BALTIMORE | It was understandably hard for Capitals and Predators players to get their skates under them Tuesday night because of some less-than-NHL-quality ice conditions. But certain players still stood out, and the fact that Jay Beagle was one of them should come as no surprise to anyone who realizes the forward’s reputation as a workout fiend.
While some teammates were getting up to speed in the first exhibition game, Beagle was flying all over the ice and doing the kind of gritty, little things anyone would expect out of a guy known as a fourth-line energy player.
“Guys that are fighting for jobs – Beagle working real hard out there as he always does,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Those were guys that shined bright.”
On a line with D.J. King and Garrett Mitchell – hardly considered a spotlight grouping – Beagle skated circles around some Nashville players, despite puddles in the ice and despite this being the first real game action for him since April 9.
“We got it deep, we had it in their zone for most shifts that we were out there,” Beagle said. “You get the puck deep and you grind it out, take it to the net, give it to the D – they had a couple shots with some tips and deflections and the puck just wasn’t going our way. But I think our line once we got it deep we got going. We played well.”
That line was out there for a Predators goal, and Beagle, naturally, wished he could replay that situation and make amends. But this is the time of year for those kind of mistakes.
Still, Beagle – like most Caps – didn’t want to make excuses, especially regarding the ice.
“You got to play your role and you got to play your game,” he said. “I think they outworked us and that’s what it came down to.”