Tommy Wingels offered Dustin Brown a chance to drop the gloves on Monday. Twice.
Both times, Brown declined, according to the Sharks’ forward.
“I guess he doesn’t want to own up to it,” Wingels said on Tuesday. “There’s many other opportunities, right?”
Wingels was seeking revenge for the hit Brown laid on Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl on Dec. 19 — one that sidelined Hertl with a knee injury and put the remainder of his season in jeopardy. On Monday, San Jose said Hertl’s in the “infant stages of rehab” after undergoing surgery.
Brown was tossed from the Dec. 19 affair and the two sides didn’t meet until last night — a 1-0 L.A. win — so Wingels had plenty of time to think, and discuss, the incident.
“Intensified [the rivalry] a bit, I think,” Wingels explained. “We weren’t happy, and I certainly wasn’t with the way things were handled, and the play itself.”
Following the game, Brown said the referees got the kneeing major call wrong, which prompted Sharks GM Doug Wilson to say he was “disappointed” in Brown’s lack of concern for Hertl.
This is just the latest chapter in what’s become a very heated rivalry between the California clubs. The two engaged in a spirited seven-game series last postseason, which included a number of barbs (see here and here) and Raffi Torres‘ huge hit on Jarret Stoll, one that got Torres suspended for the duration of the series.