By Chris Lingebach

New Jersey center Blake Coleman challenged Caps winger Tom Wilson to a fight late in the third period of Washington’s 5-2 win last Friday, a decision Coleman probably now regrets.

The Wilson-Coleman fight came up during Jay Beagle’s weekly segment with The Sports Junkies — ‘The Morning Skate with Jay Beagle,’ sponsored by Sport Automotive — Tuesday morning.

“Blake Coleman from the Devils made a terrible life decision in that game scrapping with Tom Wilson behind the Devils’ net,” said John Auville. “Willy just pummeled him coming off the four-game suspension. Talk about what went into Blake Coleman’s decision to scrap with Willy. Always a bad idea.”

“Yeah. You know, you gotta give the guy credit,” Beagle said. “I didn’t see the hit. I was actually taking a drink of water. I looked up — I heard it — and I looked up and I saw Coleman going after Whip [Wilson], so I figured Whip put someone through the glass.”

“Yeah. I give the guy credit,” Beagle said. “I’m never going to get on anyone for standing up for their teammates, but obviously, when you go up against Whip, you gotta expect to get punched in the face at least 13 or 14 times. And that’s what he did.”

That story called to mind an epic 2011 fight between former Penguins winger Arron Asham and Beagle, then a fourth-year pro.

Beagle nearly had his face caved in…

“It was at the end of a shift and I hit [Kris] Letang,” Beagle recalled. “And I started to come towards the bench and Asham shook his gloves. I think it was only two or three games into the year, and I’m like, ‘Well, I want to stay up here, so I’ve got to do something.’ I decided to get knocked out and be out for two months, and then they couldn’t send me down. I mean, it ended up working out!”

“It can happen,” Beagle said of fighting. “No one wants to take a beating, but there are tough guys out there in the league and you’ve got to definitely pick your battles.”

Fortunately for Beagle, he’s rarely had to scrap since having Wilson added to his line.

“The last four years I’ve had Whip on my line, so if someone’s trying to come after me or there’s a scrum, everyone’s usually trying to go after him or he’s got three or four guys and banging heads together,” he said. “It hasn’t happened in a while, but it’s something that, when it does happen, you’ve got to drop the gloves and you’ve got to fight it.”

“I think the last one I was in, preseason, I fought maybe for two seconds and it was four or five years ago now,” he said. “So it’s been a while.”

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