The Washington Capitals 4th Line is the Charm – Adding Depth, Experience and Skill While Rounding Out Our Offensive Lines

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Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

A team’s depth is often a key element to its success and last night, the Capitals fourth line stepped forth from the shadows and into the limelight of center ice which, if the trend continues, will bolster the team’s success throughout the regular season and beyond.

Last night, the Capitals’ fourth line of, birthday-boy Jay Beagle (31 today!), Daniel Winnik and Tom Wilson, demonstrated and proved how their offensive and defensive abilities will be a game winning asset to the team.

Coach Barry Trotz acknowledged the line’s success in their home opener in his post-game interview last night saying, “I don’t consider them our fourth line right now. They are probably one of our best lines”.

Their success came early in the first period when Winnik notched his first of two goals for the evening. In the first, he tapped in a wrister from blue liner John Carlson for the first score of the night and the second when he raced down the ice effectively beating the Isles defender and coming out on the winning side of a one on one showdown with the Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Saturday’s goals mark Winnik’s 4th for the Capitals since he joined the team at the trade deadline in March 2016, and last night’s game is his 5th career 2 goal game. “It was good to see Winnie get a couple goals,” said Trotz.” We want some offense from that line, I think they are capable of it and they showed it tonight”. It was especially heartwarming that Winnik’s Dad, who came to watch the Capitals opening home game, was able to witness his son’s success.

The fourth line’s successes last night can be measured by more than just numbers on the scoreboard. Beagle won an impressive 73 percent of his 15 face-offs and earned an assist on Winnik’s goal in the first period. The line also was extremely effective limiting the Islanders scoring chances and opportunities – even when pitted against the Islanders top line forwards, limiting them to a paltry five shots on goal in the third period despite the additional attacker they gained when they pulled their goalie for a six-man advantage. Trotz acknowleged the line’s success, “They [the fourth line] can play against the top lines and shut them down. They can contribute offensively so they were real huge for us”.

When juxtaposing the Capitals fourth line progress from last October, when Trotz expressed deep frustration with the then 4th line, “They’ve got to be better for us. That’s not good enough” we are starting in a much better place which will hopefully yield strong results in the regular season and allow the Capitals to make a deep run in the playoffs.

By Stephanie Judge

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Home opener: 10/15/16

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About Stephanie Judge

C-A-P-S Caps Caps Caps!! A lover of all things Capitals (especially T.J. Oshie) Stephanie is an avid fan follow her on Twitter @stpjudge for her latest hockey adventures.
This entry was posted in Games, Lineups, News, Offense and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Washington Capitals 4th Line is the Charm – Adding Depth, Experience and Skill While Rounding Out Our Offensive Lines

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Winnik reported to camp, ready to go. The 4th did, really.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Game Preview: Avalanche @ Capitals | NoVa Caps

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