Great Game Previews In History: 9 November 2013

by J.R.

800px-DetroitNews-11-13-1913Today In History

The Big Blow. The Freshwater Fury. The White Hurricane.

Nicknames for Doug Murray’s butt?

No.

One hundred years ago today, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 peaked. The storm was the deadliest and most destructive natural disaster on the Great Lakes, killing more than 250 people, destroying 19 ships and stranding 19 others, causing $5 million in damages to ships (which is something like $118 million today).

In meteorological terms, the storm was an extratropical cyclone formed when cold, dry air pumped out of the Prairie Provinces and warm, moist air pulled out of the Gulf of Mexico is turned by the Central Rockies and it all starts to spin over the relatively warm water of the Great Lakes. Sseriously, the storm that devastated the Great Lakes formed over Minnesota on air from Manitoba, and moisture pulled out of the south and bounced off Colorado; it’s the Conference III-est weather of all-time.

This is what lakemen call a November witch — as Gordon Lightfoot would later sing about the victim of another storm of this type, “Superior, they said, never gives up her dead when the gales of November come early” — and this one was the witchiest.

Blackhawks at Stars, 7 PM

Records: Blackhawks (10-2-4, 24 points, 2nd in Conference III); Stars (8-6-2, 18 points, 6th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Hawks won 5-2 on Tax Day 2013.

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

Historical Context: One of the key reasons for all the damage caused by the 1913 storm was that a so-called “sucker hole” formed in the storm on the night of Nov. 8. Similar to an eye in a hurricane, a sucker hole is an organized lull in an inland waters storm that dupes people into thinking a system is weakening. Despite gale and storm warnings up and down the lakes, mariners ignored them. Facing a weekend back-to-back, the Hawks might be overlooking the Stars. They shouldn’t — the Stars are surging. And also, the second half of the back-to-back is against Edmonton and the Oilers are terrible.

Wild at Hurricanes, 6 PM

Records: Wild (9-4-4, 22 points, 4th in Conference III); Hurricanes (6-7-3, 15 points, 4th in Stupid, Ugly, Dumb Metro)

Last Time They Met: The Wild won 3-1 back on Oct. 24. Cam Ward was injured for the ‘Canes and Josh Harding was knocked out for the Wild.

Last 10: Minnesota 6-2-2; Carolina 4-5-1

Historical Context: The Great Lakes Hurricane was, ya know, a wild hurricane. More importantly, it was costly, just as the first meeting was between these two teams. Will the sequel be as devastating?

Penguins at Blues, 7 PM

Records: Penguins (11-5-0, 22 points, 1st in Stupid, Ugly, Dumb Metro); Blues (10-2-2, 22 points, 3rd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Pens won 3-2 in a shootout Jan 24, 2012.

Last 10: Pittsburgh 6-4-0; St. Louis 6-2-2

Historical Context: This one is pretty intriguing with Sidney Crosby, the league’s leader in points, squares off against surprising goals leader Alex Steen. If it were weather, it’d be a weather bomb — an explosive and frequently unexpected outburst that’s observers dream of seeing.

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