Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The Capitals' third line has been excellent this season. But the players are taking too many penalties.
Of the Capitals' four most frequent line combinations since the beginning of the season, according to LeftWingLock.com, none of them has committed more minor penalties than the 18 committed by Chimera-Grabovski-Ward.
This is especially disconcerting if you consider that two of the forwards on this line are valuable members of the penalty-killing unit. Joel Ward and Jason Chimera rank third and fourth among the teams' forwards in short-handed time on ice per game, respectively. They cannot possibly help on the penalty kill if they're in the penalty box themselves.
The Caps' third line can improve in this area now that Jay Beagle has replaced Grabovski on the third line over the last three games, according to LeftWingLock.com. Beagle ranks 12th among Capitals' forwards in minor penalties, while Chimera, Ward and Grabovski rank fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Plus, Beagle is a key contributor on the penalty kill, ranking right behind Ward and Chimera in short-handed time on ice per game among Capitals' forwards.