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SAN JOSE – Micheal Haley hasn’t been on the Sharks’ roster for very long. Considering John Scott’s suspension ends after Saturday’s game with St. Louis, there’s a good chance Haley will get reassigned soon, too.
But the 28-year-old veteran found a way to contribute to the Sharks in Wednesday’s important 3-0 win over Anaheim. In the first period he dropped the gloves with Tim Jackman – a good friend of his from their days together in the Islanders organization – and that galvanized the team, according to Logan Couture.
“It gets you going. You know instantly the size difference between those two,” Couture said. “[Haley] hasn’t been with us for the entire year, and he went out there and tried to spark the team and did a good job. I know the guys responded pretty well to it.”
In their first two games after the Christmas break, most of the Sharks players looked like they had perhaps a bit too much turkey and apple pie over the four-day respite. They sluggishly skated to a pair of 3-1 defeats to Pacific Division rivals Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Haley said he wasn’t consciously trying to help energize the team, even if that’s what it looked like.
“Sometimes the games don’t always go the way you want them too. There’s not always opportunities to do stuff. It was just one of those things that’s part of hockey, it came about, and the boys responded well,” he said.
Todd McLellan said: “He’s here to play, give him credit. He wants to leave his mark on the team and he wants to stay here. He knew that we didn’t have a lot of energy the night before, and found a way to contribute it in Anaheim.”
Haley didn’t seem to mind the size difference, giving away four inches and 19 pounds to the Anaheim enforcer.
“They usually are [bigger], though,” he said with a smile. “It doesn’t matter to me.”
As for Scott, the Sharks big man spoke for the first time since the league scolded him for the second time this season. Both suspensions, including a two-game ban earlier in the year, have resulted from run-ins with Jackman.
[RELATED: Sharks' Scott hit with multi-game suspension]
He enjoyed the early fisticuffs in Anaheim.
“I loved it. Obviously Hales is a tough guy and has been around a long time. He went right after Jacko,” Scott said. “That was nice to see, it kind of got the team going it looked like, and set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Scott didn’t say a whole lot about his current suspension, but gave his perspective on the play from Dec. 22, when he knocked Jackman out cold with a punch to the jaw during a scrum by the net.
“I didn’t even see him,” Scott said. “I just kind of felt something on my back and I just kind of reacted and turned and caught him kind of right in the sweet spot, I guess. That was it. I didn’t even really know who it was or anything like that. It was just a complete reaction and kind of turn. I do that 10 times a game. This time I just dinked him right on the chin.”
Scott went on to say that he thought Jannik Hansen’s check to the head of Tommy Wingels on Dec. 30 is more representative of the kind of hit that you “want out of the game.” Hansen was fined $5,000.