An emotional Jay Beagle spoke to reporters and thanked Caps fans after the Vancouver Canucks lost to Washington 3-2 Tuesday. The game marked Beagle’s first in DC since signing with Vancouver over the summer.
Beagle was honored during the game with a powerful tribute video that inspired a hug from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. Several teammates thanked Beagle for his time in Washington throughout the night.
“It was weird, obviously, strange being on the other side against him,” Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby said. “I’ve played so much with him. Those guys, [I] hope they know how lucky they are to have him on their team.”
Beagle, who was tearing up in the postgame interview, said the tribute video was difficult to get past and that it was “tough” to play his former team in the city that was his home for over eight years.
He also was very emotional about the loud ovations he received and the hundreds of signs fans held up during warmups.
"It's something that I'll remember forever." Jay Beagle discusses the welcome and ovation he received in his return to Washington. pic.twitter.com/BJOFhtSx0X
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 6, 2019
On his reception from fans
Jay Beagle: Obviously [it was] really special. I didn’t really expect that to be honest with you. It’s something I’ll remember forever. Obviously a great fanbase here. To have that response, to me coming back, is special. It really is.
On his team’s 3-2 loss:
Jay Beagle: It’s a tough one. I obviously wanted that one a little bit more just from the way the game went. The first period, they kind of took it to us but the second and third we played our game and played our style. It was a tough one to lose, especially on a bounce like that.
On his emotions after the tribute video:
Jay Beagle: That was tough. It actually was. I felt like I was jumping pretty good. I had pretty good legs and then that set me back for the rest of the first, which they planned that. That’s on them. That was dirty of them. That was dirty. That was dirty, yeah. I regrouped, but yeah… [tears up]
On Braden Holtby’s play on net:
Jay Beagle: Holts, he stood on his head. We did push. We pushed hard in the second. Holts does what he does. He stands on his head. He robbed me there, he said sorry. He said if he knew it was me, he would have let it in. Talk is cheap, Holts.
On what it was like to play his former team for the first time:
There’s so much video now that everyone knows the systems beforehand. It was hard to play against them. First period was a little tough. I knew I had to get a couple of hits just to get into it and know this is a hockey game and we’re here to get two points and do business here. But it was tough to play against all the guys you’ve played with for the last seven or eight years.
— Chris Russell (@Russellmania621) February 6, 2019
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