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Beagle: Capitals get used to elements during practice

by Jay Beagle

Capitals forward Jay Beagle is about to play in his second Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Beagle suited up for Washington at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2011, and is expected to be in the lineup Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park.

Beagle agreed to offer up his opinions in blog form leading up to the main event.


WASHINGTON -- We had a good day of practice at the stadium today. It was great to take in the atmosphere and get an idea of what everything will look like when we play the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow afternoon. At the same time, it's important to kind of embrace this experience and enjoy it.

It was nice to get out there and kind of know what we're going to be dealing with. We had the chance to kind of get used to the elements a little bit. It was really cool being out there. The conditions were really good. They actually were better than I thought they'd be. It got a little bit slushy in the one corner because of the sun, but that was about it.

Everyone keeps asking about the glare on the ice, but it didn't really affect me that much. It was actually pretty good. The ice conditions were really good. The glare was noticeable only a little bit going in the one direction, but besides that, it was pretty good. I know Petey (Justin Peters) was battling it a little bit, just because he was facing the sun. He said it was pretty tough to see the pucks coming.

I was fortunate to have my son, Brandt, with me on the ice when we all had our families on the ice after practice. It was a lot of fun. He's only eight months old, but he actually did pretty well out there. I was worried a little bit because it was right around his normal nap time, so I was expecting a breakdown. I stood him on the ice and he tried to actually walk, but he's not walking yet. I held him and he took a few steps, which was pretty cool. I think I'm going to go out and buy skates for him.

This is obviously a huge event, but we can't forget that this is a big game for us. We definitely will be focused tomorrow. We'll be ready to try and get a big two points.

When I leave here today, I'll spend the rest of the day with my family. I don't have big plans, especially with a big game tomorrow. I'll just relax and have a nice night and get a good meal in me. I'll be off to bed early for sure.

There's been talk that the game will be delayed a bit because of the glare on the ice, but that won't change how I prepare. I think we'll know by later tonight. When we know for sure, you just kind of readjust your meals and that's about it.

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