Great Game Previews In History: 5 January 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

547px-Bayeux_Tapestry_scene1_EDWARD_REXOn this day in 1066, Edward the Confessor, King of England, dies and, in doing so, creates Western Civilization.

OK, well, maybe that’s an oversimplification.

Whether Edward’s marriage with Edith of Wessex was fruitless because of his vow of celibacy, his resentment for her family (her father blinded Edward’s brother, Alfred) or just the normal reasons people can’t have children is irrelevant.

The relevant matter is that Edward didn’t make it clear who he intended his successor to be. The Godwins (that’s the aforementioned Edith’s family) were Earls of Wessex and, at least locally, a sensible choice. Harold Godwinson, thus, was crowned as king. And then he prepared himself for the invasion from the Duke of Normandy – William the Conqueror (he was just “William” at this point because he’d not yet conquered anything).

And 1066 became one of the seminal years in western history.

Jets at Penguins, Noon

Records: Jets (19-20-5, 43 points, 6th in Conference III); Penguins (30-12-1, 61 points, 1st in SUDM)

Last Time They Met: The Pens sailed to a 4-0 win March 28.

Last 10: Winnipeg 5-5-0; Penguins 8-2-0

Historical Context: The Jets are Harold Godwinson. His claim to the mantle of king was tenuous — based on Edward’s brief statement that he commended his kingdom and his wife to Harold’s “protection.” But just because you say you are the successor doesn’t mean you are. You’ve got to back it up. Maybe Harold was Edward’s successor — and maybe Jets.0 are the successors to the original Jets, but for now they are playing like the Thrashers.

Predators at Hurricanes, Noon

Records: Predators (18-18-6, 42 points, 7th in Conference III); Carolina (17-16-9, 43 points, 5th in SUDM)

Last Time They Met: Jeff Skinner had a trick in a 5-2 Canes win Dec. 5 in Nashville.

Last 10: Nashville 3-4-3; Carolina 4-3-3

Historical Context: One of the more interesting claimants to Edward’s throne was Harald Hardrada, King of Norway. His claim was based on promise made by Magnus The Good and Harthacnut, Scandinavian rulers who jointly ruled England under the Danelaw. The men agreed that if either died childless, the other would inherit the whole of the island. Magnus indeed did so, and in the power vacuum stepped Anglo-Saxon ruler Edward. With everybody out of the way and as Harthacnut’s successor, Harald Hardrada went to take England.

Now that’s a cute system for trying to seize power, isn’t it, David Poile?

Sharks at Blackhawks, 7 PM

Records: Sharks (26-10-6, 58 points, 2nd in Pacific); Chicago (29-7-8, 66 points, 1st in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Chicago ran up a 5-1 win at the United Center Nov. 17.

Last 10: San Jose 6-4-0; Chicago 6-1-3

Historical Context: Chicago is William the Conqueror, the mighty lords of the division, set with plenty of ships and horseman to land on the shores and hold on to power. The tale goes that William was promised the throne because Edward became a fan of the Normans after being in exile there. But really, William’s claim is because he had the most talent.