Thursday Thirteen: Polter-thriced

by J.R.

Every Thursday we bring you the III Communication’s Conference III Power Rankings, the Thursday Thirteen.

This week, it’s scary as heck!

1. Colorado Avalanche: It’s hard to take the Avs from the top spot, despite their gaudy 103.4 PDO and their pending goalie troubles.

2. Walter White pumpkin: This is the pumpkin my wife carved:


And this is what it looks like lit from within:


Sorry about your lame pumpkin, everyone else.

3. Chicago Blackhawks: Maybe the ‘Hawks are wishing they’d kept Carter Hutton after Khabby’s rather adventurous performance against Ottawa. On the other hand, the ‘Hawks have scored at least three goals in every game since October 17.

4. Asian beetles: This is what normal humans call a ladybug:


This is the thing trying to get inside your house this week:


Looks similar but it’s not the same. The second little pesty is an Asian beetle (Harmonia axyridis) — sometimes called a Halloween ladybug because it looks kind of like a ladybug in Halloween clothes and it shows up in October. The normal ladybug is Coccinella septempunctata. Both are introduced species, but only H. axyridis is trying to take over your house.

5. St. Louis Blues: After not playing for literally a week, the Blues have had double off-days twice in the last week. They’ll go back-to-back this weekend, but at this pace, their 2013-14 campaign will end some time in mid-May.

6. Cristopher Lee: The sonorous English master of terror is 91 years old and still out there doing work. Familiar to young audiences because of his peformance as Sauron in the Lord of the Rings films, he’s appeared in 204 movies since his career began in 1948 — after his service in World War II.

But perhaps the baddest ass thing he’s ever done (except for that World War II thing) is that he recorded a critically acclaimed metal album called Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. “Is it a concept album about the first Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks,” you ask.


7. Minnesota Wild: Mike Yeo is doing what lots of coaches do when they want to get out of the meaty middle of the standings: he’s shaking up the lines. Spoiler alert: Ryan Suter will still play 85 minutes a night.

8. Micajah & Wiley Harpe: Two centuries ago — “the good old days” — these cousins brought terror to the Tennessee and Kentucky frontier, then a lawless and terrifying place not unlike the Toronto mayor’s office:

Their trail of slaughter begins in late 1798 at Hughes Tavern, a watering hole west of Knoxville. An 18th century tavern could serve as a town hall or center of early governance, but not this “rowdy groggery” known to the Harpes and other roughnecks. Little Harpe even manages to get into a scrape that ends with a knife wound in his chest, courtesy of one John Bowman, which doesn’t mean much at the time. It would take more than a cat scratch to lay out a Harpe.

Among the drinkers on hand is a man named Johnson. Whether he had snitched on the Harpes at some point is a matter of speculation. Regardless, a few days later, a traveler spots something floating in the nearby Holston River. It is a man’s body, disposed of in a hideous way.

The man’s guts have been ripped out. The cavity is stuffed with stones, intended to sink the carcass to the bottom. They must have dislodged, or the man known as Johnson wouldn’t have his sole claim to posterity — as the first of what would become many more victims.

9. Country Music Association: Every year, the CMA puts on a big awards show at Bridgestone Arena and it means the Predators have to go on the road. If you’ve ever doubted the power of country music in Nashville, bear in mind that the CMA takes total control of two of the three largest civic projects in Nashville’s history — LP Field for the summer’s CMA Fest and the arena for the awards show — for weeks at a time and no one bats an eye.

10. Nashville Predators: Can’t do anything about Pekka Rinne’s Plague Hip and can’t do anything about the rambling road trip. Can’t seem to do anything about the scoring either.

11. Dallas Stars: Dallas is either the team that blew out Calgary or the impotent squad that couldn’t muster anything against the Jets. Tough to draw many conclusions.

12. Winnipeg Jets: Does Claude Noel still have a job? Sources say yes (subject to change at any time).

13. Stupid Ugly Dumb Metro: if Winnipeg was in the Stupid Ugly Dumb Metro, they’d be in second.