CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2012-13 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Jay Beagle
Position: Center/Right Wing
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 212
Penalty minutes: 14
Average Ice Time: 12:06
Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 3-year, $2.7 million contract [$900,000 cap hit in 2012-13]
Strengths: After a concussion kept him out of half of last season, Beagle was one of seven Capitals to play in all 48 games this season and ranked fourth in faceoff winning percentage [56.1 percent]. A strong, physical presence on the forecheck Beagle was a valuable penalty killer, leading all Caps forwards in shorthanded ice time, averaging 2:07 a game.
Weaknesses: Beagle picked up his second career playoff goal in Game 3 against the Rangers but he finished a team-worst minus-5 in seven games and saw his average ice time cut from 12:06 in the regular season to 9:38 in the playoffs. His faceoff winning percentage also dipped from 56.1 percent in the regular season to 51.7 percent in the post-season. Beagle also struggled to find the net this season, finishing with a shooting percentage of 3.6, ahead of only Jason Chimera [3.3] and Karl Alzner [2.6] among Caps regulars.
Memorable Moment: Back in February, when the Caps had the worst record in the NHL after 10 games [2-7-1] Beagle wondered what player would have to do to turn luck in their favor. “I don’t know if we have to sacrifice a cow or something,” he told reporters. “I don’t know what we have to do.” When it was suggested the Caps start smaller, like maybe a goat, Beagle replied, “No, I’m starting big. There’s no time for starting small.” The next night the Caps played one of their best games of the season in a 2-1 loss in Pittsburgh. They went 25-10-2 the rest of the season.
2013-14 Expectations: After a promising 2011-2 season under Dale Hunter that resulted in a three-year contract, Beagle took a small step back under Adam Oates, spending most of the season on the fourth line. With some offseason work on tips and deflections and a little more fearlessness in front of the net Beagle should be capable of scoring 10-15 goals for the Caps next season.