Great Game Previews In History: 11 April 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

The War of the Spanish Succession came to an end on this day in 1713 with the signing of the former Conference III 11th-ranked Treaty of Utrecht.

Allegory_on_the_Peace_of_UtrechtIt was actually a series of treaties, because the War of the Spanish Succession was so dang complicated. On one hand was Louis XIV of France and his grandson Philip V of Spain and on the other, representatives of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, the Duke of Savoy, the King of Portugal and the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

It had the force and effect of curtailing French ambitions at ruling Europe while preserving the balance of power, which was, like, the thing to day in early modern Europe.

Blues at Stars, 7:30 PM

Records: Blues (52-21-7, 111 points, 2nd in Conference III); Stars (39-30-11, 89 points, 5th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: The Stars grabbed a 4-2 win March 29.

Last 10: St. Louis 5-5-0; Dallas 6-4-0

Historical Context: Speaking of curtailing an all-but-certain hegemony, the Blues latest skid has them now second in Conference III and in serious danger of having to play the Auld Enemy Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. The primary provision of the Treaty put Philip on the throne of Spain, but he had to renounce his claims to the throne of France, even though no one was sure he could actually do that, much like no one is sure how the Avs have ended up leading the division.

Meanwhile, Dallas can clinch a playoff spot — that’ll be the maximum fifth playoff team in Conference III — with any sort of win, thanks to Nashville’s shutout of Phoenix Thursday night.

Blackhawks at Capitals, 6 PM

Records: Blackhawks (46-19-15, 107 points, 3rd in Conference III); Capitals (37-30-13, 87 points, 5th in SUDM)

Last Time They Met: Mikhail Grabovski had a trick, but it wasn’t enough, as the Hawks notched a 6-4 victory in the season opener.

Last 10: Chicago 6-4-0; Washington 4-3-3

Historical Context: Philip may have won himself the throne, but Spain had to concede massive amounts of territory: Sicily and parts of Milan went to Savoy, Gibraltar and Minorca to Britain, the Netherlands, Naples, Sardinia and the balance of Milan to the Holy Roman Empire, and parts of South America to Portugal. The Blackhawks will give up their expected territory as Conference III champs to someone else, but could still end up with 111 points anyway, just one less than the team record set in the 2009-10 season. Also, if the Blues and Avs both lose out and Chicago wins its last two, three teams will end up with 111 points in Conference III (talk about balance of power).

Jets at Flames, 8 PM

Records: Jets (36-35-10, 82 points, 7th in Conference III); Flames (35-38-7, 77 points, 6th in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: The Jets got a 5-2 victory in Calgary January 16

Last 10: Winnipeg 4-5-1; Calgary 7-3-0

Historical Context: As per tradition, Winnipeg finishes the season two days before everyone else. And no matter what happens tonight, the Jets will end the season in 7th in Conference III (and wearing the Poophat). But, hey, at least they aren’t speaking French, right? As part of the Treaty of Utrecht, France ceded its claims to Rupert’s Land — which included Manitoba — to the British.

Avalanche at Sharks, 8 PM Mountain/9 PM Central

Records: Avalanche (52-21-7, 111 points, 1st in Conference III); Sharks (49-22-9, 107 points, 2nd in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: John Mitchell got the winner for Colorado in a 3-2 home victory March 29.

Last 10: Colorado 8-1-1; San Jose 4-4-2

Historical Context: Perhaps the most Conference III part of the Treaty of Utrecht was the Patrick Roy-level trash talk it inspired. French diplomat Melchior de Polignac famously told the Dutch, who were hosting the negotiations, “De vous, chez vous, sans vous” — that is, “about you, in your country, without you.” OH SNAP. And then, later, British MP John Wilkes said Utrecht was like the Peace of God, “for it passeth all understanding.” OH DOUBLE SNAP.