Great Game Previews In History: 9 October 2014
In 1854, the Siege of Sevastopol begins during the Crimean War, as the French sapeurs begin digging trenches around the capital of the Crimea.
After the Allied fleet — which included the British and Ottomans along with the aforementioned French — landed in September with 50,000 men at Eupatoria, the intention was to march to Sevastopol with ease.
It didn’t quite go as planned. The Russians scuttled the fleet and began firing on the assembling Allies. The battle was won by the Allies nearly a year later, but at great cost: 128,000 casualties for the Allies, 102,000 for the Russians, which included civilians, many of whom died of disease in the encircled city.
Avalanche at Wild, 8 PM/7 PM Mountain
Blackhawks at Stars, 7:30 PM
Records: Stars (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Conference III); Blackhawks (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: Teuvo Teravainen debuted in a 4-2 ‘Hawks win in Chicago March 25.
Last 10: Chicago 0-0-0; Dallas 0-0-0
Historical Context: Though perhaps remembered most for the overwrought poetry it inspired, Sevastopol, while horrible in its own right, portended even worse horrors. The Allies made trenches the foci of their attack, predicting the style of warfare that would become prominent particularly during World War I. Chicago is tabbed by most to be the favorites in Conference III, but Dallas is a popular pick as plucky upstart who can do some damage. Could this game, like Sevastopol, serve as a predictor of the longer fight to come?
Rangers at Blues, 7 PM
Records: Rangers (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in SUDM); Blues (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: New York native Kevin Shattenkirk got a third-period power-play goal that proved the game-winner in a 2-1 Blues victory at Madison Square Garden January 23.
Last 10: New York 0-0-0; St. Louis 0-0-0
Historical Context: An interesting opener here as the Rangers were a bit of surprise when the team advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals and the Blues, though a trendy pick to raise the Cup, were bounced in Round 1 by Chicago. The British chief engineer at Sevastopol was John Fox Burgoyne. His name might be familiar because of his father, also named John (Burgoyne fils was actually illegitimate; his mother being an opera singer to whom his father was not married), the Brit who blew it at Saratoga in the American Revolution. In any event, Little Burgoyne recommended a slow, skirting attack on the capital rather than a speedy coup de main, which would likely have won the city early on. Instead, the Allies had to spend a winter in Russia. Will the Blues have to spend another winter in the wilderness or is now the time they strike?
Senators at Predators, 7 PM
Records: Senators (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Flortheast); Predators (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: Seth Jones, of course, scored a winner against a Canadian team, as he does, in a 4-3 road win for the Preds in OT March 10.
Last 10: Ottawa 0-0-0; Nashville 0-0-0
Historical Context: New coach, new look, new goal song (thank goodness) — the Nashville Predators are looking to turn a corner and are getting one goodbye out of the way on Day One as David Legwand, the Original Pred, comes back to town in his Senators debut. The holder of most Predators records — if only by virtue of longevity — Legwand is still cast as something of a what-might-have-been figure in Nashville. More than 150 years later, the Russians can’t stop asking what-might-have-been either.
Jets at Coyotes, 9 PM
Records: Jets (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Conference III); Coyotes (0-0-0, 0 points, 1st in Pacific)
Last Time They Met: Winnipeg beat the then-Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in a shootout April 1. Andrew Ladd got your winner, no foolin’.
Last 10: Winnipeg 0-0-0; Arizona 0-0-0
Historical Context: The endless bloviating about the ownership of the legacy of Jets 1.0 is one thing, but lord almighty, do people still like arguing about Sevastopol.