Caps fan creates epic cross stitch tapestry of Micah Blake McCurdy’s ‘Rainbow Death Crab’


If there’s one image that haunted Capitals fans, more than their almost mechanical second-round exit, it’s Micah Blake McCurdy’s. “Rainbow Death Crab.” Best known for his hockey visualizations, as soon as the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll in, McCurdy’s Crab also makes a comeback to spell out future triumphs or failures for teams that have advanced to the Round of 16.

For anyone unfamiliar with McCurdy’s probability tables, they’re based on his model known as Edgar, which – in his own words – considers “shots generated and allowed, including their locations, shot results. and goalies, special teams, penalties drawn and taken, rest and home ice advantage. Also taken into account are “injuries, suspensions and probable lineups from the list”.

McCurdy then simulates “every game ten thousand times, considering injuries and the coaches’ past ice time assignments.” He then calculates “the odds for the home team using Edgar.” Different teams enjoy the home rink advantage in different amounts due to their different strengths and weaknesses.

However, long before the Crab awoke to grant his prophetic assessment to the 2018 playoffs, McCurdy made his own prediction. That the Capitals would ultimately win the Cup at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Now, as a tribute to the historic Capitals Cup victory, a talented fan has recreated McCurdy’s Rainbow Death Crab in cross stitch, and it’s the perfect mix of cheesy, creative, and seriously epic. .

Photograph of the “Rainbow Death Crab” tapestry provided by Rami.

Tapestry first caught my attention on Twitter, and I immediately reached out to Rami to find out more about what inspired her to take on the massive project.

“I like to work with my hands, and it’s usually done in a smart way, because I don’t really have regular access to power tools,” Rami told me. “Last fall I knitted my kid a Wonder Woman sweater, earlier last year I did a big Canada cross stitch, and the year before I did [Funko] Pops! Hamilton characters. I was going to have a week’s vacation and knew that I wanted to have something to do and that I wanted it to be something that I did.

“I’m a huge fan of Micah (YAY MATH), and so I followed him,” she added. “But obviously during the playoffs I was looking at his charts a lot, and at one point my brain said, well, that would be easy to turn into a cross stitch pattern. I kind of filed that up and forgot about it until I thought about what to do on my vacation, and figured out why the hell not.

Why not, indeed. Rami then said that she got down to the task of figuring out exactly which graphic to convert to a pattern. Which was easier said than done.

“Initially I was going to do it based on the initial predictions of the first round, but it was intimidating to leave enough room for the 16 teams in the final round,” said Rami. “The imagery before the final round was just not interesting (nor the one that showed the Caps victory, alas), so after thinking about it, I thought it would be nice to have a model that actually showed all the teams, but also the results of each round, so I merged the images of the predictions for the four rounds together and got this final result. “

Merging these probability charts took a long time, as Rami explained.

“It took me a few hours to create the pattern, presented in Excel, and several more to deal with the thread colors. I had also decided to try to use colors as close to the team colors as possible – and let me tell you, I now fully understand why Micah doesn’t. We definitely need more color variation! But I’m ridiculously proud that neither team uses the same color as the others. “

It made me curious how long, in total, the complete tapestry had taken to reach this point.

“I’m not sure I can give you the total time it took, in person-hours, but I started it on July 3 and finished it on August 15, working on it intermittently,” he said. declared Rami. But, apparently, she’s not done with it yet. “I still plan to add more text at the bottom to note the Caps victory, and maybe a preview of the cup itself.”

As for where the tapestry will hang once it’s finally finished? “I don’t know where it’s going to hang yet,” Rami told me. “I have another cross stitch from last year that had not yet been hung, as well as my kid’s collection of pucks and a collage I made for them from posters from the Cup parade. Stanley. The plan is to find a place to store all of the kids’ hockey stuff (they play) and decorate the walls in that area.

McCurdy, meanwhile, was suitably impressed to see his visualizations take on a new artistic format.

Title photo: @DarthRami


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