On November 23, 2015, In Highlights, By Patrick Holden
Around the 14 minute mark of the first period, Jay Beagle was knocked to the ice and seemed a bit stunned as he got up. It went undetected by most, but the reason Beagle was so stunned was that he was elbowed in the face by Lauri Korpikoski who, by the way is a terrible hockey player.
Tuesday night, down 3-0, the Washington Capitals got some life late in the second period, when Dmitry Orlov blasted a shot past San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones. The goal was made possible by a perfect screen in front of the net by Jay Beagle. It was Orlov’s first tally since the spring of 2014. Or so we thought.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer challenged the call and, after a lengthy review, official Tim Peel took away the goal due to goaltender interference.
Beagle, who stared at the jumbotron in disbelief while Peel made his ruling, was bewildered.
Halfway through Tuesday’s game, the Caps were deep in a two-goal hole plus one and they looked pitiful. To the rescue came Dmitry Orlov, aided by Jay Beagle, who screened San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones.
That should have been Orlov’s first goal since the spring of 2014, but San Jose coach Pete DeBoer is a cranky-ass party pooper. Issuing the first coach’s challenge we’ve seen so far, DeBoer forced referee Tim Peel and company to review the play, which they did by looking at what looked like a Wii U remote.
The Washington Capitals played in the final game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 27. The Caps lost that contest to the New York Islanders, but their Game 7 victory in Washington put an end to hockey at the Coliseum. It was a glorious moment. Six months later, the Islanders have left the brutalist circular abode behind, moving to the opulent Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After closing out the Coliseum, the Capitals got the chance to play one of the first games in the new place, beating the Isles 3-1 Monday night.
The differences between the two buildings are striking. While the old concrete blob featured notable amenities such as rat poop and a TV angle that seemed to be coming from St. Louis, the new barn has a bus elevator, which is a freaking elevator for buses.
“I’ve never been on a bus elevator,” Jay Beagle told RMNB. “At first we were kind of like, what’s going on here? And then we realized it was an elevator for a bus, so that was kind of cool.”
Lost in the shuffle of the Caps new third jersey news Tuesday night, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Caps general manager Brian MacLellan is trying to wrap up new deals with bottom-six forwards Eric Fehr and Jay Beagle. Meanwhile, it appears UFAs Joel Ward and Mike Green are all but certain to test the free agent market on July 1st.
It was a good season to be a Jay Beagle fan, which we are. We just watched him wrap up the best season of his career, plus he got a new cell phone. Beagle was so good, he might have just played himself out of a contract.
p.s. I vow to use no dog puns in this whole article.
In early 2007, Jay Beagle was a member of the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL, a team he signed with after college. As an undrafted forward playing third-tier professional hockey in middle America, Beagle had little shot at making the NHL. He skated in 26 games for the Steelheads, mostly in the postseason, picking up 13 points. During their Kelly Cup-winning playoff run, the Steelheads matched up against the Las Vegas Wranglers. Steve Richmond, currently the Capitals’ Director of Player Development, happened to be in attendance for those games in Vegas. He liked what he saw, and Beagle received an offer to join Washington’s annual development camp over the summer.
“I was ecstatic,” Beagle said. “It was a chance that I didn’t really think I’d ever get.”
Last week, Eric Fehr met the media to update them on the injury that has keep him out of the lineup for most of the playoffs. After two minutes of optimism and indirect answers, the scrum was finished. The day’s routine necessity had been completed. As the rest of the media shuffled away from Fehr’s locker, I made an offhand comment that the F-16 was getting ready for flight.
“There are some bad nicknames out there,” he told me. “Of all the nicknames to have, that’s a pretty cool one.”
I asked what he thought of his other nickname, Fehrsie.
“See, that’s the thing: I hate those nicknames,” he said. “Anybody with a last name with a –y on the end would probably be the worst one. Spelling it –ie doesn’t change anything. You need to be creative. As a group we’ve tried to be more creative with guys. We tried to change it up a little bit.”
Inadvertently, I had just stumbled on a massive scoop. Over the next 10 minutes, Fehr revealed the other hidden nicknames of the Capitals locker room. Some you might know– others you don’t.