There certainly seems to be a war of words playing out in Pittsburgh ahead of Game 4. That’s to be expected given the rivalry between the Caps and Penguins plus the added tension of Washington knocking Sidney Crosby out of the lineup, but it seems to be playing out in a bizarre way.
Few Caps players were available to the media on Tuesday, but Jay Beagle was and he said he expected the same kind of nastiness we saw in Game 3 to carry over for the rest of the series.
"It should be nasty, it’s the playoffs,” Beagle said. That’s the way we like to play, that’s the way they like to play – hard hits, going after each other. I mean, these are two teams that don’t like each other.”
Harmless enough…until it got relayed to Penguins forward Phil Kessel.
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Even though Beagle was not talking about the hit on Crosby that knocked him out of Game 3, he was quoted to Kessel right after the forward was done talking about Crosby.
“If he thinks that’s a clean hit, he’s an idiot,” Kessel said in response. You can hear Kessel's comments in the video above.
Again, Beagle was not talking about the hit on Crosby, but I digress.
So of course, after directly calling Beagle an idiot, everyone wanted to know Beagle’s response.
“Ouch,” Beagle said, feigning sadness. “That hurts. That’s not very nice, but I guess he said what he said.”
Beagle reiterated that his comments were not about the hit on Crosby and then offered a challenge to Kessel.
“I’m hurt deeply,” Beagle said. “I don’t know, if he wants to settle it, we could always play some Mario Kart. He knows where to find me.”
MORE CAPITALS: El-Bashir on whether Crosby will be back in this series