Thursday Thirteen: Don’t Dream It’s Over

by J.R.

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

This week, hey now hey now.

1. St. Louis Blues: It’s weird to say, but because the fate of most every team (sorry, Winnipeg) hangs on it, you should all be cheering for the Blues in Saturday’s Belt game against Colorado.

2. Rick Steves: Every Saturday morning, in lieu of watching Fulham play mediocre to decent soccer for 70 minutes and then playing like comatose mallards for 20, I watch reruns of Rick Steves’ Europe on something called AXS TV. Somehow Steves pulls off all the aw-shucks-ness (and fashion savvy) of your dad with all the annoying pretension of Alex Trebek telling you it’s pronounced “Pâté de Foie Gras” not “Pâté Foie de Gras” (trust me, I know what that’s like). And now Rick Steves — in between telling you how easy and convenient it is to ride a mule cart from Slap ob Idrijci to Most na Soči and then catching a pre-Communist-era coal train to the mountains near Ukanc — gives fashion advice.

3. Colorado Avalanche: Colorado will want home-ice advantage and will want to win Saturday to hold the Belt for year.

4. Ashton Gibbs: As noted in last week’s DemocraThree, the best way to tell if someone is a tourist in Nashville is the presence of a Stetson. And if he’s naked and wearing a cowboy hat, he might be trying to rob your house:

And when she came downstairs, she found Ashton Gibbs in her kitchen in his birthday suit.

Police say he tried to steal a motorcycle from their driveway before coming inside.

The family’s surveillance cameras caught the whole thing.

But that was just the end of his day.

Police say his alleged crime spree started when he stole a car Monday morning and it just got weirder from there.

Gibbs didn’t waste any time getting comfortable in Johns Creek.

Lt. Chris Byers, Johns Creek PIO, said, “in one of the houses he did break in to, he did consume a beer while he was there and he made himself a meal and watched baseball on their television.”

5. Chicago Blackhawks: No Toews, no problem? The ‘Hawks will try to avoid the ignominy of the Poophat tonight.

6. Miracle gorilla baby: At the San Diego Zoo, Imani the gorilla had to deliver her baby via C-section (who, exactly, does one call for such a procedure?). Now, mother and baby have been re-united.

7. Minnesota Wild: The ho-humming Fightin’ Adjectives will try to drop the Scat Hat on Chicago tonight; can coveted college defenseman Christian Folin help erase the stink?

8. Pileated woodpecker: I put out a suet feeder on the back deck and we’ve enjoyed the visits from the downy-headed woodpeckers that have come to visit it. A small, pleasant species, their knocks on wood are delightfully subdued. This week, I noticed a much louder pecking on one of the trees behind the house. I dragged out the binoculars and saw Dryocopus pileatus pileatus, the Southern pileated woodpecker. This bad beast is no cute little finch-sized flitter. This is a full-grown avian horrorshow. A foot-and-a-half long with a 30-inch wingspan and a beak like diesel-powered Dremel.

9. Dallas Stars: Shock of shocks, Rich Peverley is the Stars Masterton nominee.

10. End of season injuries: In addition to Pevs, get well wishes go out to Jonathan Toews and Matt Duchene and Patrick Kane and Paul Gaustad and Patrick Eaves and Seth Jones and Nick Spaling and Jason Zucker and Josh Harding and James Wright and Grant Clitsome. Good gosh, Conference III can be a Thunderdome, can’t it?

11. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets have eked ahead of Nashville in the race for the wooden spoon!
12. Nashville Predators: Despite having gone 4-1-1 in their last six, Nashville is still staring up at everybody with a trip to Anaheim, San Jose and Dallas in the offing. Great!

13. Patrick Wey: Rich Clune took a lot of guff in the media for this fight with Caps rookie Patrick Wey (Clune has lots of fight in the NHL; Wey, prior to this, had one in the USHL, which exists):


I’m not much of a fan of fisticuffs generally and this one was particularly brutal (the Nashville crowd reacting with a prolonged ovation for Clune with Wey clearly hurt in some way or another was off-putting too). Discretion is the better part of valor and maybe Clune should have backed off even though, as he contends, Wey kept asking to go (Clune later refused a few challenges from Tom Wilson, though with the Preds and Caps in a tight one late, that was perhaps understandable). This one had all the makings of a young guy trying to impress his coach enough to stay up in the bigs and “discretion is the better part of valor” works both ways (Weys?). In any event, Clune reached out to the kid after the game, which was a nice gesture, but there’s plenty of blame to go around here.