Sharks' Tierney hopes to 'make this chance worth it' with Hertl out

Sharks' Tierney hopes to 'make this chance worth it' with Hertl out

SAN JOSE – There was a frightening moment for Sharks center Chris Tierney on Monday against New Jersey, when a hard shot point shot by Reid Boucher deflected off of Tommy Wingels’ stick and smacked the 22-year-old squarely in the face.

The immediate concern, of course, was for Tierney’s well being, as the puck hit dangerously close to his left eye. Thank goodness he was wearing a visor.

“[At] the moment you’re just hoping that it’s not too bad. … Just pretty lucky that it wasn’t worse,” said Tierney, who didn't skate on Tuesday to allow the swelling to go down.

From a team standpoint, the Sharks were also lucky that Tierney is OK. They’re going to need him even more now that Tomas Hertl will be out for the next several weeks with a right knee sprain, as he takes over as the third line center role for at least the time being.

Like many of the Sharks’ forwards, it’s been a slow start offensively for Tierney. He scored his first goal of the year earlier in that game on Monday, whipping a wrist shot past Keith Kinkaid on a shorthanded rush. For the season, he has five points (1g, 4a) in 19 games and minus-2 rating.

“I felt [my game has] been pretty good the last maybe week or so,” Tierney said on Wednesday. “Kind of up and down, obviously, so far this season. Felt pretty good last game, and a couple games on the road trip early on I felt pretty good. Just trying to build on last game.”

Pete DeBoer said: “He’s still a young player. He’s growing his game I think every time he gets out there, but for me there’s no doubt he’s a full-time NHL player, where last year at this time that was a question mark.”

There are some facets of Tierney’s game, though, that could use improvement. He continues to have some concerning nights in the faceoff circle, including taking an 0-for-8 on Nov. 15 in Carolina and following that up with a 2-for-9 against St. Louis two nights later. For the season, he’s at 45.3 percent.

The advanced stats have Tierney’s shot-attempt percentage in close games at 48.36, the lowest mark on the team among regulars.

Perhaps now that that first goal is out of the way, though, he can get going. He’s got a great opportunity in front of him, and among the players that have to step up in Hertl’s absence, Tierney’s name is at the top of the list.

“Whenever a player like Tomas goes down everybody has got to step up, especially centermen,” he said. “That’s kind of a void that needs to be filled. I’m going to do the best I can to make this chance worth it, and try to improve and get better.”

* * *

Doug Wilson gave a little more detail on Hertl’s “minor procedure” that the 23-year-old was scheduled to undergo on Wednesday. The general manager confirmed that the injury wasn’t as severe as the one he suffered his rookie season when he required the MCL and PCL ligaments to be repaired.

“There’s no structural damage that rest won’t cure,” Wilson said. “[The] small procedure that we’re looking to do is almost like an internal bracing. It’s not repairing anything. The timeline works well, and it’s something that will support and maybe prevent this type of setback from happening.”

Will Hertl be out days, weeks or months?

“I think we’re looking at weeks. That type of sprain, he healed up last year, it takes some time. The reason for this small procedure is to make sure…it wasn’t really a major hit. This will prevent that from happening in the future.”

Hertl injured his knee for at least the third time in his career on Nov. 17 in St. Louis on what looked like a relatively innocent collision with the Blues’ Jori Lehtera in the second period.

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Sharks winger Evander Kane returns to his hometown of Vancouver on Saturday, fresh off of doing something a Vancouver-born player had not done in nearly 30 years. 

On Friday, Kane became the first such player to score four goals in an NHL game since Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, who scored four goals with the Edmonton Oilers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, 1988. It was also the first hat-trick of Kane's career, and just the fourth four-goal game in Sharks history. 

The latter point got us thinking, where does Kane's four-goal effort rank among those games? Using a rigorous, highly scientific process (read: the thoughts of this writer), we've come up with the definitive ranking. 

Without further adieu, we start with another power forward acquired in a midseason trade. 

4. Owen Nolan (Dec. 19, 1995 at Anaheim)

The Final Line: Four goals (Three power play goals), One assist, Six shots on goal

You never forget your first, so we begin with Owen Nolan, the first player to accomplish the feat in franchise history. If not for Kane and another entrant on this list (no spoilers), Nolan would still be the fastest to do it, scoring four goals in just his 27th game and just under two months after the Sharks acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche.

Nolan struck quickly throughout. He opened the scoring just 1:22 into the game against the then-Mighty Ducks, then scored his second only 57 seconds into the second period. His third and fourth, both on the power play, came 34 seconds apart in that same period. 

Just as Kane did on Friday, Nolan scored as many goals as the opposing team in a 7-4 win. It didn't quite have the same impact on the playoff race, however, as San Jose picked up its seventh win....of the entire season (in its 34th game) thanks to Nolan.

3. Patrick Marleau (Jan. 23, 2017 at Colorado)

The Final Line: Four goals (including the game-winner), Six shots on goal

The 1,459th time was the charm for the longest-tenured player in Sharks history, and the then-37-year-old Marleau became the second-oldest since 1987 to score four in a game. The oldest, Martin St. Louis, actually reached the feat against the Sharks as a 38-year-old in 2014. 

Marleau scored all four goals in a span of 13-and-a-half minutes in the third period, which began with the game tied at one. Three of those goals constituted a natural hat trick, in just a 7:42 stretch.

This game also jumpstarted Marleau's pursuit of a major milestone, as the goals were No. 494, 495, 496, and 497 of his career. He scored No. 500 a week-and-a-half later, but the four-goal game gave Marleau yet another signature moment in teal. 

2. Evander Kane (Mar. 16, 2018 at Calgary)

The Final Line: Four goals, Seven shots on goal 

Of all the players to score four goals in Sharks history, Kane certainly had the best timing. With San Jose in the thick of a playoff race and in need of a win, the newly-acquired forward delivered. 

He only needed eight games to score four goals for the first time in teal, but needed 565 for the first hat-trick of his career. The exuberance (and relief) was palpable after Kane scored his third, and that goal put the Sharks up by two. 

The desperate Flames, now four points out of the playoffs, would never get closer than that again, and Kane essentially put the game out of reach with his fourth goal 62 seconds into the third period. No Sharks player has scored four goals in a playoff game, but this one comes the closest. 

1. Tomas Hertl (Oct. 9, 2013 vs New York Rangers)

The Final Line: Four goals (One power play goal), Seven shots on goal

In just his third NHL game, and in front of his griflriend and mother visiting from the native Czech Republic, Tomas Hertl became then the fourth-youngest player in NHL history (now the sixth-youngest) to score a hat-trick-plus-one. If not for Auston Matthews scoring four in his debutHertl has arguably the most memorable four-goal game by a young player to his name. 

Of all the Sharks to score four in a game, Hertl did it the most efficiently. He only played 11:12 in that game against the Rangers, and still scored four goals on seven shots. 

Yes, it was in an October blowout, but no other four-goal game has had the same impact on the rest of the hockey world. From a fourth goal tailor-made to go viral, to the ensuing Hot Takes ("Hertl's disrespecting the game!") and subsequent jokes (Joe Thornton's still looking for four goals) it spawned, Hertl captivated the hockey world in a way no other Shark that's scored four has, and all by living his "dream, no reality."

Kane leads Sharks to critical win on four-goal night

Kane leads Sharks to critical win on four-goal night


CALGARY, Alberta -- Evander Kane scored four goals to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Calgary Flames 7-4 on Friday night.

Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won three straight and four of five. Kevin Lebanc and Eric Fehr also scored, and Martin Jones made 30 saves.

It was the first NHL hat trick for Kane, acquired from Buffalo just before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Micheal Ferland had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who are four points out of a playoff spot. Troy BrouwerMark Jankowski and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary.

Three nights after stopping all 28 shots he faced against the Oilers, Calgary goalie Mike Smith had a rough outing as he made just 14 saves before being replaced by David Rittich early in the third period. Rittich went on to stop all seven shots he faced in a relief appearance.

The Sharks opened the scoring six minutes into the first period when Kane's wrist shot beat Smith to the glove side.

The Flames pulled even at 16:42 when Brouwer chipped a pass from Curtis Lazar into the top corner behind Jones. Matt Stajan stole the puck from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon behind the San Jose net to get the play started.

Jankowski took a pass from linemate Garnet Hathaway and wired a shot to the top corner, glove side behind Jones to put Calgary up 2-1 at 2:10 of the second period.

Kane then redirected Dillon's point shot past Smith at 6:29 before Gaudreau cut into the slot and snapped a shot past Jones at 10:16 to put Calgary back up by a goal.

That lead lasted just 1:26 as Lebanc fired a shot from a sharp angle into the top corner past Smith to pull the Sharks into a 3-all tie.

Kane completed his hat trick at 16:32 when he swatted in his own rebound before Hertl poked the puck through Smith's legs with 1:58 remaining before the second intermission.

The Sharks added an insurance goal 62 seconds into the third when Kane redirected a pass from Joe Pavelski past Smith.

Ferland backhanded a shot past Jones to pull Calgary within two goals with 5:35 left in regulation and Rittich on the bench for an extra attacker. Fehr rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal 1:37 later.

NOTES: Jankowski suited up for the Flames after sitting out Tuesday's 1-0 win over Edmonton. Fellow forward Kris Versteeg returned to Calgary's lineup after missing the past 49 games with a hip injury. ... Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games (three goals, five assists).


Sharks: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Flames: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.