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:

On Wednesday, restricted free agent Marcus Johansson and the Washington Capitals went to arbitration. Johansson asked for $4.75 million while the Caps offered $3 million. Two days later, an arbitrator has finally announced his decision. The Caps winger, who set career highs in goals, shots on goal, and points last season, has been awarded a one-year, $3.75 million contract for next season.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:


Photos: Frederick Keys

Friday night at 7:05 PM, RMNB’s hometown Frederick Keys will take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Harry Grove Stadium. And they will be doing so in uniforms that are both ridiculous (think: Cowboy Monkey Rodeo) and awesome beyond words.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:


Photo: @maksgoloshchapov

Last season, four-year-old Maxim Goloschapov was flown from Moscow to Kettler Capitals Iceplex because he won a promotional campaign held by Bauer Russia. Basically, tiny Maxim wowed Ovechkin with his hockey talent so much that The Great Eight had to meet him.

In March, Maxim and the rest of his family watched the Caps practice before being introduced to Ovechkin and the team’s two other Russian players, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov, in the locker room. That day, Maxim’s father Ivan promised Ovechkin a gift to thank him for his son’s amazing experience.

In mid-June, Ovechkin actually took him up on that offer – with help from his girlfriend, Nastya Shubskaya. During a quick meet-up in a Moscow restaurant, Maxim and his father presented the Russian machine with a portrait of himself.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:

Caps Sign Jonas Siegenthaler To Entry-Level Contract


Photo: Amanda Bowen

Thursday afternoon, the Washington Capitals announced the signing of 2015 second-round pick Jonas Siegenthaler to a three-year, entry-level contract. Siegenthaler was the first skater the Capitals picked in last year’s draft. The defenseman impressed in Development Camp.

According to the Capitals, Siegenthaler will join the team for rookie camp prior to being loaned to the Zurich Lions for the 2015-16 National League A season.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:


Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick contributed to Derek Jeter’s blog, The Players’ Tribune, on Wednesday and tried to explain why some of the NHL’s best goal scorers are just so dang hard to stop. Naturally he brought up five-time Rocket Richard trophy winner Alex Ovechkin.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:


On July 3rd, we all shed a tear when Joel Ward signed a three-year deal with those bastard San Jose Sharks. The sturdy, likable forward was arguably the most clutch playoff goal scorer in Caps’ franchise history. From dispatching the Boston Bruins in 2012 to his multiple late-game heroics in 2015, Wardo never shied away from the big moment.

Now, via Melissa C. (@fredvegasbass), we’re learning just how much of a consummate professional and helpful teammate Ward was while still in Washington. Watch as he and Andre Burakovsky do a face-off drill at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. You’ll love the leadership here.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:


On Saturday August 1st, the Leap Towards a Cure Hockey Tournament and Community Festival returns to the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD. Games will be starting around 9 AM, with the Festival running from noon – 5 PM. 2015 marks the sixth annual year for Leap Towards A Cure, which raises money for cancer research, treatment, and education at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.

The tournament is operated by the Andrea Henderson Memorial Fund, a volunteer-only 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. Every cent of proceeds from the tournament will support cancer research at the Kimmel Center. Between 2010 and 2014 Leap Towards A Cure has raised almost $94,000 in donations for the Kimmel Center. 2015 will be the year we break the $100,000 mark for cumulative donations.

The fund and tournament is named in memory of Andrea “Froggy” Henderson, a former high school art teacher and varsity hockey team sponsor who lost her battle with breast cancer in April 2010, and whose death inspired the first Leap Towards A Cure tournament a few months later.

This year’s Leap Towards a Cure Tournament will consist of 43 games played over the 4-day tournament weekend, with over 30 volunteer referees and over two dozen volunteer scorekeepers and operations staff, and will feature 24 teams and upwards of 380 players competing in five divisions. The tournament includes two women’s divisions, the most they have had to date. Amazingly, 23 of our 24 teams this year are returning teams.

Because Froggy was an art teacher, LTAC always incorporates an arts-focused community festival on the Saturday of the tournament. This year, LTAC is proud to feature two hockey-based artists:

Rob Ullman, a freelance illustrator from Richmond, VA and the author of Old-Timey Hockey Tales  and yours truly, RMNB’s own Rachel L. Cohen!

I’ll be debuting some new merchandise at the event, including two new giclée prints: Holtbeast, and Cute Hockey, a couple of stickers, and a limited edition of the Capitals Sigil banner (it has a clear overprint star pattern… so sick!!!)))))) )

Continue Reading

Brooks Orpik Undergoes Wrist Surgery


Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik underwent surgery on his wrist today, according to a team release. The announcement didn’t specify which of Orpik’s wrists needed work or why, but the Caps called the procedure “successful” and said they “anticipate Brooks returning to full hockey activities in time for the Capitals regular season opener” on October 10.

Continue Reading



I have some bad news to report. Former Washington Capitals third-line center and awesome human being Eric Fehr has joined the dark side (along with Steve Oleksy), signing a three-year, $6 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Let’s remember the good times.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: