Jay Beagle’s Importance to the Caps; Who Steps Up?

Photo: NHL/Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals announced Saturday that Jay Beagle underwent successful surgery on his hand and will be able to resume full hockey activities in 6 weeks. The 30-year old Calgary native has recorded 12 points (6 G, 6 A) so far this season in 36 games and was on pace for 27 P before his injury, which would mark a new career high for points.

Beagle isn’t the main offensive threat for this Capitals team, but he is a huge contributor to the penalty-killing unit and is excellent in face-offs (58.4 FOW%). Beagle and Brooks Laich are given the most responsibility as forwards on a PK that currently ranks 5th in the NHL at 84.7%.

Washington Capitals Face-off Statistics


Jay Beagle is a fan-favorite around Washington because he gives 110% effort every time he steps on the ice. Barry Trotz has described him as a player who has “no quit in his game.”Beags is a complete team player that genuinely just wants to help the team win any way that he can. He constantly is chasing after loose pucks and attempting to get in front of opponents’ shots. The Caps feed off of Jay Beagle’s high-energy play, and, strangely enough, the team is 22-0-5 when Beagle scores a goal.

Washington Capitals' Jay Beagle, reacts after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

(AP Photo/George Nikitin)

All three players on the Caps’ third line are currently on pace to surpass their previous career high marks in points for the season. Chimera, Beagle, and Wilson have all been playing well along the boards, and they’ve been excellent with continuing the cycle below the goal line and creating quality scoring opportunities for each other. The Capitals will definitely miss Jay Beagle’s toughness and effort while he recovers from hand surgery, but with the Next Man Up mentality that the team has carried all season long, they should will still play quality hockey while guys like Beags, Carlson, and Orpik recover from injuries.

Against Columbus, Trotz moved Marcus Johansson down to the third line at the center position to play with Chimera and Wilson, while Andre Burakovsky was moved up to the second line LW playing with Evgeny Kuznetsov and savvy veteran Justin Williams. Zach Sill is currently the fourth line center with Latta being moved over to RW.

Moving MoJo down to the third line is a great move by Trotz. The smooth skating Swede has been playing his best hockey of the season during the last few weeks. Johansson can use his skating to help set up more quality looks for Chimera and Wilson until Beagle returns. Moving Burakovsky up to the second line will hopefully increase his production and help him get into a groove while playing with top-6 offensive players. Justin Williams, Backstrom, and Chimera will most likely be seeing more time during the penalty kill along with Zach Sill as long as he’s up in the NHL.

By Gabe Mead

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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