Thursday Thirteen: This Is The End

by J.R.

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

This week, the last fake rankings of the year.

1. St. Louis Blues: The Blues are getting their comeuppance for that bizarre week off they had back near the beginning of the year, the schedule now jammed full of games and the Blues are sweating. Could they lose their No. 1 seed?

2. Colorado Avalanche: Meanwhile, Colorado is lurking. If their playoff appearance (and finishing the year with the Conference III Belt) is a surprise, winning the whole dang thing would just knock your socks off.

3. Scott Upshall: As we all know, zoo enthusiast Nathan Horton scored a goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets last night despite not technically playing in the game. But he’s not the first player to record a point. Scott Upshall got the assist on Greg Johnson’s goal in the Jiri Fischer game, but when that game was resumed, Upshall had been assigned by the Preds to Milwaukee. Horton scored from the press box, but Upshall got an assist from the bus leagues.

4. Chicago Blackhawks: The ‘Hawks finally won in overtime last night. Finally.

5. This Big Welsh Dragon: Anybody need a dragon?

A 65 foot fibreglass dragon is looking for a new home after a Welsh couple decided that they wanted to turn their garden into a vegetable patch.

Steve Fletcher from Cardiff bagged the huge model dragon, nicknamed Pugin, five years ago after it was made as a stage for a nightclub.

He brought it home in 37 separate pieces and assembled the dragon in his back garden.


6. Minnesota Wild: Could the Wild and Avs meet in the Freaks and Geeks Bowl in the playoffs?
7. Barbecue banh mi: Nashville has a clutch of Vietnamese restaurants for whatever reason and they all have a similar menu, but the VN Deli has taken the banh mi and done something glorious with it:

God bless France. They might have been colonial bastards just like every other Western power, but they had the good sense to take the baguette with them everywhere they went. As a result, Vietnam’s great sandwich export — the banh mi — comes inside of that perfect French wrapper, a crusty piece of bread for you to put delicious things inside.

I don’t mind the pâté that sits in the middle of a typical banh mi, but if you’re one of those folks who’s weirded out by it, this sandwich ($3.50) is for you. Instead of creamy mystery meat you get tender slices of smoked pork covered with all the standard accoutrements: cucumber, carrots, jalapeños, cilantro and a little bit of sweet-and-sour sauce.

As a big fan of the original version, I was a little suspicious of switching out the meat, but it’s actually an improvement, providing a better contrast to the greens.

8. Dallas Stars: Shoulda changed jerseys years ago.

9. Fan Appreciation Nights: The end of the year means it’s time for the annual fan appreciation ritual: cheap food, jerseys off their backs and so on. For teams headed to the playoffs, it’s one last fun blow-off before the meatgrinder; for those outside looking in, it’s a chance for the organization to do their best at placating angry or uninterested supporters. Typically, these things come at the last home game (or, in the case of the Wild, over the last three home games for reasons passing understanding). The Preds moved theirs to tonight against Phoenix from the original (or expected) day Saturday against Chicago. Ostensibly, this is because the team has to immediately get on the plane to go and play Minnesota Sunday, but given the Viking horde that accompanies Chicago trips to Music City, there’s more than just logistics at play.

On the other hand, I feel appreciated since I was able to sell my Chicago tickets for five times their face value, so maybe it really is a way to express appreciation.

10. Nashville Predators: The Preds hung around longer in the race than most expected, but it’ll be another spring on the golf course for the team — and it may mean a new coach behind the bench.

11. Scattered, smothered, covered and trucked: This is the last time I order my hashbrowns with everything.

12. Winnipeg Jets: How is it the Jets always end their season days before everyone else? There are 30 teams. Everyone can play someone on the last day, right?

13. Anagrams for “Columbus Blue Jackets”: Just an Obscene Alex-level of filth here.