacet with a 3-0 win at the end of February.

Last 10: St. Louis 5-5-0; Chicago 6-4-0

Did You Know? There is a curiously active blues community in the Czech Republic. Twenty-five species of hawks live in the Czech Republic.

Keep An Oko On: Hawks’ bažant Brandon Saad has four points in two games.

What They’re Saying: Necas said the significance of the symbolic act was overrated. “Whether this or that flag flies (over Prague Castle) means no change in Czech politics,” he said. Necas said one may consider Prague Castle either an administrative building, on which the EU flag is common, or a symbol of the thousand years of the Czech state, over which only the Czech flag should fly. Zeman said today the hoisting of the EU flag and signing the ESM rescue fund proved that the Czech Republic belongs to the mainstream of EU integration. — EU flag´s hoisting means no change in Czech foreign policy – PM” from ČTK

Jets at Canadiens, 6:30 PM (Trysky na Kanaďané, 1:30 AM)

Records: Jets (18-18-2, 38 points, 1st in Southeast, 5th in Conference III); Canadiens (23-8-5, 51 points, 1st in Northeast)

Last Time They Met: Tomas Plekanec — a Czech! — scored the vítěz hry in a 4-3 Habs win January 29.

Last 10: Winnipeg 3-7-0; Montreal 6-3-1

Did You Know? Thirty-seven percent of the aircraft in the Czech Air Force were manufactured in the Czech Republic. Canada has the second largest ex-pat community of Czechs in the world.

Keep An Oko On: Paul Postma scored dvakrát in the Jets’ last game, his first game since March 24.

What They’re Saying: Picek may have to draw on all that experience as he faces a raft of challenges in his new job, notably to restore the reputation of a ministry that has been tarnished by corruption scandals, as well as completing talks with Sweden over the extension of a contract to lease Gripen fighter jets manufactured by Saab. In an e-mail interview with The Prague Post, the career soldier said he plans to build on what he started when he was chief of staff of the Czech Army. Among his first duties will be to amend the law governing soldiers’ pay and to name a new deputy as part of an overall restructuring process. Most pressing, however, is the Gripen issue. Under the original deal concluded in 2004, the Czech Republic paid 19.6 billion Kč for the 10-year lease of 14 supersonic jets. Picek’s predecessor, Alexandr Vondra (ODS), managed to negotiate a 10 percent reduction on an offer made by the Swedes last summer, but in these times of austerity, the pressure is on to secure even better terms ahead of the contract’s expiry next year. — “Keeping up his defenses” from Prague Post.

Blue Jackets at Predators, 7 PM (Modré Bundy na Dravci, 2 AM)

Records: Blue Jackets (15-14-7, 37 points, 5th in Central); Predators (15-14-8, 38 points, 4th in Central, 4th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Predators ended the Jackets’ 12-game body běžet with a 5-2 win in Nashville March 23. The Jackets won the two previous meetings, with the game-winner in both being scored by the odchýlený Derek Brassard.

Last 10: Columbus 5-2-3; Nashville 4-4-2

Did You Know? The distinctive light blue uniforms of the Prague Castle Guards were designed by costume designer Theodor Pištěk who won an Academy Award for costume design for Amadeus. The Czechs and their neighbors and former countrymen, the Slovaks, are involved in an effort to protect the large predators — bears, wolves and lynx — which live in the mountains between the two countries.

Keep An Oko On: New Jackets Blake Comeau and Marian Gaborik, who might debut tonight (and maybe Michael Leighton if the Predators get after Sergei Bobrovsky early). The Predators will do some line-shuffling as Czech základ Martin Erat was traded to Washington.

What They’re Saying: It was announced last year that Volksbank International, the foreign operation of Vienna-based Volksbank, had been taken over by Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank with a 48 percent share of retail deposits in its home country. — “Takeover signals Russian bank strength” from Prague Post.

Wild at Kings, 9:30 PM (Divoký na Králové, 4:30 AM)

Records: Wild (21-12-2, 44 points, 1st in Northwest, 2nd in Conference III); Kings (20-13-3, 43 points, 2nd in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: The Wild beat LA in a přestřelka March 30.

Last 10: Minnesota 7-3-0; Los Angeles 6-3-1

Did You Know? Czechs George and Yortuk Festrunk are two wild and crazy guys. The crown jewels of Bohemia are kept in Prague Castle and were worn by the rulers of Bohemia. Bohemia’s last king was Austria-Hungarian Emperor Charles I.

Keep An Oko On: Whether Ryan Suter gets šel again.

What They’re Saying: A half of the clients of a prosperous taxidermist’s workshop in Sakvice, one of the largest in the Czech Republic and in Europe, are foreigners from all over the world, its owner Radomir Franc told CTK Wednesday. Demand for his workshop’s services is so high that the clients are put on a long waiting list, he added. Franc established the firm stuffing animals 20 years ago. The 15-member team is now working on the stuffing of some 100 animals. The highest interest is in the stuffing of antelopes. Out of the species living in central Europe, hoofed animals, such as wild swine, are stuffed most often, Franc noted. Czech taxidermist’s workshop attracts clients from all over the world” from Prague Daily Monitor.

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