Great Game Previews In History: 4 April 2014
Today in History
On April 3, 1043 at Winchester Cathedral, Edward the Confessor is crowned as king.
His accession is a little bit of a complicated story (the relatively simple determination of who is to be the next heir to the throne in Britain is a modern creation). Edward was the seventh son of Æthelred the Unready. When Æthelred died, he was succeeded by Edward’s older half-brother, Edmund Ironside, who was fighting the Dane Cnut for control of England. When Edmund died, Cnut took the throne, exiled Edward and married his mother.
When Cnut died, Harthacnut — Edward’s mother’s son with Cnut — succeeded to the throne of Denmark, but couldn’t take that of England, which instead went to Harold Harefoot. When Edward and his brother Alfred came back to England, Harold had Alfred blinded by a red-hot poker (or, as the NHL calls it, “upper body injury”).
Eventually Harold died, Harthacnut became king and invited Edward back. The latter was proclaimed as successor, supported by the most powerful earls in the country and chosen by the people of Lond0n.
He would be the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
Wild at Blackhawks, 7 PM
Records: Wild (39-26-11, 89 points, 4th in Conference III); Blackhawks (42-19-15, 99 points, 3rd in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: Matt Cooke got the winner for a 2-1 Wild victory January 23, securing the season series for Minnesota.
Last 10: Minnesota 4-4-2; Chicago 4-5-1
Historical Context: This one is for the Crown of Fecal Matter. And stinky is the head that wears the crown, as Edward learned early in his reign. His power base was weak — non-existent, even, because he had given away numerous southern earldoms to powerful men in an effort to win their support. It worked, but it left him without a true place of power. In 11th century England, wearing the crown wasn’t always a good thing, as whoever is bearing the Conference III Crown can attest.
Stars at Hurricanes, 6 PM
Records: Stars (37-27-11, 85 points, 5th in Conference III); Hurricanes (33-32-11, 77 points, 7th in SUDM)
Last Time They Met: Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 Dallas win February 27.
Last 10: Dallas 5-4-1; Carolina 4-4-2
Historical Context: Dallas is filling in its games-in-hand against Phoenix in their quest for the last playoff spot. The Stars, indeed, control their own destiny. Edward, too, had to seize his own destiny. He had Scotland invaded, removing Macbeth and had Welsh prince Rhys ap Rhydderch killed (his head delivered to him) as punishment for attempting an invasion of England. It took nearly all of England’s forces, but a subsequent war allowed Edward to put most of Wales in vassalage to him.
Sabres at Blues, 7 PM
Records: Sabres (21-45-9, 51 points, 8th in Flortheast); Blues (51-17-7, 109 points, 1st in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: The Blues won 4-1 back in November.
Last 10: Buffalo 2-7-1; St. Louis 7-3-0
Historical Context: Edward loved Normandy, where he was raised (as demonstrated by the large number of Normans in his court and his disputed choice of William as successor) but he had to go to England to get what he wanted. Tonight, Ryan Miller returns to Buffalo — a place he truly seemed to love — with his new team, the one that can win him the Stanley Cup.
Penguins at Jets, 7 PM
Records: Penguins (48-23-5, 101 points, 1st in SUDM); Jets (34-33-10, 78 points, 6th in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: There were five lead changes and Matt Niskanen’s goal proved the winner in a 6-5 Pens victory January 5.
Last 10: Pittsburgh 4-5-1; Winnipeg 4-5-1
Historical Context: The English loved Edward from the jump-off, but then he started appointing his own bishops and going hunting all the time. Similarly, Paul Maurice won the affection of the Jets faithful — he was far more successful than Claude Noel — but the shine has worn off, as the Jets have stumbled and are all but eliminated from the post-season.
Rangers at Avalanche, 7 PM Mountain/8 PM Central
Records: Rangers (43-30-4, 90 points, 2nd in SUDM); Avalanche (48-21-6, 102 points, 2nd in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist in a 5-1 Rangers win February 4.
Last 10: New York 8-2-0; Colorado 6-3-1
Historical Context: Edward didn’t have much of a temper and he was proclaimed a saint. Think about it, Patrick Roy.