Former Capital Jay Beagle was public enemy number one in the NHL after his actions in the Arizona Coyotes’ 5-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. A frustrated Beagle cross-checked Trevor Zegras and beat down Troy Terry late in the third period of the game. Terry, a star player, had never fought before while Zegras scored a first-period goal via The Michigan — a fancy lacrosse move where you pick up the puck on the blade of your stick and flick it into the net.
While speaking to Bally Sports Arizona, Beagle explained that he was upset about Zegras’s poke check to his goaltender late in a blowout game — though he never mentions Zegras by name — and blamed Terry for how aggressively he entered the fray afterward.
Beagle never directly addresses if the play was payback for Zegras’ Michigan goal.
Jay Beagle speaks on Friday night's altercation. pic.twitter.com/LvqbfA95kE
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) April 3, 2022
Beagle says in the interview:
For me, obviously, it’s pretty simple. I’m coming back on a back check, it’s a 5-0 game. We’re obviously not playing the way we want to play and have kind of been embarrassed. A player takes a poke at our goalie in the crease, 5-0, so I lay a cross-check on him and expect to get a penalty. That’s going to happen. You obviously can’t allow people to take a little poke at your goalie. It doesn’t matter. 5-0. It’s unacceptable. So that kind of starts everything.
Um, from there, obviously, a guy comes in. Second man in ends up being Terry. At the time, I obviously didn’t know that was Terry. He comes in aggressively and grabs a hold of me. That’s a fight. In my mind right there, he attacks me and goes after me. It’s a fight. Then, after that, it is what it is.
It’s one of those things where, I think, there’s got to be some accountability. Players have to be accountable for what they do out there. I’m accountable for what I do. You poke the goalie when it’s 5-0. I don’t care who you are, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to get a jab. You’re going to get something. There’s going to be something. That’s the game. That’s the way it’s played. And there’s kind of an unwritten rule there. It’s the same thing as coming into a scrum. There are different ways of coming into a scrum. There’s a way to come in where you don’t want to fight. You wait for the linesman to get in there. I watched the replay a bunch of times, obviously, after it kind of blew up. There’s nothing the linesman could have done. He came in really aggressively. He grabbed ahold of me and I thought it was a fight. That’s just how I read it. It happens fast. Right or wrong, it happens. The game is fast. It happens fast. I stand by what I did. There are those rules where if you’re coming in you better be ready to drop the gloves and if you’re not, then come in a little differently.
I’m not dumb. I read all the reports. You hear all the chatter. No, I think it’s something as simple as – for me, it’s pretty black and white. If you poke the goalie, it’s 5-0. There’s going to be something that’s going to happen. That’s the game. It’s happened to me. It’s happened a million times. So you gotta have that onus. You gotta take that accountability and be accountable for what you do. It’s too bad. You don’t want to ever see someone get hurt. But, you have to be accountable for what you do and your actions. I felt like they handled that very well when it was 5-0 and obviously not going to let that happen.
Beagle doesn’t apologize or show contrition for his actions and suggests the two young Ducks stars are to blame because they’re not familiar enough with the hockey code. Zegras and Terry were out of line, not him, and what happened afterward — possibly a severe injury to Terry’s left eye — “is what it is.” Beagle had a chance to say his feistiness wasn’t payback for The Michigan goal or the Ducks “skilling it up” but doesn’t say that explicitly.
I don’t know what to make of Jay’s comments. Tell me your thoughts in the comments.
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen/RMNB
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