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Fight night: Arron Asham drops Jay Beagle, taunts afterwards

Oct 13, 2011, 10:23 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

Fighting is a tough way to make a living in the NHL. As if there were ever any doubt that hockey players willing to stick up for their teammates are manly men, Arron Asham gave us a clear reminder. Actually, its Washington’s Jay Beagle that reminded us that sticking up for teammates is a commendable way to make a living. Asham was the reminder why it’s such a tough way to collect a paycheck in the 3rd period of the Capitals’ OT victory over the Penguins.

Here’s the scene: Caps forward Jay Beagle hits Kris Letang and knocks off his lid. Penguins’ tough guy Arron Asham confronts Beagle for laying a big hit on one of his skilled teammates, and Beagle unfortunately obliges the request to drop the gloves. As most people will tell you—this is part of hockey. Asham confronted Beagle because that’s his job in the NHL. Beagle accepted the Asham’s request because, well, that’s what hockey players do. He’s a veteran of only 42 career games and he’s desperately trying to make solidify his spot on the Capitals roster.

Two punches to the face, a lost tooth, and a bloody face later and Beagle may have wanted to rethink his decision. Here’s the video, but beware: there’s about a quart of Beagle’s blood on the ice after the fight.

Aside from the clear knockout, the fight made waves around the internet because of Asham’s perceived actions after the fight.  As if the Pens/Caps rivalry needed any more fuel.

“Asham appeared to taunt Beagle on the way to the penalty box, gesturing that he was ‘asleep,’ but tapped his stick in the penalty box when Beagle, a significantly less experienced fighter, left the ice.”

There was some argument whether Asham had done anything wrong—but afterwards the Pens’ forward confirmed that he did, in fact, taunt after the fight. He took the post-game questions and explained that his own actions after the fight were “classless,” “uncalled for,” and that he was “caught up in the moment.” The actions were classless and uncalled for, but owning the mistake after the game was a stand-up move.

What do you think? Do you think Arron Asham’s post-fight gesture was uncalled for or do you give him the benefit of the doubt because he was caught up in the moment? Do his postgame comments influence your thoughts at all? Let us know what you have in the comments.

Update (1:05am EST): Alexander Ovechkin offered his thoughts after the game: “It’s a hockey game, but that was pretty tough. Beagle … he’s not a fighter, he’s just, it’s not his job to fight. I don’t know, it’s kind of unrespectful for players on a different team.” (Video link)

  1. trbowman - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    It was uncalled for but he got caught up in it, no big deal here.

  2. bossyrossy - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Something tells me DJ King will be activated next time these two teams play.

  3. stakex - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Its un-called for since Beagle was in fact injured pretty bad at the time. If it was just a simple knock down in which Beagle got right up and wasn’t hurt, I guess it would have been fine.

    I think the bigger problem is the fact you can seem to touch a guy in the NHL these days without having to fight afterwards. Sure Beagle could have walked away from the the fight, but thats a whole lot harder then it sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as old school as it gets and love nothing more then a good hockey fight… however, I also love to see a lot of hitting in a game and given the over reactive nature we are seeing in the NHL these days its getting pretty close to the point where in order to throw a big hit, you have to be willing to fight. Thats not a good thing.

    • lewdood - Oct 14, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      This is exactly right. I was watching the Sens get slaughtered last night and Zack Smith was challenged by Ryan Wilson after hitting a guy. The guy he hit lowered his head at the last second and Smith got hit with a “hitting the head” call, but the dude popped up immediately. Didn’t stop Wilson from making Smith fight though before the penalty was called, though, and this seems to happen all the time. Guy hits someone, he has to fight the tough guy on the ice. Between that and the league cracking down on every hit possible, this is going to be no-contact soon…

  4. killerpgh - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    He didn’t hit Letang with a legal check. He was getting a roughing penalty for roughing up Letang and knocking his helmet off. So Asham did his job and stuck up for a skilled player getting worked over.

    • stakex - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:23 AM

      Lets be fair…. the roughing call was a TERRIBLE call. Letangs helmet came off and made the whole play look worse then it was. The reality is Beagle hardly touched him.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        dont know what game you were watching, beagle punched his helmet off.

    • eastsidesounds - Oct 14, 2011 at 6:48 AM

      That is not true at all. There was nothing wrong with the hit itself…the penalty was called when Beagle shoved Letang in response to Letang shoving Beagle when Letang took offense to the legal hit. Ridiculous call and definetely not worthy of a fight. Asham was looking for a reason to fire up his team so he picked on a rookie. It’s that simple and cowardly.

  5. charlutes - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    It’s hypocritical for anyone to cry fowl about the guy’s celebration of the fight. The league allows fighting, the fans celebrate the fights, why shouldn’t a fighter celebrate a win? People cheer on the violence of NHL fights, but pretend they’re a necessity to…protect skill players or something. Hockey doesn’t need fighting, but as long as fist fights are encouraged I don’t see why a fighter wouldn’t celebrate doing his job.

  6. botlecap - Oct 14, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    asham knew he just taught a newbie a nhl lesson and was caught up in it – likely pretty surprised it only took two punches. from the vid is looks like he skated away pretty quickly and probably had no clue how much he messed up beagle’s face. asham was tapping his stick in the penalty box when beagle got up. he had a message to send and he sent it but that’s all.

  7. betrayedbylife - Oct 14, 2011 at 6:10 AM

    first comment on this story was all that was needed.

  8. Jeff Thomas - Oct 14, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    He started skating to the box as soon as Beagle went down and didn’t even know he was hurt. He called his own actions classless on his part. Non-story.

  9. ebiscuit - Oct 14, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Did anybody watch the game? Jay Beagle gave Letang a glorified face wash after some rough play at the boards. I love how its turned into some courageous act by Asham defending his poor star player Letang from Jay freakin Beagle. Ashams got like 76 fights under his belt, Beagle like 1 after last night. Props to Beagle for actually not backing down from the goon. The “go to sleep” move was really class less considering their boy has been that way for 10 months. Nobody taunted him when he was out.

    • rmessik15 - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      “their boy” kept playing through another game with a concussion. Why? b/c he is tough. Doesnt matter how long “their boy” is out. When “their boy” comes back, he will just own the league again. Plain and simple. And why would someone show any gesture towards “their boy” for a concussion? I didnt see anyone apologize afterwards for that like ASHAM did.

      • ebiscuit - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        Yes! Lets keep talking about how your boy is god on earth. These discussions I can never get enough of.

      • shannon52 - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Playing through a game with a concussion is “tough” sounds more like stupidity to me. But not surprising, everything that man does is glorified, even if its just plain stupid! There was no need for anyone to apologize after Crosby got hit… watch where you’re going, plain and simple…

      • hystoracle - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        “When “their boy” comes back, he will just own the league again. ” Until he gets hit again then back to the press box for another delayed absence. Ask Marc Savard & Eric Lindros how that works.

      • babykaby - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:30 AM

        Steckle said in an interview a month or so ago he did try to contact Crosby to apologize and see how he was doing, because he felt bad about what had happened. I don’t particularly care for Steckle, but I can give him points for making the attempt. What I just can’t get my head around is why did the Pens medical staff let Crosby back into the game after the hit. Anyone who watched the HBO show 24/7 could see Crosby was not only dazed, he actually seemed a bit loopy. The whole situation with Crosby can’t be blamed solely on the hit by Steckle or even the second hit a few days later. It has to lay at the feet of the Pens own medical/training staff. Am I the only one to think this?

  10. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 14, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    Yea I watched the game. Asham had no idea Beagle was really hurt. Caught up in the moment and the ‘rivalry.’ I do agree with ebiscuit though, Letang got fash-washed and his bucket came off. I wasn’t like Beagle ran him from behind. Needless to say, this is a non-story. Pretty sure Asham checked up on Beagle at the end of the game.

  11. justfortheheckofit - Oct 14, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Are you guys serious? Really, Hockey is a game that encourages fighting … plain and simple … Asham and Beagle fought … Beagle lost … end of story… Yeah, he got hurt but he knew that was a possibility when he decided to drop his gloves. All the story lines leading up to the fight don’t matter. As long as Hockey allows fist fighting this is gonna happen.. The question is when will it be enough?

  12. gscheelar - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Yeah, he was a little over the top (although b/c fighting is permitted, who really cares?). The thing I liked about Asham was that he owned it afterwards, admitted his mistake in showing Beagle up and answered every question about it. He did not try to hide behind “It’s part of the game” thinking.

  13. rmessik15 - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    I’m starting to think all you Pens haters out there didnt even watch the game… Asham went after Beagle b/c he punched Letang in the face which is why his helmet came off. Officials’ arm went up for a roughing call, Asham went over and said lets go. After the fight the taunting wasnt that bad. He was caught up in the moment just like EVERY other fighter would have been and made a gesture.. He taps the glass after Beagle gets up to show respect for him…And after the game even says it was a classless thing to do. What more do you want from him?? The thing that gets me was how BB complained (as he always does) for an instigator on Asham. Sorry BB, it wasnt… If anything its an extra 2 for Beagle for the visor. I wonder though if Beagle would have won that fight, would BB have complained? Probably not…

    • babykaby - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:10 AM

      Do any of us find this surprising? The Pens had more fights last season than any other team in the conference. This is how they play. With all the talk about how skilled and disciplined they are, you would think they wouldn’t need to go to such levels as having an enforcer beat up on a rookie (who doesn’t fight, btw) for absolutely no reason to win. Letang is no pushover. Beagle barely brushed him (unless he’s a girl, it probably just felt like butterfly wings against his face). Did his bucket come off, yes. However, did Beagle deserve what he got in retaliation? I don’t think so. Did Asham know how badly he had hurt Beagle? Asham said he held on to Beagle as he went down so he wouldn’t slam into the ice, so yes, he knew. It’s funny how the Pens, their ownership and their fans all whine about fighting, dirty hitting and concussions, unless they’re the ones doling it out. The Pens are classless. Asham actually showed some class by admitting it, now the rest of the organization needs to own up and admit it as well.

  14. jpelle82 - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    KTFO! i dont see anything wrong with it, he put him to bed. don’t drop em if you cant fight…dummy.

  15. swizope82 - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    we haven’t seem the end of this…

  16. wethog66 - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    As a Caps fan I have no problem with what Asham did considering what he said about his own actions after the fact. I do have a problem with the turd shitsburgh fans that were cheering well after the fight was over while Beagle was face down in a pool of his own blood. I shouldn’t have been surprised though.

    I will say I hope Baby Crosby is finally on the ice the next time the Caps and Pens play. I just wonder who will fill the Steckle roll now that Steck’s is elsewhere. DJ King? lol

    • jpelle82 - Oct 14, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      they were cheering because he knocked him out and the pens were going on a pp. they cheered again when the replay came on the big screen. same thing would have happened if it went down in washington and asham was face down on the ice.

      • bossyrossy - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        Um, incorrect. Your suggestion presupposes that fans (and people in general) in Washington DC are as classless as those in Pittsburgh. A patent falsehood.

  17. hystoracle - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    If you don’t want people to make “classless” gestures don’t get your ass knocked down with 2 punches. Either learn to fight or turtle.. you might get razzed for turtle-ing but your face will thank you for it.

  18. hockeyfan9170 - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    For you Captarded fans who keep bringing up DJ King this is for you.

    If the Penguins really feel the need they will put Steve McIntyre into the lineup.

  19. stanmackley - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    It amazes me that people are mad about taunting after a fight here- So, after two guys can legally punch each others teeth out, you are worried about a celebratory gesture of winning the fight??? If you don’t like it then flip the channel back to your soccer match.

  20. blastfurnaceknows - Oct 14, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    The most ridiculous post of the day goes to . . . bossyrossy, for “presupposing” that Washington Caps fans AREN’T classless. It’s so “patently” wrong that it is hard to believe the writer was capable of operating a keyboard. You need to go to your home games. And if you actually do, try it next time while you’re not blacked out drunk and actually take note of the behavior all around you.

    Silly little drunken rabbit, sharing ideas in public posts is not for the criminally stupid.

  21. jpelle82 - Oct 15, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    @ bossyrossy: caps fan’s classless? no not the same guys who tried to sell my 9 year old a “Crosby blows, Malkin swallows” t-shirt last time i was at Verizon center. i would be willing to bet you’ve never been to pittsburgh, because if you had you would be hard pressed to find the trash you see in DC. you dont find pictures of ovechkin in the urinal cakes in the consol energy center. as funny as it was when i pissed on crosby’s face, still shows the classlessness of the caps fans.

  22. rexadelphia8 - Oct 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Asham come back to Philly man. I never saw u brawl like that

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