Great Game Previews In History: 17 November 2013

by J.R.

Today In History

390px-Charles_XIV_John_as_Crown_Prince_of_Sweden_-_François_GérardOn this date in 1810, Sweden declared war on Britain, starting the most inconsequential battle since Saturday night’s Calgary-Edmonton game.

This was all during the Napoleonic Wars, which was a particularly complicated time in European history, and that’s saying something. In any event, until 1810, Sweden was allied with the British in the fight against Napoleon. But Sweden was defeated by Russia in the Finnish War, precipitating the signing of the Treaty of Paris of 1810 (bear in mind that Russia, too, was part of the anti-France coalitions until her defeat at the Battle of Friedland.

OK, in any event, Russia beat Sweden in the Finnish War and forced Sweden to join the Continental System, which was Napoleon’s blockade of Britain. That was a big problem for Sweden, at least on its face, because there were a bunch of British ships trading in Swedish ports.

In any event, Sweden actually let British ships stay in their harbors and the two countries never actually fought each other. Peace was concluded in 1812.

Jets at Wild, 7 PM

Records: Jets (10-9-2, 22 points, 6th in Conference III); Wild (12-4-4, 28 points, 4th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Wild squeaked a 2-1 win back on October 10.

Last 10: Winnipeg 6-4-0; Minnesota 8-1-1

Historical Context: Two streaking teams meet tonight in St. Paul and it will be interesting to see if Devin Setoguchi scores against his old mates. Seto was willingly sent from Minnesota to Winnipeg, just as Napoleon willingly sent his field marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte to Sweden. Bernadotte became pretty popular among the Swedes and when the country found itself without an heir to the throne, it was offered to the Frenchman. A good soldier, he told Napoleon of the offer and the Emperor sort of scoffed at it indifferently, much, I’m sure, as Chuck Fletcher treated Seto. The Swedes crowned Bernadotte as King Charles XIV John in 1818, setting up the only lasting effect of this silly-ass war: the House of Bernadotte is still the royal house of Sweden.

Blues at Capitals, 5 PM

Records: Blues (13-2-3, 29 points, 2nd in Conference III); Capitals (11-8-1, 23 points, 2nd in Stupid, Ugly, Dumb Metro)

Last Time They Met: The Blues ruined Dale Hunter’s coaching debut with a 2-1 win in Washington Nov. 29, 2011.

Last 10: St. Louis 8-1-1; Washington 6-3-1

Historical Context: That Alex Ovechkin is near the top of the league in scoring is no surprise. Alex Steen’s 17 goals are a little bit of a shock. Speaking of Alexanders, Alexander I was the Russian Emperor whose insistence on Sweden hooking up with the Continental System and lust for Finland precipitated this whole silly charade.

Sharks at Blackhawks, 6 PM

Records: Sharks (13-2-5, 31 points, 2nd in Pacific); Blackhawks (13-3-4, 30 points, 1st in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Blackhawks set an NHL record with a 2-1 against the Sharks February 22 at the United Center, giving the team points in the first 17 games of the lockout shortened season.

Last 10: San Jose 5-4-1; Chicago 7-2-1

Historical Context: Coming off a surprising beatdown in Nashville, Chicago returns home for the second half of an out-and-back back-to-back. Chicago heads out on its annual Circus Trip, a seven-game, 11-day odyssey across the west. The conclusion of the Anglo-Swedish War (and the simultaneous Anglo-Russian War) led to a massive odyssey in the east for Napoleon — his ill-conceived invasion of Russia.

Stars at Canucks, 7 PM

Records: Stars (10-7-2, 22 points, 5th in Conference III); Canucks (11-7-3, 25 points, 5th in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: Max Lapierre was promoted to the first line (!) and three points in a 5-2 Canucks win March 30 in Vancouver.

Last 10: Dallas 6-2-2; Vancouver 5-3-2

Historical Context: This has nothing to do with the game, really, at all, but the only casualties, so to speak, in the Anglo-Swedish War were a group of farmers killed by some Swedish regulars for resisting conscription into an army that was going to repel the British if they invaded (which, of course, they never did).