Great Game Previews: 1 March 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

batalladetoro1476cabrerOn this day in 1476, the forces of the IsabelistasCastilian supporters of Isabella supported by Aragon — and those of the Juanistas — supporters of Juana la Beltraneja, backed by Portugal — joined a battle near the city of Toro.

The outcome was inconclusive and both sides claimed victory: the Castilian right wing was defeated by the forces under the Juanista Prince John who possessed the battlefield, but the troops of Afonso V were beaten by the Castilian left led by the Duke of Alba and Cardinal Mendoza.

Nevertheless, it secured Isabella’s succession (actually, it secured the proclamation of Isabella’s daughter as the heiress to the Crown of Castile, which had the effect of making Isabella the current holder) and the union of Spain under the Reyes Católicos.

Jets at Predators, 2 PM

Records: Jets (29-26-6, 64 points, 6th in Conference III); Predators (26-24-10, 62 points, 7th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Mike Fisher got the odd one in a 4-3 win January 28 in Manitoba.

Last 10: Winnipeg 6-3-1; Nashville 5-2-3

Historical Context: The winner of this afternoon’s Brunchrence III match-up won’t, by any means, lock-up a playoff spot (or permanently avoid the ignominy of finishing last) but a win in today’s Hockey Night (sic) in Canada could go a long way to making people feel like the winner has a chance at something bigger. That was the beauty of Toro. While the battle was a mixed bag for both sides, Ferdinand was wise enough to dispatch messengers proclaiming a massive Portuguese defeat. Sometimes good press is better than good outcomes.

Lightning at Stars, 2 PM

Records: Lightning (33-21-5, 71 points, 3rd in Flortheast); Stars (28-21-10, 66 points, 5th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Tampa won 2-1 back on January 20, 2012.

Last 10: Tampa Bay 5-5-0; Dallas 7-1-2

Historical Context: Importantly, and mostly because of Ferdinand’s enthusiastic proclamation thereby, the battle resulted in a bunch of nobles loyal to Juana switching sides. This is important to us, because there’s no end of turncoat figures in history we can compare to Marty St. Louis.

Penguins at Blackhawks, 7 PM

Records: Penguins (40-15-4, 84 points, 1st in SUDM); Blackhawks (35-12-14, 84 points, 2nd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Pens won 3-2 back on December 20, 2011.

Last 10: Pittsburgh 6-2-2; Chicago 3-4-3

Historical Context: Another game, like Toro, that may be more important for the publicity than for the outcome. Arguably, two of America’s best known teams — and each one of the best in their respective conferences — meet outside and on TV. Kane and Crosby. Malkin and Toews. There’s a lot happening here.