Vlasic: 'He's going to slash me, I'm going to defend myself'
SAN JOSE – Marc-Edouard Vlasic was still in a feisty mood after an altercation with former teammate Dany Heatley at the end of the Sharks’ 4-2 win on Wednesday night at HP Pavilion.
The Wild were on a power play with the clock winding down, and had a six-on-four advantage with the goalie pulled. At the side of the net next to Antti Niemi, Heatley and Vlasic exchanged some slashes, shoves and punches, and the result was Heatley skating off of the ice in pain with what looked to be a left arm or wrist injury.
Vlasic gave a succinct interpretation of how events unfolded.
“He took a swing at me and missed. I took a swing at him and got him. That’s what it is,” Vlasic said.
Where did Vlasic hit him?
“I don’t know. He just swung at me and I swung at him. He could have easily hit me. I wasn’t intending to hurt him. I just wanted to slash him, because he took a swing at me and missed. He got me the shift before.
“If he’s going to slash me, I’m going to defend myself and just swing back, and unfortunately I got him. I didn’t want to hurt him. If he’s going to slash me I was just defending myself, and swung back.”
Vlasic was issued a five-minute major for slashing and a game misconduct at the 20-minute mark of the third period, while Heatley got a minor for roughing. Vlasic indicated that the game took a nasty turn in the third period.
“The last couple of shifts, you can watch the video. [Joe Pavelski] got slew footed, I got cross checked by [Heatley] in front. I gave him a cross check back. Guys were battling in front. If you’re going to get a cross check, I assume you can give one back. That’s what happened in the last shift. Unfortunately, I got him in the wrist or shoulder. I’m not sure where I got him. That was not my intent. My intent was just to defend myself.”
According to a tweet from Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wild coach Mike Yeo “indicated Heatley will be out for awhile.”
Todd McLellan said of the game: “There were some battles and that type of stuff, but it was emotional. It gets right down to the end when we’re down six-on-four…competitive teams and competitive players, on both sides.”