Great Game Previews In History: 8 April 2014

by J.R.

Today in History

One-hundred and ten years ago today, France and Britain singed the Entente cordiale, bringing to an end 10 centuries of conflict between the two countries.

Entente_Cordiale_dancingIn reality, France and Britain had been peacefully co-existing since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century, but with the emergence of other alliances across Europe, a formalizing of this co-existence seemed necessary.

Predators at Stars, 7:30 PM

Records: Predators (35-32-11, 81 points, 6th in Conference III); Stars (38-29-11, 87 points, 5th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Stars hung up seven, winning 7-3 March 28.

Last 10: Nashville 6-3-1; Dallas 6-4-0

Historical Context: There ain’t nothing cordiale about The Chambers Pot. In any case, the Predators are on a desperate run. Essentially, Nashville needs to win the rest of its games and hope that both and Dallas and Phoenix lose the rest of theirs (except for when they play each other, of course). The entente had a bit of desperation to it as well — there was no appetite for war between France and Britain, but the countries had recently signed alliances with Russian and Japan respectively and those two countries were about to go to war. To cut-off a devastating entanglement, France and Britain sided with one another, much as Nashville will want to avoid (or at least delay) its own devastation with a win tonight.

Capitals at Blues, 7 PM

Records: Capitals (35-30-13, 83 points, 6th in SUDM); Blues (52-19-7, 111 points, 1st in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Caps won 4-1 November 17.

Last 10: Washington 4-3-3; St. Louis 5-5-0

Historical Context: There was something for everybody in the Entente. Notably, the agreements settled the countries’ differences in Africa — France acknowledged Britain’s power in Egypt and Britain reciprocated towards France in Morocco. Further, navigation through the Suez was guaranteed. There’s something in this game for both the Caps and Blues, too. St. Louis needs wins in the race for the President’s Trophy — the Morocco of trophies — and Washington needs passage to the playoffs.

Bruins at Wild, 7 PM

Records: Bruins (53-18-7, 113 points, 1st in Flortheast); Wild (41-26-12, 94 points, 4th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Bruins won 4-1 in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day.

Last 10: Boston 7-1-2; Minnesota 5-3-2

Historical Context: Despite being bitter Conference III foes, Minnesota can do St. Louis a favor here by beating the visiting Bruins and, in doing so, can help themselves into the playoffs. A little give and take, if you will. Just as the British gave the French towns in Gambia and Guinea and in exchange the French gave up their rights — established by the Treaty of Utrecht — to use the coasts of Newfoundland for the preparation and drying of fish (no, seriously). The French maintained their rights to fish off the coast of Newfoundland and the British reaffirmed the rights of French fishermen to enter Newfoundland ports for supplies, but drying the fish on the beach? Nope.

Avalanche at Oilers, 7:30 PM Mountain/8:30 PM Central

Records: Avalanche (50-21-7, 107 points, 2nd in Conference III); Oilers (28-42-9, 65 points, 7th in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: The Avs won 4-2 December 19.

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

Historical Context: The Avs are looking to lock up a sphere of influence for the inevitable first-round match-up against Chicago. The final provision of the Entente established spheres of influence in southeast Asia for the French and British and it was a settled issue that France and Britain would be allies in the forthcoming First World War. But prior to the Entente, nothing was settled. The British had actually had discussions with Germany about joining the Triple Alliance and even after the Entente, some analysts said it would fall apart in the event of war, because it required no military interventions by one country in defense of another. Analysts doubted it, as the analysts have doubted Colorado all year. But it was the Triple Alliance which fell when Italy remained neutral and it was the Entente which endured.