Great Game Previews In History: 16 October 2015
Today In History
What is known in English as the Battle of Leipzig — much more poetically, the Germans call it Völkerschlacht and the French Bataille des Nations — begins October 16, 1813 as the forces of the Sixth Coalition meet those of Napoleon near the city in Saxony.
It was to be the largest battle in Europe until World War I with some 600,000 belligerents in the field. On the Coalition side: Russians, Prussians, Austrians and Sweden. For Napoleon, not just French but Saxon, Polish and Italian troops.
Furthermore, each of the Coalition countries had, present in the field, their monarchs: Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Prussia’s Frederick William III and Emperor Francis I of Austria. This led to massive staffs and, one might call them “predictable” petty rivalries within the Coalition itself, already strained upon having lost the contributions of British and Portuguese forces (among others).
Nevertheless, all agreed that Napoleon’s German campaign had to be stopped and Leipzig was where they could make that happen.
Stars at Penguins, 6 PM
Records: Stars (1-1-1, 3 points, 4th in Conference III); Penguins (2-0-0, 4 points, 3rd in SUDM)
Last Time They Met: Chris Kunitz returned and the Penguins won 5-1 March 18 in Pittsburgh
Last 10: Dallas 1-1-1; Pittsburgh 2-0-0
Historical Context: Incredibly, after playing the Jackets Tuesday, the Stars find themselves in a second consecutive Cup Final preview. How does that make sense? Shhhhh. Don’t worry about it; you couldn’t possibly understand. In the early going at Leipzig, despite their obvious advantage, the Coalition found it difficult to break through the French lines and Dallas, despite their obvious advantage of being the Finest Team Ever Assembled In The History Of Not Just This Sport But Any Sport, found it difficult to break through in the early going. Will the win against Columbus start a push?
Avalanche at Senators, 6:30 PM
Records: Avalanche (1-2-1, 3 points, 5th in Conference III); Senators (2-1-0, 4 points, 3rd in Flortheast)
Last Time They Met: Semyon Varlamov came within six seconds of a shutout in a 3-1 Avs win in Ottawa March 16.
Last 10: Colorado 1-2-1; Ottawa 2-1-0
Historical Context: After a rough opening weekend against Minnesota that saw Colorado lose the Belt, the Avs bounced back with a win on Columbus Day in Boston and earning a point Tuesday in Toronto. The yearly road trip through Canada and New England continues tonight and the Avs, like the Austrian Corps of General von Merveldt, will try to recover. On the first day of the battle, the Austrians attempted to take Connewitz, but were repulsed by the French. Merveldt, rather unluckily, tried an advance straight at a joint Saxon-Pole line and was captured and the Austrians then moved to capture Donitz, where they were again beat back. Eventually, the Austrians were able to get their artillery going and turn the tide. Can the Avs’ goal scorers get energized, too?
Blues at Kings, 9:30 PM
Records: Blues (1-1-0, 2 points, 6th in Conference III); Kings (2-1-1, 5 points, 4th in Pacific)
Last Time They Met: The Blues threw up a 5-0 home shutout January 2.
Last 10: St. Louis 1-1-0; Los Angeles 2-1-1
Historical Context: Two Western Conference heavyweights meet up in a tooth-and-nail game where overwhelming victory will require a little luck. The Coalition was able to encircle the French forces, convince their Saxon allies to defect and send Napoleon running back to France. But to turn it into a rout, they needed some fortune, which came as Napoleon ordered a certain Colonel Montfort to destroy the bridge over the Elster, which would keep the Coalition forces from giving chase to the retreating Grand Armee. The colonel then delegated the task to a corporal without telling the lad, ya know, when to set the charges off. So the corporal did it while there were still soldiers on the bridge (it seems he would have noticed this, at least) and cutting off other troops trapped on the other side. What was going off as decently as retreats can go turned into a rout.