Great Game Previews In History: 14 October 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

Minutes before giving a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Teddy Roosevelt is shot on October 14, 1912.

The would-be assassin is New York saloon owner John Flammang Schrank. Schrank said he made the attempt because he opposed presidents seeking a third term (can you imagine being so goosed about term limits that you’d try to shoot somebody?) and that he was advised by the ghost of William McKinley to take action (it will not surprise you to learn Schrank was committed and died in a mental hospital in 1943).

In any event, Roosevelt was not killed. Schrank’s bullet hit his eyeglasses case, the 50-page speech he was set to give and lodged in his chest, but Roosevelt, being something of an amateur anatomist (as one is), knew the bullet hadn’t entered his lung because he wasn’t coughing blood, so he gave the speech anyway.

Stars at Blue Jackets, 6 PM

Records: Stars (0-1-1, 1 point, 7th in Conference III); Blue Jackets (2-0-0, 4 points, 2nd in SUDM)

Last Time They Met: In the Rich Peverley game, the Jackets won 3-1 (the first goal being scored by Nathan Horton at 0:00 of the first in a game in which he did not appear). Played on April 9 but a resumption of the March 10 game, the win gave the Jackets a playoff berth.

Last 10: Dallas 0-1-1; Columbus 2-0-0

Historical Context: Presumably this game is sold out as it is a preview of this year’s Drooling Obsequious Fanboy Cup final and nobody wants to miss three hours of sycophancy in Columbus, Ohio. Roosevelt, at the time of the attempt, was stumping as a member of his self-started Progressive Party, better known as the Bull Moose Party, criticized as an assault on tradition and an egomaniacal adventure. But, of course, Roosevelt had his fans, plenty of ’em in fact, who constantly reminded him that he had a chance to win, perhaps that it was even inevitable.

Roosevelt lost the election of 1912. While the underlying numbers were good — 4.1 million votes, good enough for 27 percent — the numbers that mattered were not: Woodrow Wilson crushed him in the it-actually-counts Electoral College 435-88 (William Howard Taft picked up eight electoral votes).

Avalanche at Maple Leafs, 6:30 PM/5:30 PM Mountain

Records: Avalanche (1-2-0, 2 points, 6th in Conference III); Maple Leafs (1-2-0, 2 points, 5th in Flortheast)

Last Time They Met: The Leafs won their sixth straight with a 5-2 win in Denver January 21.

Last 10: Colorado 1-2-0; Toronto 1-2-0

Historical Context: Colorado got two points by the narrowest of margins Monday night, as Daniel Briere scored with 0.4 seconds remaining in Boston. Had Briere been just a touch too late, who knows if Colorado would have earned its first point of the year? And if Roosevelt wasn’t forced off the campaign trail in the last month before the election, who knows? He might have won too (he wouldn’t have).

Flames at Predators, 7 PM

Records: Flames (1-2-0, 2 points, 6th in Pacific); Predators (2-0-0, 4 points, 2nd in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Matt Cullen had a goal and three assists and Carter Hutton got the win in relief in a 6-5 (!) Nashville win at Calgary March 21.

Last 10: Calgary 1-2-0; Nashville 2-0-0

Historical Context: Getting shot changed Roosevelt (as getting shot will do). Once a strapping figure of masculinity, the bullet prevented him from his daily exercises and he struggled with obesity for the rest of his life. In the early going, it seems Nashville’s shot in the arm from a new coach and new personnel approach has changed the Predators much as Roosevelt’s shot in the chest changed him. For Nashville, the good news is that it appears to be for the better.