The Capitals are looking for more production from the second power play unit—and on Monday night, checking line center Jay Beagle will get an opportunity to provide that needed spark.
During the morning skate, Beagle was parked in front of the net, hunting rebounds and deflecting pucks.
“He deserves it, I mean, based on his point total,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “We could use a right shot there. Net front, I think he can do that, puck retrievals and those types of things.”
“So,” Trotz added, “we’ll give him a shot. Got nothing to lose. He found out today …he’ll just play instinctively. The puck will end up at the blue paint at some point, and that’s where he’s got to be really good.”
The second power play unit has one goal this season (Brett Connolly vs. Buffalo on Nov. 25).
As Trotz said, Beagle found out about his new assignment just prior to the morning skate. Skating with forwards Jakub Vrana and Evgeny Kuznetsov and defensemen Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen, Beagle parked himself in front of Braden Holtby and vigorously pursued any loose change.
Long after many of his teammates has departed the ice, he was working with assistant Blaine Forsythe on net front positioning, redirecting shots from all angles and providing screens.
“I’m on the other side of [special teams] now,” said Beagle, who is also the team’s top penalty killing forward. “So it’s a good chance to try and play a different role. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve played some power play, obviously, when I was younger. In Hershey I played some power play, so I’ll draw on those experiences.”
Beagle does have a power play goal in the NHL. He scored it last year in the Capitals’ 6-1 romp over the Flyers in Game 3 of the opening round.
“I scored a big power play goal in Philly last year,” Beagle joked. “ Doesn’t anyone know that that?”
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