Anaheim's Trevor Zegras had some choice words for Arizona's Jay Beagle following an on-ice altercation during Friday night's game.
The Ducks were leading the Coyotes 5-0 with less than three minutes to play when Zegras and teammate Troy Terry came in on net and tried to slip a puck past goalie Josef Korenar.
That incited Beagle, who cross-checked Zegras in the back. Terry came over to defend Zegras and Beagle (a 6-foot-3, 210-pound center) proceeded to punch Terry (5-11, 185 pounds) repeatedly, until a hit up high sent the Ducks' winger to the ice. Beagle kept going from there, looking for another sparring partner in Cam Fowler before the referees finally sent him off the ice.
Zegras didn't hold back when addressing the incident postgame.
"I think it's embarrassing, I think it's a bad look for the league, and for the player that did it, I think it's a bad look and he should be f---ing punished," Zegras said, according to PHNX Coyotes. "[The puck] was 100 percent loose. I get that you're going to hit me in the back, but you don't punch a guy when he's down, especially a -goal scorer in the NHL who's a superstar."
Terry paces Anaheim with 57 points in 64 games this year; Zegras is right behind him with 50 points in 63. Despite his rookie status, Zegras hasn't shied about showing off. He famously pulled off "The Michigan" with teammate Sonny Milano in January, and earlier in Friday's matchup against Arizona scored a skillful lacrosse-style goal for the second time this year.
Whatever Zegras and Terry were doing clearly rubbed Beagle the wrong way. And the veteran's actions obviously incited Zegras.
"I take that shot, and [Terry] comes in to help me," Zegras said. "[And] I'm not going to name the [other] player, but I get that he's going to punch [Terry] maybe once, but the fact that he's down and he's not engaged in a fight, you're going to hit him three more times? I think it's embarrassing. I think he should be embarrassed. ... I'm embarrassed it even got that far.
I appreciate Troy sticking up for me, because that's a nonsense cross-check with two minutes left in a 5-0 game. I'm embarrassed for whoever that was -- I'm not going to say his name -- and I think the league should step in here and do something about it."
Beagle, now in his 12th NHL season, was assessed penalties for cross-checking and fighting, along with a game misconduct.
"[He's a] coward," Ducks' coach Dallas Eakins said, according to The OC Register. "It was cowardly. [Terry] was cut wide open and basically defenseless. Not a good sight. There was a scrum at the front of the net and usually that just turns into a scrum, and our 31-goal scorer is there. I've coached Troy Terry for four years now and I've never seen him in any kind of a fight. A guy who's got two goals is pounding away on him. It's not a good look."
The Ducks' 5-0 win over Arizona was the team's first victory since March 6. The Coyotes have already been eliminated from playoff contention.