SAN JOSE – Another log was added to the San Jose Sharks-Antoine Roussel fire on Saturday.
In the first period of Dallas’ 4-2 win over the Sharks at SAP Center, Roussel was involved in a number of altercations. Most of them involved Tommy Wingels, who leveled the agitating forward in the neutral zone just seconds after Roman Polak had plastered him against the wall.
That led to him dropping the gloves with Wingels for a fight that didn’t result in any heavy punches that landed, and ended with Roussel literally pulling Wingels’ hair after both players had fallen to the ice surface while the linesmen tried to break it up.
Later in the first, Roussel tried to goad Wingels into another fight. When Micheal Haley came over and dropped his gloves to challenge Roussel instead, he wouldn’t go.
Wingels was asked after the game if he’s ever had his hair pulled in a fight, and used it as an opportunity to go off on the 26-year-old Dallas forward.
“I was embarrassed to be a part of that ongoing fiasco the entire game,” Wingels said. “You’re allowed to hit in this game since you’re a peewee. He doesn’t like to get hit. He comes after me coming out of the penalty box, we fight, it’s fine, it’s over with.
“Then he’s going to yap in the box, ask a fan to fight, he’s going to yap at our bench, yap at our coaches. I don’t get it. It’s embarrassing. I don’t think that stuff belongs in the game. Every shift after that you’re going to try to fight again? The refs don’t want that, the players don’t want it, your teammates. The fans don’t want to see after every whistle it have to be broken up. I don’t think that belongs in our game.”
Pete DeBoer didn’t say much about Roussel’s performance. When asked by a reporter what he thought about Roussel’s “antics, for lack of a better word,” DeBoer replied: “That’s a good word for it. That’s all.”
In the other dressing room, Stars coach Lindy Ruff emphatically expressed his discontentment over Wingels’ hit that led to much of the unpleasantness.
“I thought a really dirty check by them on Roussel. Real dirty. I thought 'Roose' responded. I thought 'Roose' did the right thing. But after that, it was a heck of a battle,” Ruff said.
Ruff was then asked about Joel Ward’s third period goal that came after the Sharks forward knocked goalie Antti Niemi over, and replied: “I'm not going to complain too much about that one. I'm still stuck on the hit on Roussel. He's lucky he didn't get knocked out of the game on that hit.”
Roussel is no stranger to the Sharks. On Nov. 8, 2014, he hit former goalie Alex Stalock up high late in a game, and sucker punched Justin Braun on the ensuing scrum, earning him a fine by the league.