Great Game Previews In History: 24 January 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

California_Clipper_500On this day in 1848, James Marshall, a foreman, discovers gold at Sutter’s Mill on the American River in California, setting off the Gold Rush.

At first they came from just Oregon and Hawaii and Latin America, but then did they come from everywhere.

San Francisco — perhaps 1,000 residents in 1848 — became a virtual ghost town and then boomed as people from elsewhere arrived, growing to 25,000 people by 1850.

Avalanche at Panthers, 5:30 PM Mountain/6:30 PM Central

Records: Avalanche (31-13-5, 67 points, 3rd in Conference III); Panthers (20-23-7, 47 points, 7th in Flortheast)

Last Time They Met: Tom Gilbert had three assists in a 4-1 Panthers win November 16.

Last 10: Colorado 7-2-1; Florida 5-3-2

Historical Context: At the time of the discovery, California was still part of Mexico (indeed, Sutter had been given a land grant by the Mexican government called Nueva Helvetia, a sort of Swiss colony in California), but the United States got lucky. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2. Now that California gold was American. Call it lucky or call it good, but call it a win. Speaking of being lucky or good — the Avs, despite having the NHL’s fourth-worst Fenwick close are sitting pretty and comfortable in the middle of the mother lode.

Predators at Flames, 8 PM

Records: Predators (23-22-7, 53 points, 6th in Conference III); Flames (17-27-7, 41 points, 6th in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: Craig Smith got the game-winner for the Preds in a 4-2 home victory January 14.

Last 10: Nashville 5-4-1; Calgary 3-6-1

Historical Context: While the Gold Rush is responsible for kick-starting the California economy as it surged towards statehood and financed such massive projects as the Transcontinental Railroad, it mostly lined the pockets of already-relatively wealthy merchants. Not every miner struck it right and certainly, very few struck it rich the first time out. Or even the second. For the Predators, it took 24 tries to get a third period comeback. Entering Thursday’s game at Vancouver, the team was an astonishing 0-21-2 when trailing after two. But they turned that zero into a one.