Beagle during Saturday’s morning skate. (Photo: Chris Gordon)
On Saturday morning, Jay Beagle took to the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to the cheers of his teammates. He spent 45 minutes skating with the Caps and working with coaches in a non-contact jersey, his first practice with the team since breaking his left hand in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on December 30. After launching into a soliloquy to me on his Hotmail account, Beags took questions from reporters.
“It’s fun just to be out there,” Beagle said as his teammates prepared for the Devils-Capitals game, the 21st game Beagle will miss due to his injury. “Skating all by yourself gets to be tough after a little bit. It was good skating with the guys.”
The surgery to repair Beagle’s hand left an approximately four inch scar running down the top of his left hand. Though the bone has healed and he has been working with a stick for the last week, Beagle still cannot fully close his hand, making shots and fist bumps a challenge. His faceoff ability is less affected by the injury because he uses his right hand for leverage on draws. Beagle will continue to do physical therapy to improve his range of motion and hopes to be ready for action soon.
“It’s just a matter of getting the strength back and feeling 100 percent.”I feel good out there so I’m hoping to be back after [this] week. I’m hoping. You never know what’s going to happen, but that’s my goal.”
With the signing of Mike Richards and the stellar play of Marcus Johansson in Beagle’s old spot at third line center, it remains to be seen how head coach Barry Trotz will use Beagle when he’s healthy. As of now, Trotz plans to start Beagle on the fourth line.
“We’ll see,” the coach said. “Things could change.”
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