Great Game Previews In History: 10 March 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

quintus-lutatius-catulus-grangerOn March 10, 241 BC, Michal Handzus celebrated his ninth birthday.

No wait, that’s not right.

On March 10, 241 BC, the Romans sank the Carthaginian fleet in the Battle of the Aegates Islands, effectively ending the first Punic War.

As the morning arrived, the wind favored the Carthaginians and Hanno the Great (the second of that name) set sail. Despite the conditions, Catulus decided to intercept the Carthaginians and ordered his fleet to prepare for battle, stripping them of masts and sails. That’s a bold decision, but an easy one to make because he wasn’t actually going to lead the battle, being as how he was hurt. What boldness!

It worked out, because the Romans ended up mobile, the Carthaginians burdened.

About half of the Carthaginian fleet was either destroyed or captured. The rest were saved only by an abrupt change in the direction of the wind, allowing them to flee from the Romans.

Jets at Avalanche, 7 PM Mountain/8 PM Central

Records: Jets (30-28-7, 67 points, 6th in Conference III); Avalanche (41-18-5, 87 points, 3rd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Blake Wheeler earned the Jets the extra point in a 2-1 Winnipeg overtime win December 29.

Last 10: Winnipeg 5-3-2; Colorado 6-4-0

Historical Context: These are two teams that have benefited from a change in leadership, it seems. Patrick Roy has the Avs way ahead of schedule and Paul Maurice has the Jets unexpectedly in the conversation. Changing leaders, though, doesn’t work 100 percent of the time. When Hanno took over, he decided he’d dismantle the Carthaginian fleet in Sicily, giving Rome time to bolster theirs, which they did to great benefit.

Predators at Senators, 6:30 PM

Records: Predators (26-28-10, 62 points, 7th in Conference III); Senators (28-25-11, 67 points, 6th in Flortheast)

Last Time They Met: The Jets won in a shootout, 2-1, in Nashville January 11.

Last 10: Nashville 3-5-2; Ottawa 4-5-1

Historical Context: The Preds would have quite liked to have done well in the five home games immediately following the break, but went 1-4-0 instead. Now they face a run of 12 road games in the last 18. After Aegates, Carthage’s cheese Hamilcar Barca had to return home to an angry people (and angry mercenaries, who went unpaid by Hanno, who maybe shouldn’t have been tagged “the Great”). A poor effort on this roadie and the Preds may want to flee to Sicily.

Blue Jackets at Stars, 7:30 PM

Records: Blue Jackets (33-26-5, 71 points, 4th in SUDM); Stars (31-23-10, 72 points, 5th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Why, just last week, the Jackets won 4-2.

Last 10: Columbus 6-3-1; Dallas 7-2-1

Historical Context: An interesting wrinkle to this story is how the Roman ships were built; essentially it was a BCE Kickstarter: wealthy Romans each kicked in enough dosh to build a ship and then sold them to the Republic. What civic generosity! It took advantage of their opponents short-sightedness and bolstered Rome in the long-run. Sort of how Dallas swindled the short-sighted Bruins for Tyler Seguin.

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