III Communication

Covering The NHL's Conference III Better Than Anyone On The Whole Internet. Like Ma Bell, We Got The III Communication

Category: Commentary

III Communication Needs You!

by J.R.

uncle-sam+coonAfter Tuesday night, one quarter of the 2013-14 Conference III season will be complete (do not say “rounding the quarter pole” or Jim Diamond will yell at you).

Sometime Wednesday, we’ll post III Communication’s first quarter review, the Quarter Life Crisis.

If you’d all be so kind, before Wednesday, in the comments or by email to conferencethree[at]gmail[dot]com please send:

  • Nominations for best Conference III performers of the first quarter
  • Your most surprising players and teams (good and bad)
  • Nominations for the Brilliancy Prize, to be awarded to the most aesthetically-pleasing and entertaining Conference III game of the first quarter
  • Questions on any subject and comments and expressions of concern about your hockey team  and/or your personal well-being or mine.

The Devils’ Most Famous Fan Is A Horrible Liar

by J.R.

Elaine Benes’ boyfriend David Puddy is the most famous Devils’ fan in the world:

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Conference III Enters The 36 Chambers

by J.R.

36hockey_knit1-570x570Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of one of the greatest albums of all-time, the Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

It would be hard to overstate its importance to music generally and hip-hop specifically. One thing is for certain, though: that album is crazy as hell. It’s downright wackadoo insane bonkers.

Its swaggering, funny, pop-culture referencing ethos is beautiful, violent and kookoobananas. It samples kung-fu movies, references breakfast cereal and drops comic book jokes.

Despite being a product of New York, it fits perfectly with Conference III.

And (of course) each Conference III team fits with a song.

In track order (yes there are more tracks than teams and I skipped em, sue me):

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The Metropolitan Division is Stupid and Ugly and Dumb

by J.R.

tenby-mystery-beast-1-510x600-1361996047The NHL’s Metropolitan Division is a complete wasteland, devoid of any meaning or usefulness.

It is a hotbed of sin and horror. It is where good hockey withers away like a collapsing factory in a service-based economy — or like a service-based economy in a world of consumerism. It is so bad that all economic metaphors apply to it equally, even ones that are complete opposites.

It’s so bad it’s awfulness was unpredictable — or beyond prediction, because it was so apparent.

It is both overrated and underperforming.

It is not a sleeping giant. It is a creeping giant, crawling slothlike down a hill to a boomshaw where it will try to swim but fall to the bottom of the beautiful abyss under its own slovenly weight to drown and eventually be consumed by heretofore undiscovered creatures with no eyes.

That’s a lot of pretty words to describe a decrepit scene. And these days, people want numbers. Oh, but the numbers. There is no poetry in arithmetic, which is fine because there’s no poetry to describe how woeful the Metro is, unless there’s undiscovered verse from an especially dark day in Emily Dickinson’s life. Here’s the numbers anyway:

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There Is A Difference: The 2013-14 Conference III Opening Essay

by J.R.

The Classic & The Classical

There is a difference in the classic and the classical.

In Episode One of the excellent The Story Of Film: An Odyssey, director Mark Cousins makes this clear.

In Hollywood, the classic is represented by films like Casablanca. Soft focus. Beautiful people. Their struggles are as tough as any, but the stories are easy. They are touchstones of our experience. They are what we think of when we think of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The classical is different.

The classical’s themes are no less unknown to us. The classical is full of tales of hubris, young ambitious Icarus flying too close to the sun and melting away. The classical is Oedipus fighting his whole life against the foreordained, his highest highs slain by a mechanism triggered into motion before his birth and steady as the slow freight train, rolled to its only destination.

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Heat Index: The Comprehensive Guide to All 21 Conference III Rivalries

by J.R.

Here we are.

After staring awkwardly at each other for a few months, laughing with and at one another, back-slapping and guffawing, being mirthful and merry, the season is now in our sights.

It’s time to hate.

There are 21 rivalries in Conference III — some old, some new, some borrowed, some involving the Jets (not many).

Which have the most heat in this historic first season? Our crack team of researchers using the scientific method (“scientific method”=thinking about it for a few minutes) have ranked all 21.

Some caveats:

1) The old Central Division is over-represented at the top and Winnipeg and Colorado, especially, are over-represented at the bottom. This will be hard to swallow for Jets fans, but we just don’t care about you yet.

2) Historical factors related to the old North Stars and old Jets were considered when necessary.

3) Teams are given in the order I thought of them when I wrote the list. By all means, consider word order a slight against your team.

4) Feel free to disagree and call me stupid. I don’t care, because you are wrong.

Starting at the bottom…

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How To Watch A Preseason Game The Conference III Way

by J.R.

At some point in the next two weeks, a lot of you will go to your local rink to watch the silliness that is preseason hockey.

For fans, there’s very little redeeming value to these exercises beyond, say, trying to identify which parking lots near the arena are still affordable and testing out the new concession stand options.

But you go and you watch and then, at that 10 minute second-period TV timeout when your AHL back-up goalie is replaced by a potential ECHL back-up, you wonder what the heck the point was.

We’ve got you covered with a simple game, perfectly designed for the preseason.

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Threeze Frame: Blake Geoffrion’s Hat Trick, 20 March 2011

by J.R.

As someone who has never played hockey or studied it at any level, I’m uniquely qualified to offer my analysis of crucial plays in key games and great moments from the past.

Today, with former Nashville Predator Blake Geoffrion announcing his retirement, I’ll examine the footage of his greatest NHL accomplishment: a hat trick against the Sabres in Buffalo on March 20, 2011.

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Horton Numbers: A Statistical Analysis of Conference III’s Zoos

by J.R.

_BL_6891_slideNathan Horton did not pick a Conference III team.

Nathan Horton picked Columbus, which is not in Conference III.

Why did Natty Ho pick Columbus? Let’s ask him:

“They brought out all the baby animals. We got to see a big cheetah, they brought him out of the cage and it was pretty cool,” Horton said with a laugh. “Not too many people get to do that. It was really exciting; it was kind of scary at the same time.”

Dylan loves penguins. So the zoo brought one out so he could pet it. The family was won over.

“It was unbelievable,” Davidson said. “They brought a penguin out and the little guy was holding a penguin! I even went over and gave him a little pet.”

Are zoos the new market inefficiency? Do Conference III’s zoos match up with Columbus’? How can they improve?

III Communication’s crack stats team is on the case.

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Regressing To The Mean: The 2013 Off-Season and Conference III’s Rude Awakening

by J.R.

themanwhoshotlibertyvalanceposter“This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” — Maxwell Scott (Carleton Young) in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

In the four months since III Communication opened for business, we’ve variously described Conference III as a collection of raccoons, prison, a gang fightBattle of the Network Stars meets The Running Man, Hell, a structure of steel and human sinew and dinosaur bones, forged and melted in the very fires of Phlegethon, and a Joy Division song.

The allegorical and metaphorical intent was clear — Conference III would be the world’s largest Thunderdome, stretching across a large section of North America. Because of geography, because of the nature of the teams and cities involved, because of their history, it was easy to appropriate the mythos of the American frontier and the Old West and imagine Conference III’s future as an echo of a past — as a sort of lawless id of a hockey division.

And then the offseason happened and the legend became fact.

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