ARLINGTON, Va. – Jay Beagle and D.J. King are not Alex Ovechkin. Combined, they have fewer points in their NHL careers than the Capitals superstar has this month. But as the Caps start life without Ovechkin Tuesday night for a week or more, one of those two guys will be his replacement in the lineup.
Beagle, for one, won’t even try to replace Ovechkin.
“No. I think when someone gets injured and I get to get up in the lineup, it’s not replacing. I don’t look at it as I’m replacing that player,” he said. “I’m going into that lineup to do what I do. Obviously I can’t go in the lineup and do what Alex does, so I’m not even gonna try. I’m gonna get into the lineup and do what I do and play my game.”
Rather, it’ll be more up to guys like Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich to pick up the offense. Laich skated with the first line at practice Monday.
Marcus Johansson said “hopefully” the whole team will play better knowing Ovechkin is out. Coach Bruce Boudreau expects it.
“I think it says a lot for our depth and a lot for the ability for somebody else to step up,” he said. “Like I’ve said numerous times, when someone’s out, it gives somebody else a time – an opportunity to get 20 minutes a game, probably more than they’ve played a while. It’s up to them – short-term – to take advantage of it.”