Things We’re Thankful For

The Caps are a bunch of Turkeys! Get it???

Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators was awful. The Capitals are now barely about .500 and haven’t won a game in 11 days. But despite all that, we are filled with gratitude. The world isn’t so bleak as their W-L record or their Fenwick Close possession score.

Please join me while we take stock of the things we are lucky to have in our hockey lives. And then let’s eat!

Alex Ovechkin

Obviously. With 20 goals in 23 games, Ovi has regained his scoring touch after three seasons on the downslide. Thanks to the absurd volume of shots he’s taking, Alex Ovechkin has again become the league’s best scorer– threatening to run away with the Rocket Richard Trophy just as soon as Alex Steen‘s hulk powers recede (and they will). I’m not sure exactly how Ovi became Ovi again, but it’d be criminal not to acknowledge that our biggest gripes about this team in the last three years has been resolved.

Welcome back, Ovi. Thank you for being you.

Braden Holtby

The Capitals employ one of the younger and cheaper goalie tandems in the league, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the stat sheet. Braden Holtby is saving 92.8% of the shots he faces at 5v5–5th best in the league, despite facing the 4th most shots (and more shots per minute than anyone in that top 5). Holtby’s workload is incredible– and untenable– but he’s done fantastically well considering. Holtby may hit the 4000 shots-against threshold by the end of the season, meaning we may high fidelity in estimating how good of a goalie he’ll be over his entire career. I’ll put my neck on the line now and say a really good one.

Holtby is keeping an often weak team in games. For that we are thankful.


Hockey stats are hard. The NHL publishes its data in really unhelpful formats, and until this year even the best stat sites had big usability and implementation problems. Enter Darryl Metcalf’s Extra Skater. Built on the Bootstrap framework, ES is the single best statistical resource for hockey out there (I called it on October 2nd). Live game stats, sortable tables with tons of filter options, dynamically updating shot attempt charts, game-by-game possession scores– Metcalf is combining good code with good ideas, and it’s making everyone in our community smarter and better-informed.

Thank you,

Uncle Ted

Ted Leonsis considers his ownership of the Washington Capitals a public trust. It’s ostensibly a profit-generating business, but it’s also like Downton Abbey. Ted runs the place as a steward for the people– providing jobs and entertainment and scoar-moar-goals for the people in exchange for a good– okay, damn good— living. While his team is still without a Stanley Cup, we should appreciate all the good done in those failed efforts. When the late, great Abe Pollin built what would become Verizon Center, he did it with private funding– not on the backs of the taxpayers. Ad athe Chinatown/Penn Quarter district has become a pretty cool neighborhood. Ted has not asked for $300 million in public funding to build a new roof, he hasn’t been a gluttonous cheapskate who hurts his team and poisons the well with its greatest star, and — most of all– he’s not Dan Snyder. He’s good guy who’s in it for the betterment of everybody.

Thank you, Ted.



You helped raise more than $2,000 bucks for the Brouwer Rangers’ charity. You drove up the price on an auction for a PRS guitar signed by THE Cam Schilling above $1,500. You’ve helped us give away tickets to needy fans, you bought stuff at charity auctions during RMNB parties, and you saved my friend’s dog when he got ran over. When we started RMNB, we couldn’t have hoped for the lively, gracious community of people we get to encounter everyday. Just the photoshop contests and birthday cards would have made it all worthwhile, so to think of all the actual good you have done for actual people– well, I’m a bit choked up to be honest.

Thank you, RMNB readers and Washington Capitals fans. We’re so honored to know you.

  • WhoseEar Hoosier

    Thankful for you guys! Thanks for keeping me informed and laughing at the same time. Best holiday wishes from the Midwest 🙂

  • Mike Lunsford

    Thank you for having a place where I can share my love and frustration of this team and doing it in an entertaining and informative fashion.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Things I am thankful for:

    1.) RMNB
    2.) The Capitals (yeah they are infuriating, but they are my team DAMN IT)
    3.) Pumpkin pie
    4.) Having 6 days off from work
    5.) My small, insane, but loving family
    6.) I wasn’t born a Penguins fan

  • Jack Conness

    Thankful for RMNB! I love getting this extra coverage on the Caps and I love hearing from the rest of the fans out there. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and lets hope the Caps can figure this out!

  • VirginiaPatriot

    Thank you for this list! (oh, except that I didn’t win the PRS guitar auction). Especially the perspective regarding Uncle Ted. Between what Abe did and how Ted took the handoff and kept running with the ball (hmmm, a football metaphor- maybe Ted can one day buy the Washington football team), we should take a lot of pride in what the Capitals represent, beyond the win/loss columns.

  • Graham Dumas

    Am I way out in space for being thankful, on top of all that other stuff, with which I heartily agree, for having Adam Oates as our coach? I really think his system is optimal for the guys we have (though, uhh, more d would be nice).

  • Rhino40

    Thank you, Peter (and Ian, and Chris and Rachel and Fedor and Doug and Craig and Igor), for giving us RMNB, and for welcoming me into your community.

    Which reminds me, when is RMNB Party VII?


    Das Rhino

  • dylan wheatley

    im thankful you guys resist the very understandable temptation to delete my posts from the comments

  • NovaCath

    Thankful that they are playing and not in a lockout at Thanksgiving. While Pollin paid to build the MCI Center, he did get a property tax exemption and DC paid $70 million for land acquisition, subway station improvements, building
    demolition and utility line relocations. The current 10% sales tax on tickets is due to the 2007 bond that the city got in order to give $50 million to Abe for renovations for Verizon.

  • Peter

    I didn’t know all that. Thank you!

  • Andrew Walker

    I’m thankful for:
    -The goofy antics of Perrault and Alzner and the wide-eyed youtube marathon that set them in motion.
    -Shaving cream pies to the face
    -Shared indignation at Kuzya’s waffling and excitement at the prospect of his arrival
    -A zero-tolerance policy on sexism
    -Every possible permutation of the goofy glory of my favorite Russian madman: The Great 8
    -Shootout bullets!
    -Holtby fandom
    -Posts calling for the summary dismissal of GMGM (oh YOU guys!)
    -Scoar Moar Goals!!1!

    Most of all I’m thankful for a team that, despite its ups and downs, I have come to know adore thanks to the best fan blog in the NHL. A community so passionate and fun that even my Pittsburgh-born Penguins diehard girlfriend now cheers for the Caps even after becoming division rivals (she’s also a daily reader).

    Thanks, guys. You make every visit worth it.

  • Matt Root


  • David Murray

    I am SOOOOO grateful for this blog; the proper words elude me. This website and the community that makes it go are one of my greatest joys in life. And I HAVE A LOT to be grateful for. I hang on every word. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!

  • VeggieTart

    True, but too many sports team owners want taxpayers to foot the bill for the arena and the infrastructure improvements. At least Pollin was willing to go dutch in this regard.

  • JenniferH

    I’m thankful for RMNB. I’ve said it before and I mean it; BEST BLOG ON THE INTERWEBS! I wish I had a blog run exactly like this for every fandom I’m in, it’s that perfect I love you guys, you combine intelligence, analysis and fanboy-ing fandom in a delirious, glorious mix.

    I’m thankful for being introduced into the crazy world of hockey as a Caps fan.

    I’m thankful for Braden Holtby, the first Hockey player I saw who grabbed my attention and made me go WOW! (via the 2012 playoffs) and he’s still grabbing it. (And I loved your write-up on him above).

    I’m thankful for Alexander Ovechkin and all he brings to the game, to the team and to my enjoyment of the game,

    I’m thankful for the Washington Capitals, come what may, they’re my team now!

  • Anela

    I am thankful for RMNB and the awesomeness it adds to my enjoyment of the Caps.I always look forward to updates. =) So thanks everyone here for rocking!

  • prut

    I am thankful for the Interwebz allowing me to watch NHL and get hooked on Caps and RMNB from 4500 miles away. Greetings from Zagreb!

  • uscg caps fan

    Thanl you for awesome Caps posts! The gifs are the best, when I’m u/w (like I am now) I still get to see the great 8 and crew goals.

  • scooleen

    As a lifer from Arlington who moved 2 years ago to Upstate NY all I can say is like the rest, this blog is the best on the web, love it! and your twitter feed keeps me in the loop when the blackout takes my caps off NHL gamecenter seemingly every game!!!!! More .gifs pleaze

  • Red

    Thank you RMNB superteam for helping develop an online community for the few and the proud who like to rock the red. With dedication, love, wit, know-it-all attitude, and a whole lotta cats, you have nurtured this site intro something very special. Shine on you crazy diamonds.