Last week, Jay Beagle talked about how much he craved the physicality of playoff hockey.
“Yeah, I mean, it should be nasty,” Beagle said. “It’s the playoffs. That’s the we like to play. That’s the way they like to play. Hard hits, going after each other. These are two teams that don’t like each other. It’s fun to play hard between the whistles.”
Monday during Game Six, Beagle showed just how nasty he could get in a second period battle with Sidney Crosby. The Caps gritty fourth-line center and the game’s best player engaged in a legendary tit-for-tat, slashing and cross-checking and elbowing and punching for nearly 20 seconds straight until the whistle sounded. There were no penalties on the play.
NBCSN’s Ed Olczyk said it best.
“Watch the battle. The battle amongst the battle. This is away from the play. Hack, chop, stick, elbow, forearm shiver, punch to the head, holding, whack, watch this one at the end coming. And then a backhanded elbow and forearm. That is playoff hockey at its best.”
After Crosby threw an elbow, Beagle laughed at the future hall of famer.
Maybe he wants to play MarioKart against him too.
Very important and serious news update: Jay Beagle says Phil Kessel has not responded to his MarioKart challenge. "It's a shame," he said.
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) May 8, 2017
The battle with Beagle was just one of the brutal interactions Crosby had with Capitals players on the night.
In the first period, Crosby was high-sticked in the face after Patric Hornqvist and Matt Niskanen crashed into the boards.
When skating hard to the net, Crosby tripped over Braden Holtby’s stick and crashed into the end boards.
And finally, Crosby and Dmitry Orlov engaged in this bitter battle in neutral.
One of the biggest reasons why the Capitals forced a Game Seven is that they neutralized the world’s best player. Crosby had an assist, but only one shot on goal in nineteen minutes and fifty-seven brutal seconds of playoff hockey.
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