Scratches: Defensemen healthy, forwards not

March 18, 2012, 8:20 pm
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SAN JOSE Recent Sharks scratches Tommy Wingels, Michal Handzus and TJ Galiardi are all injury related. Defensemen Jim Vandermeer and Colin White are healthy.

Thats according to coach Todd McLellan, who spoke with the media at Sharks Ice on Sunday after the (very) optional skate on the only day off during a three-games-in-four-nights stretch.

Wingels and Galiardi have upper-body injuries, while Handzus situation is unclear. Wingels has missed the last three games since getting hurt in Edmonton on March 12, Handzus has sat out the last four, and Galiardi missed Saturdays game against Detroit. All three skated on Sunday, while the majority of the team stayed off of the ice.

On defense, the much-maligned White has now sat out the last four games as a healthy scratch. Jason Demers and Justin Braun have made up the third defense pair during that span, and the team has collected seven of a possible eight points.

McLellan talked about those two after the 3-2 win over the Red Wings on Saturday night.

Theyve earned the opportunity to be in there, said the coach. We were looking for a lineup that would produce some points for us and weve found it right now. I thought both of them have skated well lately. They have good legs, theyve been able to jump into the rush and give us a little more tempo back there.

That doesnt mean that the guys that arent in the lineup right now wont be effective when theyre called upon. Theyre going to be ready and were going to have to count on them as well.