Great Game Previews In History: 15 March 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

1311+Battle+of+HalmyrosIn 1311, the mercenaries of the Catalan Company defeated those of the Frankish-Greek Duke of Athens, Walter V of Brienne at the Battle of Halmyros.

Walter sowed the seeds of his own destruction here: he invited the Catalan Company into his duchy in order to defend it against its bellicose neighbors. Then he attempted to pay a portion of the company lavishly and send the rest away with no pay. That was unacceptable.

The almogavars rained their javelins down on Walter’s knights and then charged the field, cutting them down as they went. Meanwhile, Turks — who had waited tentatively on the sideline because they thought the battle was a pretext to destroy them — ran roughshod over the remaining allies of Walter’s, of whom there were almost none.

The Catalan Company was the new leader of the Duchy of Athens.

Blues at Predators, 7 PM

Records: Blues (45-14-7, 97 points, 1st in Conference III); Predators (29-28-10, 68 points, 7th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Magnus Paajarvi got the winner for a 2-1 Blues victory March 6.

Last 10: St. Louis 7-2-1; Nashville 4-5-1

Historical Context: There was a time when Ken Hitchcock — particularly when he was with Columbus — described Nashville on a Saturday as analogous to playing in the Roman Colosseum. The down Predators aren’t as tough an out at home these days, but they still like to make it difficult on visitors. The Catalans similarly tried to make things tough on Walter, busting dikes and dams to flood the field in front of them and slow the hard-charging cavalry.

Blue Jackets at Wild, 7 PM

Records: Blue Jackets (34-26-6, 74 points, 3rd in SUDM); Wild (35-22-9, 79 points, 4th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Jackets tossed up a 4-0 shutout December 6 in Columbus.

Last 10: Columbus 5-3-2; Minnesota 6-1-3

Historical Context: The Catalan Company never intended to rule anything; it was founded as a mercenary company in the strictest sense of the word. But sometimes moves have unexpected — and positive — results. After years of struggling in the Central, the Jackets changed directions and now are in the thick of the playoff race.