As the regular season inches closer, day by day, the time has come to predict and begin to take a look at what the Caps and their fans can expect from each player on the roster. Today's player is fourth line winger/centerman Jay Beagle, who will begin his fifth season in the organization this fall.
Recap of Last Season: Beagle didn't do much last year outside of score "sick goal" against the Canadiens in December. He played in 31 games and only had two goals and an assist, so it's not like he set the world on fire. But when he did play, he wasn't awful and he kept his energy level up when he played. Unfortunately for Beagle, he was a regular healthy scratch by March because of the acquisitions that the Caps made, but he did show growth in his first real NHL season (his 31 games was a career high by 28). For my full post-season analysis of Beagle's 2010-11, including video of "sick goal," click here.
Expectations for this Season: As of right now, I have Beagle penciled in as my opening night fourth line right wing. Beagle is a year older now and gained valuable experience at the NHL level this year. Like I said, he held his own pretty well last year when he played, and with the Caps losing more forwards to free agency than they brought in, that leaves room for Beagle to get his shot as an every-night fourth liner. Bear in mind, I DO think that Mattias Sjogren takes this from him eventually as he gets more adapted to the North American game, but not at the start of the year. For more details on this, click here.
Playing Time: Fourth line. Beagle really isn't good enough to play anywhere else, and he won't see any time on the special teams. He'll either be on the fourth line or in the press box.
Projections: 45 GP, 2 G, 3 A, -3 rating, 8:13 ATOI.
The next season preview will feature winger Jason Chimera.