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Posted at 05:55 PM ET, 04/23/2012

Jay Beagle’s playoff diary: Thinking of nothing but Game 7


(John McDonnell - THE WASHINGTON POST)

Capitals center Jay Beagle is keeping a playoff diary as Washington makes its way through the postseason. Here are his thoughts heading into a decisive Game 7, as told by phone to The Post’s Greg Schimmel:

Arlington, Monday, 4:30 p.m.

We’re all business right now. The reality is that this next game could mean the season is over Wednesday night if we lose. It’s good to let that sink in a bit and play that desperation hockey and give it everything you have.

Game 6 is out of our minds already. I’m not even really disappointed; it’s just an opportunity that’s passed and we have another opportunity in Game 7. Last night I was thinking about plays I could have done better, but today I woke up and my thoughts were already toward Game 7 and even toward tomorrow’s practice.

I felt pretty good in Sunday’s game, a lot better than you’d expect in the second of back-to-back games. It’s a lot harder playing a back-to-back game when you feel like garbage, but I felt pretty good, and a lot of that had to do with coming out with a big win in Boston on Saturday.

It was a hard-fought game in Boston, and yesterday was another game I thought we played solid. It went into overtime and didn’t go our way, but we had a lot of chances and definitely could have won. When you play well and when you give it everything you have and it just doesn’t go your way, it’s easier to take than if you just give them the win.

I’m not worried about having to win on the road. Home ice hasn’t meant much in this series. We’ve played well in Boston and I feel like when we’re on the road we know how to grind it out and play a tough, gritty game. It might not be fun to watch, but we can play a defensive game and just keep it simple.

We’ve been playing with a sense of urgency in every game so far and have been playing our best game every game, and that’s why the series has been so tight. It’s the same mindset going into Game 7. It’s obviously do or die, but we just have to focus on playing a solid road game and playing our best.

We’re a pretty confident group in the way we’ve been playing. We just have to raise it up one more level and find that higher gear. Everything is familiar up there [in Boston] now. There’s a routine. We’re going up to the same hotel, we’ll have a team meal, I bet, at the same place. It’s a familiar spot now.

The season will be on the line, but it’s really another game where you have to play your style of hockey and just do it to the best of your ability. If you try to do too much and modify your game for a Game 7, you’re not going to have success that way. You have to play your game but just find a way to raise it one more level. There are little things you can do, like getting in a few more hits, rather than trying to overplay and do too much.

All I’m thinking about right now is hockey stuff. It’s Game 7. That’s all that’s on my mind.

More on the Capitals:
Dale Hunter to Caps: Enjoy it
— Game 7 history: Caps | Bruins
Caps-Bruins playoff shot chart
Hamilton: Caps, Bruins have Game 7 histories
Feinstein: Bruins know how lucky they got

By Jay Beagle  |  05:55 PM ET, 04/23/2012

Tags:  Playoff diary

 
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