Great Game Previews In History: 17 October 2014

by J.R.

800px-Surrender_of_General_BurgoyneToday In History

Earlier, we explored some of the lesser-known martial exploits of the Burgoyne family — specifically that of John Fox Burgoyne at Sevastopol.

Today, though, is the 237th anniversary of the Burgoyne’s most infamous failure: Big John capitulating to the American upstarts in Saratoga, turning the tide of the Revolution to the Patriots.

One of the great misconceptions about Saratoga is that it was one single battle that ended with Burgoyne turning his sword over to Horatio Gates. In fact, it was a series of lengthy battles, almost six weeks long. Americans needed a win, particularly in the North. Gates had taken over the Northern Department after the surrender of the (thought-to-be-impenetrable) Fort Ticonderoga. He was able to raise armies, restructure the militias and start to very slowly encircle Burgoyne, who was losing supply lines because General William Howe had decided to send the occupying army from New York City south to attack Philadelphia rather than north to reinforce Burgoyne in Albany.

Predators at Jets, 7 PM

Records: Predators (2-0-1, 5 points, 1st in Conference III); Jets (1-2-0, 2 points, 7th in Conference III)

Last Time They Met: Ondrej Pavalec made 39 saves (no seriously) in a 3-1 Jets win.

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

Historical Context: This one is for the Crown, that gift that no one wants. No, you take; no, you, I insist. And so on. As per protocol, Burgoyne turned his sword over to Gates as a sign of surrender at Saratoga (although, Burgoyne insisted it be a “convention,” instead of a “capitulation”). Gates, then, immediately returned it and invited Burgoyne into his tent for refreshments, which is charming. No one’s sure what happened to the sword, for what it’s worth.

Wild at Ducks, 9 PM

Records: Wild (2-0-0, 4 points, 4th in Conference III); Ducks (3-1-0, 6 points, 3rd in Pacific)

Last Time They Met: Zach Parise had thee points in a 4-2 Wild win January 28 in Anaheim.

Last 10: Minnesota 2-0-0; Anaheim 3-1-0

Historical Context: The Ducks hope they can find some home-ice advantage after opening with four games on the road. The Americans coughed up a bit of home-field advantage by sending Phillip Schuyler, who had intimate knowledge of the area, back home after replacing him with Gates.