Great Game Previews In History: 26 October 2013

by J.R.

Today In History

Tombstone_year_1891The Cowboy gang — those dastardly McLaury and Clanton brothers, plus Billy Claiborne — squared off with the equally-dastardly “lawmen” Earp brothers and their old pal Doc Holliday in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

At 3 PM — coincidental! — it all jumped off, the culmination of a long and complicated feud, and found its way into American lore — a tale of bad guys against less-bad guys, guns a-blazing in the street. All of it over in 30 seconds.

And old Doc, that tooth-pulling, limping, gambling, boozing son of the south, well…he was probably drunk, but, dammit, if he’s not our favorite.

But that frenzied gunfight, borne of a series of feuds which could never be understood by outsiders, is the perfect event to recall on a day with three intra-Conference III games, with everybody except the League Best Avs playing.

Jets at Stars, 6 PM

Records: Jets (4-5-2, 10 points, 6th in Conference III); Stars (4-5-0, 8 points, 7th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Tyler Seguin had a four-point game Oct. 11 in Winnipeg, a 4-1 Stars win.

Last 10: Winnipeg 3-5-2; Dallas 4-5-0

Historical Context: North vs. South was a big underlying factor in the rivalry. The Cowboys were largely Southerners, largely Democrats. The lawmen were mostly Northerners (their pal Holliday a notable exception). So that makes the Stars the outlaws (damn you, Seguin!) and the Jets are the Earps?

Wild at Blackhawks, 7 PM

Records: Wild (5-3-3, 13 points, 4th in Conference III); Blackhawks (6-1-3, 15 points, 2nd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Game 5 of the Western Conference quarters, a 5-1 Chicago win May 9.

Last 10: Minnesota 5-3-2; Chicago 6-1-3

Historical Context: Doc was hobbled at the O.K. Corral, his cane carried by Virgil Earp. Now that didn’t mean Doc wasn’t useful: he pulled out a bronze coach gun and held his own in the fight. Meanwhile, the AvsWild (Ed note: don’t blog at midnight after four High Lifes) have a hobbled — but useful? — goalie in the returning Nik Bakstrom. Josh Harding is out.

Blues at Predators, 7 PM

Records: Blues (5-1-2, 12 points, 5th in Conference III); Predators (6-4-1, 13 points, 3rd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The season-opener was a 4-2 St. Louis win at the Scottrade Center. The Blues have won six of the last seven against Nashville.

Last 10: St. Louis 5-1-2; Nashville 6-3-1

Historical Context: Those great exchanges between Holliday and Johnny Ringo are not unlike the back-and-forth between Barry Trotz and Ken Hitchcock. The latter once called the Nashville Predators “The Evil Empire” when he was with Columbus — not a Conference III team — and has described Saturday nights at Bridgestone Arena as similar to the Roman Colosseum. Tonight, maybe it’ll be like the OK Corral. Of course, being Nashville and St. Louis, there will probably be fewer shots.