October 13, 2011
This is Arron Asham's(notes) HockeyFights.com profile page. This is Jay Beagle's(notes) HockeyFights.com profile page. You'll notice one features a lot of fights against other hockey pugilists. You'll notice the other features six career fights, most of them in the AHL
To say Asham vs. Beagle is a mismatch is an understatement; to see what happened when the two fought in the Washington Capitals' game against Asham and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night really brings it home in a vivid, bloody way:
As the video shows (tm, Shanahan), Beagle punched Kris Letang(notes) in the third period, knocking off his helmet. Asham then played his role: Asking Beagle to atone for his sins with a fight. Beagle, against all good sense, answered the call, visor on.
Asham's two punches staggered Beagle; they either bloodied him or he was cut when his face hit the ice. Beagle stayed face down on the ice for a bit … before getting up, skating off with some help and pulling out his own tooth. Beagle went off, Asham tapped his stick in the penalty box and the fans roared.
Hockey players: They're tougher than we are. In case you didn't know.
UPDATE:Evidently, Asham's "taunting" after the fight -- giving the "safe" sign and then a CM Punk-style "go to sleep" -- is being seized upon by the usual Mother Superiors in the hockey media.
It's called adrenaline. It makes you do things after intense situations you might later regret. If you've been in a fight and knocked out an opponent at center ice in front of 17,000 delirious fans, then I'll listen to what you have to say on Asham's actions. Otherwise, it's another case of a preachy, manufactured controversy being chiseled out of unfiltered human emotion. Watch the taunt and the TSN panel reaction here.