Strength: General Irritability
Every team needs one line that will get under the skin of its opponents, causing them to get off their game and perform under their potential. For the Capitals, that role is filled by their fourth line.
Eric Fehr is a talented forward whose offensive skills may surprise some teams, while also possessing a knack for instigating scrums after the whistle.
Jay Beagle is a dedicated defender whose defensive acumen can stymie the best offensive players in the league.
Finally, Jason Chimera is one of the mouthiest players in the NHL who has the pugilistic skills to back it up.
Weakness: Emphasis on Skill
Oates prefers to reward his thoroughbreds, not his draft horses. He distributes his ice time accordingly.
Case in point: During the 2012-13 season, the even-strength line combination of Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle and Joel Ward was used with a frequency of 3.72 percent according, the sixth-most frequent Capitals' line, according to LeftWingLock.com. Another variation of the fourth line—Aaron Volpatti, Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle—was the 10th-most frequent even-strength line combination at 3.46 percent.
This line will have a hard time getting under the opponents' skin if it is sitting on the bench.