Tonight, the Minnesota Wild defend the Conference III Belt for the first time since winning both ends of a two-in-three set with the Avs to start the season. Their first Central Time challenger? The Dallas Stars, who will try to add the Conference III Belt to their Precog Stanley Cup.
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.
The Avalanche’s 188-day run with the Conference III Belt came to an end Opening Night with a 5-0 shellacking in St. Paul. Can Minnesota extend their title run, their first in nearly a year?
We’ll find out tonight, but first the tale of the tape: