Great Game Previews In History: 3 February 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

800px-Flora's_Malle-wagen_van_Hendrik_Pot_1640“Tulip mania” ends on this day in 1637 as the market for the suddenly and incredibly popular flower collapses, essentially in a single day, with dealers unable to find any buyers.

Tulips are still hot in The Netherlands, but not even close to the way it was in 1636 and 1637. Newly introduced via trade from Turkey, the beautiful plants became Europe’s go-to status symbol. Especially in demand were “broken” tulips — flowers infected with a virus that creates vivid and unique color patterns. But infected plants grow slowly and can’t really be propagated beyond the initial plant and three or four “daughters.” Further, tulips — even normal tulips — take at least seven years to grow. Thus, a futures market was created.

Speculators entered the market — fueled by French demand — and at its peak, 40 bulbs of the Viceroy tulip were fetching 100,000 florin (by way of comparison, the average wage at the time was 300 florin annually).

Bulbs — all unseen and some not even cultivated yet — were trading 10 and 12 times a day until suddenly, people stopped showing up to the auctions and a drastic market correction followed.

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

Records: Avalanche (35-14-5, 75 points, 3rd in Conference III); Devils (23-21-12, 58 points, 7th in SUDM)

Last Time They Met: The Avs notched a 2-1 shootout victory January 16.

Last 10: Colorado 8-2-0; New Jersey 4-3-3

Historical Context: We’re 54 games in now, but remember way back to the Avs hot start and the punditry said “unsustainable, unsustainable, unsustainable.” Still boasting a 102.1 PDO against a 48.6% Fenwick close, the Avs still have the make-up of a team due for a Tulip Mania-like collapse. The problem with that is, there’s just not a lot of time left for one and the team is 10 points up on the fourth-in-Conference-III Wild and 13 up on Phoenix, currently the top outside-looking-in team in the West.

Blackhawks at Kings, 9:30 PM

Records: Blackhawks (33-10-14, 80 points, 1st in Conference III); Kings (30-21-6, 66 points, 3rd in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: Brandon Saad got the only goal in a 1-0 Blackhawks win December 30.

Last 10: Chicago 4-2-4; Los Angeles 2-7-1

Historical Context: Chicago’s been inconsistent lately, but LA is downright Haarlem-in-the-middle-of-the-plague — no one is showing up to buy tulips (or in this case, win hockey games). There was a time, not so long ago, where the Kings were in the thick of the Pacific race, but now they are poking at Phoenix and even Dallas and Nashville with a stick to keep them off their heels.