Attack dog. (Photo credit: Christian Petersen)
The Barry Trotz era has been a time of tumult for Jay Beagle. In October, he let his beloved Flipper go, a love that had burned bright for six years. Once the season got going, he found his role with the Caps growing. Beagle is skating an average of almost 13 minutes a night this year, a big jump from previous seasons. In fact, Beagle has spent time on the first line skating alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Beags’s has been back there again lately, filling in during Tom Wilson’s recent mid-game benchings.
“Trotz puts a lot of faith in me and puts me in big situations,” Beagle said. “I’m grateful for it. I don’t want to let him down, I don’t want to let my team down, I don’t want to let myself down. You get those opportunities and you make the most of them.”
He has. Beagle continued his torrid scoring pace Monday, scoring his fifth goal of the season, a career high. Beags is seventh on the Caps in goals, ahead of offensive powerhouses like Brooks Orpik. He also has nine points this year, which ties a career high. His fancy stats aren’t that great, but I won’t let that interfere with my narrative.
Like, look at this drop pass.
“I worked a lot this summer on trying to become a little bit more offensive in my game,” Beags said. “Just being a more two-way player where I can contribute offensively. It’s always felt like it’s been there.”
After slotting in for Wilson against Ottawa, Beagle was sprung for a semi-breakaway by Evengy Kuznetsov. Just like Ovechkin in New Jersey, Beagle drove to the net hard, fought back a defender, and put the puck home. Unlike Ovi, however, he kinda fanned on the shot.
“His was a little prettier,” Beagle told me after that game. “His was a highlight reel and mine’s just kinda meh! Mine’s a meh meh goal.”
“I got to make it my own somehow!” he concluded.
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