GLENDALE Rookie forward Tommy Wingels didnt seem to have a problem with Stars defenseman Mark Fistrics check from behind early in the third period of the Sharks 4-3 shootout loss to Dallas on Thursday night.
Wingels was plastered facehead first into the glass by Fistric, and it was obvious from his reaction that Wingels was woozy from the violent collision. He left the ice for about 10 game minutes before returning late in regulation.
It was a rim, and I tried getting good body position and he finished his check. I went into the glass a little hard, Wingels said. I just got checked out in the locker room, was good to go, and glad to be back there in the third.
Asked straight up if the hit was avoidable on his part, or if he thought Fistric came in a little high, Wingels said: Hitting is part of the game. Guys play hard, guys are strong, and Im a guy who finishes my checks. I expect checks to be finished on myself, too.
Fortunately, Wingels was fine to skate with the team during its afternoon practice at Jobing.com Arena and will be in the lineup for Saturdays pivotal game against the Coyotes.
Wingels, who has been taking regular shifts on the power play since Feb. 19 in Detroit, got to experience an NHL first later in the game when he was called upon for a shootout attempt. Wingels was San Joses third shooter, but lost the puck while trying to deke Kari Lehtonen.
According to Ryane Clowe, Wingels asked him and Logan Couture for advice on how to beat the solid Lehtonen.
Me and Coutch on the bench said, 'dont listen to anyone.' You cant do that, because then youre thinking too much, Clowe said.
Wingels was one of five Sharks shooters who failed to convert.
In those situations you sort of stick to what youre good at. I don't think I did that. Im more of a shooter. I tried making a little bit of a move and it hopped on me, but those are the bounces in the game, Wingels said.
McLellan on Galiardi: Sharks newcomer TJ Galiardi was scratched against the Stars, the first time in five games he wasnt in the San Jose lineup after he was acquired as part of the trade with Colorado for Jamie McGinn on Feb. 27.
One reason? McLellan wanted more bulk in his lineup for the physical Stars, choosing to play Andrew Desjardins between Brad Winchester and Jim Vandermeer on the fourth line.
We chose to go with size and a little toughness in Dallas, obviously with Winchester and Vandermeer in the lineup. I thought Desi came in and gave us a good game. Nights when Michal Handzus doesnt play, we have to think about the penalty kill a little bit, and Desi does that well, too.
Havlat looking better: Marty Havlat remains with the Sharks on their four-game road trip, and looks better and more agile with every practice.
Is there a chance Havlat could return before the trip concludes on March 13 in Calgary?
McLellan paused at the question, repeated it aloud, and eventually said: As soon as Marty and the training staff come to me and say Martys playing, Martys playing. Whenever that happens to be