Great Game Previews In History: 28 February 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

600px-Founders_of_the_Baltimore_and_Ohio_RailroadThe city of Baltimore charters the B&O Railroad on February 28, 1827.

It was simply a matter of keeping up with the Joneses: for years Baltimore had an advantage over other major American seaports (New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, for example) because it was farther inland and therefore closer to the rest of the country. But the opening of the Erie Canal connected New York with the inland, as did the series of canals built by Pennsylvania connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The city fathers in Charm City mandated the railroad they chartered connect to a suitable point on the Ohio River.

And so it did, becoming the first common-carrier of freight and passengers in the USA.

Coyotes at Avalanche, 7 PM Mountain/8 PM Central

Records: Coyotes (27-21-11, 65 points, 4th in Pacific); Avalanche (37-17-5, 79 points, 3rd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Jordan Szwarz is a real person’s name and said real person got the winner for the Yotes in a 3-1 victory December 10.

Last 10: Phoenix 4-4-2; Colorado 6-4-0

Historical Context: The Avs got off to inauspicious start after the Olympic break, coughing up four straight in a thriller Wednesday, losing 6-4 to the Kings. They’re out to prove their foundation is rock solid. The B&O — not really knowing any better because no one had ever tried it before — decided to build everything on its initial line on granite. The good news is — while this was extraordinarily expensive — many of those structures are not just still standing, but are still IN USE nearly two centuries later. The Avs — and pretty much everyone else — would love that kind of prolonged success.

Wild at Canucks, 9 PM

Records: Wild (32-21-7, 69 points, 4th in Conference III); Canucks (28-24-9, 65 points, 5th in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: Jason Pominville got the shootout winner for the Wild, taking a 3-2 victory in St. Paul December 17.

Last 10: Minnesota 6-2-2; Vancouver 2-8-0

Historical Context: The two old Northwest rivals have some flip-flopping fortunes here. The Wild went slumpish and then bounced back before the break, but the ‘Nucks are sliding quickly, besot by injuries and now fending off rumors that Ryan Kesler wants out. After decades of dominating the coal-transport game, the B&O fell on hard times, too. The railroad had 31 percent of the coal freight traffic in 1889. Seven years later, it was less than four percent. Talk about a rapidly closing window.

Blues at Ducks, 9 PM

Records: Blues (39-13-6, 84 points, 1st in Conference III); Ducks (41-14-5, 87 points, 1st in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: Cam Fowler scored the odd goal in a 3-2 Ducks win January 18 in St. Louis.

Last 10: St. Louis 6-3-1; Anaheim 5-5-0

Historical Context: Two titans squaring off, as the current Western Conference division leaders faceoff for the third and final time this season. For years, the B&O faced off with the New York Central in the New York-Chicago, New York-St. Louis and New York-Washington runs and while a touch slower (maybe a little less coastal flash?) the B&O hung in there because it had adapted to the new reality — diesel — faster than its competitors. Unfortunately, the real reason people preferred the B&O was that “you could always get a seat” and that’s not a sustainable business model.