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!
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.
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, ExtraSkater.com.
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.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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