Blog Entry

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:14 am
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By: Adam Gretz


PITTSBURGH -- Even though the climate surrounding the fighting in hockey debate is as hot as it's ever been, there's no denying that the vast majority of ticket-buying fans still absolutely, positively love its presence in the league. It's one of the few moments that takes place during a game -- any game -- that brings the crowd out of its seats.

Take Thursday's game in Pittsburgh between the Penguins and Capitals, a 3-2 Washington overtime victory, as an example. The loudest, most extended cheer of the night wasn't reserved for one James Neal's two goals, one of which tied the game with less than five minutes to play in regulation, but for  Penguins forward Arron Asham dropping Jay Beagle in a fight, delivering two huge blows to his face, apparently knocking him out, and leaving a small pool of blood on the Consol Energy Center Ice.

The fight itself, a mismatch between Asham, a veteran of over 60 regular season fights in his NHL career (via Hockeyfights.com), and Beagle, who has participated in just one regular season fight in his 43 NHL games, would have been noteworthy simply for the way it ended; a player getting knocked out and apparently removing a piece of tooth as he skated to the bench. It will probably get even more attention for the two gestures Asham made as he skated toward the penalty box (as shown in the above video).

The fight started after Beagle gave Penguins defenseman Kris Letang a jab to the face along the boards, with Asham coming to the defense of his teammate.

Following the game Asham said the gestures were uncalled for and classless, and that he was caught up in the moment.  Mike Knuble, who scored a goal in the second period, extending his personal point streak to 13 games against the Penguins, said that he believes Asham, who was a teammate of his during their time in Philadelphia, is an "honest player" and was simply "doing his job."

"You hate to see your teammate go down," said Knuble. "Arron's doing his job, I've played with him before and he's an honest player. He's tremendous at what he does and he did what he felt that he had to do."

"Jay got popped a good one," said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. "He was playing a really good game I thought and he challenged a pretty tough customer, and a guy that's used to fighting. Jay's not that used to fighting and he got tagged a good one."

Boudreau also said he did not see Asham's post-fight gesture, and while he was seen discussing something with the officials immediately after the incident, he said that he was asking about the distance Asham traveled to engage in the fight and what the referee's interpretation of the rule (presumably the instigator rule) was.

And that's what this night will mostly be remembered for as it becomes another chapter in the fierce rivalry between the two teams, one that dates back to the 1990's when both clubs were reguarly facing each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Both players received five-minute majors for fighting, while Beagle was also penalized for the shot he gave Letang prior to the fight, leaving the Capitals shorthanded, which was nothing new on this night.

The Penguins owned a commanding 41-19 edge in the shots department for the game, aided by the fact they had five power plays in regulation to Washington's zero. In the first and third periods alone the Penguins dominated the shot chart 12-3 and 18-3 respectively. It wasn't until overtime when the Capitals saw their first man-advantage of the evening when Penguins forward Jordan Staal was sent off for tripping at the 2:04 mark of the extra period. Just 44 seconds later Dennis Wideman scored the game-winner.

Tomas Vokoun, the subject of much debate over the first two games of the season due to not being in the opening night lineup and his rough debut in the following game, did his part to silence his doubters by helping to keep the Capitals in the game and giving them a chance to win, stopping 39 of the 41 shots he faced throughout the night.

"He was the difference for us," said Knuble. "Even in that first period, we finished 1-0 we could have easily been three or four. He made some big saves in the third period too when they started to push back a little. He was a big factor tonight." 

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

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Comments

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

The fight was definitely an exciting part of the game, and it obviously made the highlight reel. However, how did it oversahdow the Caps winning? Beagle picked a fight with one of the best fighters in the league and he got a beat down. It's hockey for christ sake! Fights happen, it's part of the game. Unfortunately, Beagle had to leave the game, but it was not a serious injury. Beagle will be back, and hopefully a little wiser with who he picks a fight with....



Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

On a side note, it does appear that Asham prevents Beagle from landing flat on his face after he was knocked out by holding his jersey until he hits the ice.  That very well could have saved him from a worse injury.  

But holy cow, was that ever a heavy punch. 



Since: Aug 20, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

I thought players with visors were required to remove their helmets if they decided to drop the gloves. thats what happens when your jaw is the only exposed place for a punch to land. 



Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:43 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

Either way it was a fun game, with Vokoun, Caps deserved to win - but they weren't particularly impressive.
No arguement here. I think Washington outplayed them in the 2nd but def not the 3rd. They were dominated in the 3rd, and I agree without Tommy Vokoun they would have lost 5-2.

As far as the Kunitz laying over on that Ovechkin goal I don't recall that.  All I saw was a blast that 8 deflected in. I also think that Brouer needs to stay on the Backstrom line. Knuble with Semin works better to me.

The Pens should be contending for the East again this year with a healthy Crosby.




Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:06 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

> Let's see... He layed 6 hits, was a plus 1, scored 1 goal on only 3 shots hahahaha.

He would not have got that goal if Kunitz didn't lay over a perfect turnover to him.

> I laugh because Pitt fan use to complain that his shooting percentage was awful and took to many shots.

Those Pitt fans were not me.  If you are a marquis player in the league, you ***NEED*** to be the one on your team getting open and taking shots.

> So now you agree that he must become the 8 of old and take the puck to the net?  I would agree as
> well on the scoring goals front, but he still hits skates and goes after it.

Dude, I'm telling you, there is something wrong with him.  I am not questioning his capabilities, or his effort (he out-raced 3 guys to nullify icing, he still has hustle and wheels), but for some reason, he is no longer the dominating player he used to be.  Is he hurt?  Is Budreaux stifling him?

Malkin was clearly the best player on the ice last night.  Ovechkin was non-existent most of the game.  When does that happen?????  He is clearly good, but he hasn't played up to ***HIS*** standards for at least a year now.  Just curious what you guys think is going on, I don't get to watch him that much, as national hockey coverage on TV really blows...




Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:52 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

Ovechkin is not Ovechkin.  He was a non-factor the entire game until Kunitz served him up a turnover.  Is he hurt or something? 
Let's see... He layed 6 hits, was a plus 1, scored 1 goal on only 3 shots hahahaha. I laugh because Pitt fan use to complain that his shooting percentage was awful and took to many shots. So now you agree that he must become the 8 of old and take the puck to the net?  I would agree as well on the scoring goals front, but he still hits skates and goes after it.

Warrented or not, Beagle won't be taking any more cheap shots on players any time soon.  Man did he get hammered.
As SisterRay said I believe Beagle did not like the way he was hit by Letang, and yes either way it doesn't matter he got hammered.

I know it is only one game, but Thomas Voukun looks like he could be the missing piece to the puzzle that the Caps haven't been able to fill, well, ever.  I loved him when he was with Florida, man did he look great last night.  My attitude about the Caps has changed a lot, instead of wondering how they are going to choke this year, I really think they have a shot.  They were dominated last night, but still won.  That only happens to really, really good teams who are complete on both ends of the ice.


I agree. With Beagle getting Mike Tyson'D it took away from what Vokoun was able to display. He is the best free agent signing of the offseason.  Rangers enjoy your Brad Richards... I will take a Vokoun for around 1.5 mil anyday. 3 alarm job. 



Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

Then the Pens lost to the Caps again.
  Yeah that sucked.

Anyone see how well Vokoun played,
Absolutely stole the game.  The Pens dominated the first and third periods, the third I think they outshot the caps 18-3.... not a recipe for a win, but Vokoun (and I will never be able spell his name) played lights out.  The Pens in their 40-whatever shots, threw a lot of easy ones at him from the top of the right circle, but even backing those out he played really well.

and also the lack of PP's once again for Washington? Where the Pens playing Angel hockey last night or is it just me?
A lot of that comes from being outshot at least 2-1, the Pens spent a lot of time in the Washington zone, you get more calls in the offensive zone.  None of the calls against the Caps were bad (maybe... the Beagle call was weak, but the others were reasonable).  The Pens were on the border a couple of times, but I didn't see any blatant non-calls.  If anything, I think that there could have been more calls against the Caps, particularly in the third).  There was one slash to a stick while the Pens were on a power play that was obvious, but the officials didn't call it because they knew they would get grief for giving pens a 5-3 with all the previous calls (speculation on my part).

Either way it was a fun game, with Vokoun, Caps deserved to win - but they weren't particularly impressive.



Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

Beagle got crosschecked by Letang to begin the whole incident by the boards.  The crosscheck wasn't even enough to deserve a penalty, but Beagle facewashed him and knocked his helmet off.  Beagle barely touched him, but got a roughing minor. Asham deserved an instigator penalty following Beagle to fight him.  Beagle could have turned him down and gone to the bench.  He decided to stand up to Asham and lost.  Lost bad.  The fight is what it was.  Beagle lost it, fair enough.  I agree with Asham himself that it was classless and uncalled for even though he says he was "in the moment." Asham IMO doesn't deserve to be suspended.  It's done.  Expect D. J. King and Erskine and any Hershey call-up to be dressed for Thursday December 1st when the next game shifts to DC.



Since: Oct 8, 2009
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

It's hockey. Fights happen. I just don't understand why Beagle was fighting with a visor on. I think it might have done more damage to his face than Asham's fist did.



Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Asham, Beagle fight overshadows Capitals win

I was at the game last night, and I was left with 3 lasting impressions of that game:

1) Warrented or not, Beagle won't be taking any more cheap shots on players any time soon.  Man did he get hammered.

2) Ovechkin is not Ovechkin.  He was a non-factor the entire game until Kunitz served him up a turnover.  Is he hurt or something?  I've never seen him play so average? I thought he was very pedestrian last year too.  Not that he isn't an above average player now, but he not playing nearly at the level he did in his first several seasons.

3) I know it is only one game, but Thomas Voukun looks like he could be the missing piece to the puzzle that the Caps haven't been able to fill, well, ever.  I loved him when he was with Florida, man did he look great last night.  My attitude about the Caps has changed a lot, instead of wondering how they are going to choke this year, I really think they have a shot.  They were dominated last night, but still won.  That only happens to really, really good teams who are complete on both ends of the ice.


Man, I hope Beagle is okay, but I'm hoarse today I was screaming so loud last night.  What a fight!!! Really, what a game!!


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