The Best State Flag: Making RMNB Last

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Mark M. wants me to talk about how great the Maryland flag is. Thank you, Mark M. I love the Maryland flag. Here’s a tweet from February as evidence.

I’m inclined to say the Maryland flag is the best because it just looks cool, but I can’t. This story can be only half fun, because the flag, like the people and place it represents, is complicated.

But I’ll say this up front: Maryland is a lot more than crab cakes and football, neither of which are very good.

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Photo: @Dustinpenner25

The career of former Capital Dustin Penner seemingly ended in 2014. In 18 games for the Washington Capitals that spring, Penner scored just 1 goal and 2 assists. No teams came a-nibbling during free agency, so it seemed the end for Penner: 9 seasons, 2 Cups, retired at age 32.

Not so much. Penner has begun a second life as a DJ of electronic dance music, a.k.a. EDM, an initialism that definitely won’t be confusing to hockey fans. DJ Pendemic (as he’s known on Soundcloud) began posting mixes and tracks earlier this year. In that time, Penner’s online presence has transitioned from internalized misogyny and hockey chirps to iffy grammar and promotions for his DJ gigs.

As for the music itself, I really can’t say. I don’t know much about EDM. But I do know someone who does. My friend Mo Gadalla has excellent taste in music. I asked him to listen to Pendemic and tell me all about it.

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Mike Green’s Cat is Banana: Making RMNB Last

Say hi to Banana and Mike.

Leslie K. asked me to write a story about Mike Green‘s cat, Banana. This will be difficult because:

  1. I didn’t know Mike Green had a cat.
  2. I definitely didn’t know Mike Green had a cat named Banana.
  3. Mike Green and I don’t chat much about cats.
  4. We don’t chat much about anything because I’m a blogger and Mike Green plays for Detroit.
  5. I’m actually pretty lazy.

Whatever. I’m up to the challenge. Let’s go.

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From the Window to the Wall: Making RMNB Last

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Today’s essay topic comes to us from John D., who writes:

What happens if the Caps don’t win a cup within 3-5 years with the current crop of players that will be 30-35 or older by then? When does the purge begin? Are there any thoughts of a purge if needed?

Ah yes, the perennial question of the Championship Window, the period during which a team is most likely to win a Cup, and whether it is currently open or closed– or opening or closing.

I guess I’ll start with this: The Washington Capitals’ window is open, but it won’t be for long. And when it closes, there may be a reckoning.

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These are RMNB’s Favorite Pro Wrestlers

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Note: Steve Austin does not appear on any of our lists.

It’s August, Holtby and Johansson have re-signed, and there’s basically nothing else going on. RMNB’s Slack has somehow turned into a discussion on the greatest wrestlers of all time. Ian supposed Kane might be one of my favorites. I informed him, no, Kane falls somewhere behind The Godfather and Val Venis on my list. And then the lists came out.

Presenting: Our Favorite Pro Wrestlers of all time. Hashtag: #summercontent

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When Stats Suck and Why: Making RMNB Last

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Welcome back to the Making RMNB Last essay series. This time our prompt comes from Joe K., who I think did a wonderful job articulating, so I’ll just hand it over to him.

“You all put together wonderful statistical analyses which tell us way more than the standard NHL-provided goals/assists/+/-, etc and really help us look at players more insightfully than ever before (tho without CapGeek, maybe we’re all back to square 2). The only issue I have is how the analyses are typically constrained by even strength/5v5 TOI, and more importantly, that this is a not insignificant portion of overall TOI for a lot of players, or in some cases a very significant portion. Seems it could also be presumed that the more non-5v5 TOI a player has a game, the less likely their even strength stats tell the story of what their value might be to the team.

I’d like to see something that assessed, what, if any, stats are out their which might enhance the lens thru which we look at these players’ advanced stats and help flag which players’ 5v5 SA%/G% #’s might be more/less meaningful.

Finally, I realize the above might be the subject of a Doctoral dissertation and know that can’t happen, but even weaving the issue into these discussions more is something I see as a potentially avenue to drive analyses in that direction and appropriately couch bigger picture judgment on players. Don’t worry about writing a specific article on this, just would find it interesting to see something alluding to this concept and informing the discussion at some point along the way. Thanks for the ear and opportunity to offer the thoughts. By all means if I just haven’t been reading you all enough and this path has been beaten, by all means accept my apologies and offer a link. Keep up the great work; you all do amazing content, and, whether or not anyone will ever recognize it, contribute so much to the Caps and NHL generally by offering anyone who follows the game so many different ways to look at/unpack what is the most exciting sport out there.”

Thank you, Joe. That’s a wonderful question, and you framed like a thousand times better than Ian, who tries to troll me with this topic every few months.

Why do so many statistics uses exclude everything but 5v5 even strength, and is that a flaw? Well, it is and it isn’t. A lot of our goof-ups regarding statistics occur when we ask them to do things they weren’t built for or when we fail to consider the context that informs objective measurements. To paraphrase Rob Vollman, stats should be the beginning of the conversation, not the end.

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Vikings: Making RMNB Last

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Tommy L. wants me to write about the culture of vikings. Tommy L. is awesome. Here goes.

There never was a viking culture and there never were any vikings. Vikings as we know them– villains wearing horned helmets who sacked dark-age Europe– were just a name and a story told by people who weren’t vikings. To the northmen, no one was a viking unless he or she was on a viking, which is what they called their raids. In general use, viking was an exonym: a named used by people outside the group. Among themselves, the vikings were known as the Northmen or the Norsemen– not to be confused with the Normans, whom we’ll discuss below.

Norsemen were the people of the Nordic countries. At some point in the 8th century of the Common Era, the Norsemen decided to go sailing and bust some heads. They were a bustling culture already, but advances in art, technology, and specifically seafaring were what spurred the Viking Era.

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Photo: @Galixon_97

Washington Capitals forward Stan Galiev is on vacation with his wife Olya in Vietnam, and they’re having some new experiences. And by “new experiences” I mean eating some of the most disgusting things you can imagine – things I’m not even sure Andrew Zimmern would put in his mouth.

This weekend, for example, they ate scorpion kabobs.

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Seven Things We’ll Miss Most About Steve Oleksy

Steve Oleksy holds up the puck from his first NHL goal

Lost amid the news Wednesday afternoon that longtime Caps defenseman Mike Green had signed a 3-year, $18-million contract with the Detroit Red Wings was the news that another Caps D-man, Steve Oleksy, had signed his own 1-year, $575,000 deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Oleksy had been in the Capitals organization for the last three seasons, playing in 62 games (3 goals, 16 assists) for the Caps and 153 games for the AHL Hershey Bears (12 goals, 29 assists), where he served as the team’s captain since March. An under-appreciated defenseman, Oleksy made his mark as a fan favorite for his scrappy style and his personable nature. Here are just seven (that’s his minor league number!) of the many reasons we’re going to miss him.

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Every year, the NHL unveils new hats at the draft and they’re always super fancy. This year’s edition features each team’s logo on the hat and then either the team’s alternate logo or a zoomed-in detail of the original logo on the bill. The NHL’s shield is also located on the back of the fitted cap, just as a friendly reminder where your hard-earned cash is going.

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