Today we have the privilege of discussing top-line dynamo Jay Beagle, who is a perfectly respectable player when he’s not being assigned the role of top-line dynamo. …Adam.
|11||Average time on ice per game|
|44.8%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|35.5%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|4.5%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|93.4%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
I think Adam Oates liked Jay Beagle a lot. Beags played every game last season and 75% of games in 2013-14. Aside from a stretch of scratches between October and Thanksgiving, Beagle has been a full-time NHL player for the first time in his career. That’s good because he’s a dependable depth forward on a decent, $900k contract. But once you took that pokey little puppy and gave him one of the toughest jobs in the league, that of Ovi’s fixer, Beagle became the object of scrutiny that he didn’t really deserve.
When the Caps hit up California on March 18th, Oates made Jay Beagle the team’s first-line center. That made some sense (two supposed scoring lines would be harder to match up against for the home team, Beagle’s purported defensive talent would mitigate Ovechkin’s weakness there), but it didn’t work. The Caps won, but the Beagle-Ovi line scored exactly zero goals and got outshot by nearly a 6:4 ratio.
That’s not Beagle’s fault. He is a decent bottom-six forward, and he shouldn’t have been asked to solve the most enigmatic enigma ever to enigmatize. Even with the low puck possession he had with Ovechkin, Beagle should’ve been able to score– but he’s not alone in being snakebit while skating with Ovechkin. Something else is going on there.
Next year, maybe Jay Beagle will get between 10 and 14 minutes a night, face some tough assignments in his own zone, and free up the guys earning 3 mil plus to do some damage in the o-zone. That’d be noble work, and we’d thank him for it.
What did you make of Jay Beagle’s season? Can you ever see him as a top-six forward? What do you want from him next year?
Read more: Japers Rink
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