Welcome back, [poultry fetishists]. Teams from other divisions played yesterday, but [ignore] them. Today marks the first day of the real NHL regular season. To mark this momentous occasion, join me for a review of the teams that make our beloved Conference III a special division—a Great Divide—separating it from the Flortheast, the Californian, and the Metropolitan, where division name jokes write themselves. As J.R. so eloquently pointed out yesterday, it is our division that both unites us and divides us, and since he chose to focus on the former, I will examine the latter in the form of crass, brash, and morally distasteful power rankings.
CIII2. Blues 52-23-7 (111 points, 2nd in Conference III) vs. CIII3. Blackhawks (46-21-15, 107 points, 3rd in Conference III)
Season Series— Blues 3-2
Leaders— Blues: Alexander Steen (33G, 29A, 62 Points, 9 GWG), Alex Pietrangelo (43A), David Backes (10 PPG); Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp (34G, 44A, 78 Points, 10 PPG), Patrick Kane (10 PPG, 6 GWG), Ben Smith (15.6% shooting)
Probable Goalies: Blues: Ryan Miller (25-30-4, .918, 2.64); Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (32-16-12, .917, 2.26)
Obscene Alex and J.R. can’t agree on the utility of explicit language; can they agree on the outcome of this year’s playoff series?
Today in History
The Recapture of Bahia begins on April 1, 1625 as a combined Spanish and Portuguese force made an effort to take back the Brazilian port town of Salvador da Bahia from the Dutch during the Eighty Years War (these countries, incredibly, were world powers in the 17th century and boy does that seem weird).
In May 1624, Dutch West Indies Company forces commanded by Jacob Willekens captured Bahia from the Portuguese. Philip IV, king of Spain and Portugal, ordered a Spanish-Portuguese fleet set sail with the objective of recovering the city. Sailing from the port of Lisbon under the command of Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza, the fleet crossed the Atlantic.
Today in History
Paul had angered the nobility through a number of his efforts at modernization (or humanity). He tried to foist a code of chivalry on them, he discovered widespread corruption in the treasury, he had the audacity to repeal laws allowing corporal punishment of peasants. What a jerk!
A conspiracy was organized by Counts Peter Ludwig von der Pahlen, Nikita Petrovich Panin, and the adventurer Admiral Ribas (NB: why isn’t “Adventurer” still a job?). Ribas died, as adventurers do, so the plan was delayed, but on the night of March 23, Paul was murdered in his bedroom by a band of former military officers, who charged into his bedroom drunk and found the tsar hiding behind some drapes in the corner. The usurpers tried to force him into abdication. Paul resisted and one of the assassins struck him with a sword and then he was strangled and trampled to death.
And for the first time, the Crown of Fecal Matter will go to the loser of a Belt match.
Can St. Louis hold the belt? Can Chicago shed the hat?
One day after winning their first Conference III Championship Belt since October — ending the Stars first-ever run after just five days — the Jets have to go on the road to defend the title against St. Louis with the Blues less than a week removed from a 78-day run with the strap.
Can the Jets stave off the Blues from reclaiming what they see as their birthright or will a team with Evander Kane make like Kane and drop the Belt one day after winning it?
Today In History
Walter sowed the seeds of his own destruction here: he invited the Catalan Company into his duchy in order to defend it against its bellicose neighbors. Then he attempted to pay a portion of the company lavishly and send the rest away with no pay. That was unacceptable.
The almogavars rained their javelins down on Walter’s knights and then charged the field, cutting them down as they went. Meanwhile, Turks — who had waited tentatively on the sideline because they thought the battle was a pretext to destroy them — ran roughshod over the remaining allies of Walter’s, of whom there were almost none.
The Catalan Company was the new leader of the Duchy of Athens.