Jay Beagle has 19 goals in 229 career games. Six of those goals have come this season, surpassing his previous career high of four despite the Caps being just one game past the halfway point. When Chris spoke to Beagle last month, the Caps dogged Center credited his offensive surge to the faith Barry Trotz has placed in him, as well as his own renewed commitment in the off-season to becoming a better offensive player in 2014-15.
“Trotz puts a lot of faith in me and puts me in big situations,” Beagle told RMNB in December. “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.”
Beagle’s producing more points than ever before in his NHL career. He’s made plays that have left Alan May speechless. His production rate during 5v5 has increased dramatically this season.
Here’s a look at what may be driving Beagle’s breakout offensive season.
One of the major factors in Marcus Johansson‘s breakout season is that he’s shooting the puck a lot more. That’s not the case with Beagle.
However, when Beagle is shooting the puck this season, it is going in more often. This isn’t really sustainable. Beagle has been getting lucky with his shooting so far, though that isn’t to say his production is undeserved.
The Caps are shooting 9 percent with Beagle on the ice this season, up from 4.5 percent last season.
When I looked at Joel Ward’s unlikely rise in production as he entered his mid-thirties, I found that he’s been generating more shots from the slot than he had earlier in his career. That implies a change to a player’s fundamentals that could last. The same is not true for Beagle, who is generating shots from the slot in line with his career rate, though his average shot distance has improved slightly from last season.
Beagle’s deployments also don’t offer up any context for his production this season either, as it’s pretty consistent with how he’s been used throughout his career.
Statistically speaking, the primary explanation for Beagle’s career offensive season is that he’s been luckier when shooting the puck. This doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been a treat to watch Beagle unleash the offense this season, or that you shouldn’t enjoy it. Just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t last.
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