If there’s one battle we’d like to see come out of the Sidney Crosby concussion incident, it’s not any on-ice retribution in the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ and Washington Capitals’ second-round series, it’s Phil Kessel versus Jay Beagle in Mario Kart.
Let me explain.
Here’s Jay Beagle of the Capitals talking on Tuesday about the physicality of this time of year on the hockey calendar and not the Matt Niskanen hit on Crosby in Game 3.
“It should be nasty. It’s the playoffs. That’s the way we like to play. That’s the way they like to play – you know, hard hits, going after each other. These are two teams that don’t like each other.”
Fast forward to media availability after Pittsburgh’s morning skate on Wednesday. A reporter relayed Beagle’s quote to Kessel, who replied with, “Well, if he thinks that’s clean, then he’s an idiot. … It’s rougher, it’s a closer checking game, but there’s a clean way to do it.”
Beagle, who for his part did not think the Niskanen hit was clean, was a bit sad at Kessel’s response and offered the Penguins forward a challenge.
“Ouch. That hurts. That’s not very nice,” Beagle deadpanned. “Obviously, it wasn’t a clean hit, but I do think the playoffs are nasty and that’s why we love them, right? … It hurts. I’m hurt deeply. If he wants to settle it, we could always play some Mario Kart. He knows where to find me. We’ll take it there.”
Now we’re intrigued. Is Kessel more of a Toad, Shy Guy or Diddy Kong guy? And is Beagle the type of player who will gather up a bunch of those banana peels and line them up around a turn? We need to know this.
Forget a Game 7, let’s just have Beagle and Kessel sit in the stands and play a best-of-7 of Mario Kart on an arena Jumbotron, or at least project it on the ice like what they did in Amalie Arena last year.
Winner faces NHL Mario Kart king Bryan Bickell.
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