Great Game Previews In History: 3 December 2013

by J.R.

Today In History

Lower_Broadway_NashvilleGeorges Claude opened the first demonstration of neon lighting at the Paris Motor Show Dec. 3, 1910.

Claude was already a leader in the air purification business — in 1910 there were leaders in such things — and a byproduct of air purification was neon. Inspired by contemporary inventions that produced light by electrifying rarefied gases, he took a shot with neon and changed the face of pawn shops forever.

Unlike the other rare-gas lights, Claude was able to use a completely sealed gas tube, which eliminated a need to replenish it within.

He was granted a U.S. patent for the electrodes — they didn’t “sputter,” allowing for constant, non-flickering light — and had a monopoly on neon lighting until the 1930s.

Despite this great contribution to humanity, Claude is reviled in France. Suspicious of democracy, he was a monarchist and then collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1945, but released five years later with an acknowledgement that his work on converting thermal energy in the oceans was important.

Stars at Blackhawks, 7 PM

Records: Stars (12-9-4, 28 points, 7th in Conference III); Blackhawks (20-4-4, 44 points, 1st in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Blackhawks came out on top Nov. 29 in a very Conference III 11-round shootout.

Last 10: Dallas 5-3-2; Chicago 8-2-0

Historical Context: Chemistry was the key to Claude’s big breakthrough and the chemistry between Jamie “Walt” Benn and Tyler “Jesse” Seguin has been key to the Stars recent pace — a 107-point pace over their last 13 games…in which they picked up exactly no ground on the eighth place team in the West.

Canucks at Predators, 7 PM

Records: Canucks (14-10-5, 33 points, 5th in Pacific); Predators (13-11-3, 29 points, 6th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Canucks eliminated the Predators from playoff contention with a 5-2 win in Nashville April 15.

Last 10: Vancouver 3-4-3; Nashville 5-4-1

Historical Context: Observers of the Nashville-Vancouver series, such as it is, will note that the games tend to be weird. Who can forget nearly two years ago to the day, Dec. 2, 2011, when both teams swapped goalies in a 6-5 Nashville win at Vancouver, for example? When neon made its widespread debut, people would drive from miles around to just stare in wonder. We know the feeling.