Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle played great in Game One of the Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The fourth liner skated 15 minutes and 17 seconds, topping Washington’s third line in TOI. He and partners Daniel Winnik and Tom Wilson were hard on the forecheck, forcing turnovers and tiring out Pittsburgh’s forwards. Beagle also won 63 percent of his faceoffs, including some key ones against Evgeni Malkin, whom he bested 75 percent of the time.
After the game, Beagle and I exchanged our usual fist bump for a job well done, but no one in the locker room wanted to ask him about about his performance. Instead, Beagle’s adventures with Kris Letang’s stick, which got stuck between his helmet and visor, was the topic du jour for the national media assembled at Verizon Center.
“I definitely knew there was a stick in my visor,” Beagle said. “I just couldn’t believe that it was stuck. I tried to pull it a couple times just so I could continue with the play, but it wouldn’t come out. Then I figured I might as well get to the bench, I’m useless right now. I can’t see a thing.”
Beagle and Capitals head coach Barry Trotz tried to argue that high-sticking should be called on Letang. The officials didn’t buy it because… well, I’m not sure.
“I said to the ref ‘I’ve got the evidence right here,’” Beagle said with a laugh.
No high-sticking on Letang? Beagle just had a loose fitting visor?
— Kerry Fraser (@kfraserthecall) April 29, 2016
Beagle’s encounters with errant sticks didn’t end there. Later in the game, Phil Kessel tripped Beagle, with the curve of Kessel’s stick getting stuck between Beagle’s boot and blade.
“Typically you don’t want to be a stick magnet, you’d rather have the puck coming to you,” Beagle said. “It was weird. I’ve never had that happen before. I don’t know if it’s ever happened before.”
After a thrilling overtime win, the Capitals were able to laugh it off. And for good reason. The Letang incident might have been the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in person at a hockey game.
“That was sorta like a Halloween costume right there,” Trotz quipped. “He didn’t know what to do.”
— Shea Angus (@Sheangus) April 29, 2016
Jay "Hockey Unicorn" Beagle made the Today Show this morning pic.twitter.com/CJKL6AR4gx
— Molly Astrid (@WeWillBonzai) April 29, 2016
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