Great Game Previews In History: 8 October 2013

by J.R.

Today In History:

382px-Great_standing_on_the_Ugra_river_2In 1480, the Golden Horde and the forces of Ivan III of the Rus (he’ll become Ivan the Great later) …um…. well, they had a big old standoff on the banks of the Ugra River.

It all started four years earlier when Ivan decided to stop paying tribute to the Horde. The Khan wasn’t too fired up about it as he had other things to deal with — subjugating folks and what have you — but eventually Akhmat was all “Where’s the money, Vasilyevich?” and marched towards Russia, hoping to unite with his ally Casimir IV Jagiellon, Grand Duke of Lithuania and Prince of Poland and go get that money.

Ivan’s advisors were of two minds: some wanted him to retreat and others, mostly Russian, wanted him to stand and fight. And we’re talking about the Golden Horde here, folks. Fearsome.

So, on October 8, Akhmat decided to dodge the Russians massing on the Oka to swing around and pick up Casimir, but he had to cross the Ugra and at the Ugra, he was met by the Russians and the Russians held off the Horde for four days.

Of course, the Russians had guns and the Horde didn’t, which was probably an advantage. Anyhow, the Horde retreated and tried to wait out the Russians. The Russians wisely didn’t pursue, letting the Russian winter do its worst (the Russians would use the “let the winter take care of them” strategy for repelling invasions roughly 93,494 times in the ensuing centuries).

And if fighting to a standoff and freezing out your opponent isn’t Conference III, nothing is.

Wild at Predators, 7 PM

Records: Wild (0-0-2, 2 points, 6th in Conference III); Predators (0-2-0, 0 points, 7th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: March 9, 2013: The Day Of The Booing. In addition to Suter’s return, Colin Wilson went down with the injury that ended his 2013 season — busy night. Matt Cullen — now a Predator — scored the winner in the shootout.

Last 10: Minnesota 0-0-2; Nashville 0-2-0

Historical Context: If there were ever two teams fated to meet on the day of the Great Stand on the Ugra, it’s these, the only two Conference III teams without a win. One: an army from the cold north, the other a force wearing gold. Both of them destined to stare at each other for four days. And you know Suter was never suited for gold: unlike the Khan, he was able to unite with his best pal.

Avalanche at Maple Leafs, 5 PM Mountain/6 PM Central

Records: Avalanche (2-0-0, 4 points, T1st in Conference III); Maple Leafs (3-0-0, 6 points, 1st in Flortheast)

Last Time They Met: It’s been dang near two years: October 17, 2011 — David Jones scored in overtime to lock-up a 5-0 road trip for the Avs.

Last 10: Colorado 2-0-0; Toronto 3-0-0

Historical Context: Like Ivan Molody on the banks of the Ugra, Colorado is our defense against the Flortheast heathens.