Ed. note: Peter here. One of my favorite reads this season has been Derek Miller’s Capital Precession. Derek crunches hard team data, visualizes them handsomely, and then talks about them like an actual human. It’s very refreshing. I’ve asked Derek to give us a report on the Caps as we head into the trade deadline. Where do they stand? What’s working? What’s not? Derek’s got the answers.
I’m going to make what is probably a very safe assumption and say most of those reading this on RMNB have never seen one of my posts before, so I’ll explain the format quickly. I’ll throw up a few graphics that are typically related, and each data series will have two graphs– one will display the season cumulative data, and then below it will be a plot of the same data but just of a 10-game rolling average. Then I’ll provide some commentary on what I’ve observed.
The Arizona Coyotes scored five unanswered goals on Sunday night, putting the Capitals behind by three. It was a bummer. After Coyotes goal number six, and the Caps still several minutes away from losing their fourth straight game, CSN cameras rolled tape of an adorable girl yawning during warm-ups to raise our spirits.
“Young lady, those are my thoughts exactly,” said Joe Beninati sadly into the microphone.
That young lady is Amelia, and she was the star of warm-ups on Sunday. Her brother too.
On October 10, 2014, In Guest Post, By Nathan Burchfiel
Robert and Pernilla Burakovsky at the 2013 NHL Draft.
Back in September, we threw a fundraiser for Fort Dupont Ice Arena. We called it #PARTYZORD, had a ton of fun, and raised $2,800 for a great cause. One way we raised money was through a silent auction that included cool stuff like signed t-shirts and fanny packs, a jersey, bobbleheads, Rachel’s art, and a pair of tickets to the Caps’ home opener courtesy of Troy and Carmen Brouwer.
Bob McDonald, whom you all know as one of the Caps’ primary national anthem singers, won the tickets (thanks to a very generous donation). He didn’t know it at the time, but those tickets gave Bob a front-row seat for a touching family moment as Andre Burakovsky’s parents, Robert and Pernilla, were in attendance for their son’s first NHL game and got to see him score his first NHL goal.
Reader Aly D., a hockey player herself, had the chance to attend practice and see her favorite team skate. After the players left the ice, she met basically the entire team, taking selfies with Mike Green, Braden Holtby, and Michael Latta.
While hockey fans were paying attention to the Stanley Cup Finals, a handful of NHL teams were focused on hiring a new head coach and/or general manager. The Capitals found their guys by hiring Brian McClellan and Barry Trotz as GM and coach, respectively. Pittsburgh pulled off the unthinkable by hiring ex-Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford as their new general manager.
Hires like these inevitably lead to questions about the candidates’ credentials and organizational philosophies. Is it a good idea to hire a coach that has experience or one with a fresh set of ideas? Does the same apply to hiring a general manager?
[Editor’s Note: Laurie C., a long-time RMNB reader, randomly ran into a Caps player today. I’ll let her explain.]
Today, my addiction to Wawa paid off. I stopped into the Joppa, MD store to grab a sub. While I was browsing the candy bars, I noticed this familiar individual. I only got a side glance but then I realized “Holy crap, that’s John Carlson….I think!” Immediately I looked around for Alzner, but he was nowhere to be found.
So I walked up to him, like a total goon ball and asked, “Are you who I think you are?”
[Ed. note: Eric Bovim shares his perspective as an aggrieved season-ticket holder. – Peter]
I have invested nearly $60,000 since 2008 as a season ticket holder into the Washington Capitals. But it’s time to put that to an end.
Even with the overdue changes to the Caps front office announced this weekend, I have decided to give up my tickets as a protest to ownership. I doubt the voice of a lone STH matters much to them; no doubt they will quickly sell my two seats in my section 102, row F to someone on their waiting list. Management never knew me. But I will not let them forget about why I have made the decision to forfeit my precious seats.
For the past 6 seasons, from those seats by the faceoff circle near the glass, I have seen it all. I remember the time I took my little boy to his first game – early 2009 – when he was merely two and a half. Alex was so young then I had to bring along his diaper and pacifier. His mother packed him his bottle. I bundled him up. We were playing the Canadiens. Jose Theodore was out goalie then. We won 3-0. I still remember his face that night at the game, him cheers along with the Horn Guy, him falling asleep later that season in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Detroit. He stayed asleep even as Verizon Center celebrated a vintage Mike Green goal. I stood and held him as he slept. It was not easy, but it was fun.
We saw many other games over the years together. We became quite comfortable at Verizon together. We had our pre-game dinners all mapped out. He made his tour around the concourse, seeking free handouts from the Red Rockers. When I told him that I had given up the seats he was rightly upset. The games with dad were a childhood ritual that I have abruptly ended. He expected to be able to go. It would be hard to explain to him, however, that I expected much more from the Capitals this year, and that I felt like I was pouring my money down a hole.