Over Analyzing Lines On the Third Day of Camp


Photo: Amanda Bowen

Let me be clear: I don’t care about the preseason of any sport, not even hockey. Takeaways from preseason are often worthless, for a wide variety of reasons. Intersquad scrimmages are even further down the ladder of things we should care about and read into. And, considering line combinations aren’t worth getting worked up about on a day-to-day basis during the season, no one should read much into lines from a scrimmage at training camp.

But let’s do it anyway.

Continue Reading

The Origin of Bailamos: Making RMNB Last


RMNB reader and patron Ray B. has proposed the best topic for an essay, so everyone else can take a seat and shut up now.

Ok, so I finally figured out what I want you to write about– Bailamos! I wanna know how this started, why it is important to the Caps, and the importance of Enrique to the Russian Machine.

Tonight we dance. The story of Bailamos is the story of the Capitals’ crisis of confidence, and if you’re wondering if I’m going to take this too seriously, yes, you’re right.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

The Best State Flag: Making RMNB Last


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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.02.18 AM

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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

From the Window to the Wall: Making RMNB Last


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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

These are RMNB’s Favorite Pro Wrestlers


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

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

When Stats Suck and Why: Making RMNB Last


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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

Vikings: Making RMNB Last


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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:


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.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: