Sharks' Hertl to undergo 'minor procedure,' out indefinitely

Sharks' Hertl to undergo 'minor procedure,' out indefinitely

SAN JOSE – Sharks center Tomas Hertl is out indefinitely with a right knee sprain, general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement released by the team on Monday.

"Hertl will undergo a minor procedure tomorrow under the direction of the Kaiser Permanente medical team. Following the procedure, Hertl will proceed with his rehabilitation schedule in San Jose.
"No timetable has been set for his return to game action."

Hertl suffered the injury on Nov. 17 in St. Louis on what looked like a relatively innocent collision with the Blues’ Jori Lehtera in the second period.

In 17 games this season, Hertl has nine points (4g, 5a).

This is the third time Hertl has injured his right knee. On Dec. 19, 2013, he collided with the Kings’ Dustin Brown, requiring surgery to repair his MCL and PCL ligaments. He missed approximately four months, returning late in the regular season.

In Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 1, 2016, Hertl injured the knee again when Pittsburgh’s Patric Hornqvist hit him late in the game. He missed the remainder of the series, a six-game defeat for San Jose, as well as the World Cup in September where he was due to compete for the Czech Republic.

To fill his spot on the roster, the Sharks recalled center Danny O’Regan from the Barracuda on Monday. The 22-year-old was set to make his NHL debut on Monday night against the Devils.

Why Sharks' tension with Nazem Kadri boiled over in loss to Maple Leafs

Why Sharks' tension with Nazem Kadri boiled over in loss to Maple Leafs

SAN JOSE -- Barclay Goodrow wasn’t happy with Nazem Kadri.

The two jawed before the opening face-off Thursday night, and Goodrow grabbed the Toronto Maple Leafs center once the puck was dropped, trying to make him drop the gloves. Kadri would not, and the Sharks forward alone headed to the box for roughing eight seconds in.

It was a chippy start for teams that only play twice a season. So, what set off Goodrow?

“[Kadri] chose to fight Jumbo last year off of the opening face-off,” Goodrow told reporters after the Sharks’ 5-3 loss, “who quite frankly shouldn’t have to do that. So, I thought I would try to return the favor.” 

Let’s rewind to Jan. 4 in Toronto, when the teams last met. 

Kadri and Thornton jockeyed for stick position ahead of the opening face-off. The two traded slashes, then words, and finally punches after they were kicked out of the face-off circle before the puck was dropped. 

Kadri also grabbed a piece of Thornton’s beard in the fight, but said at the time that it was unintentional. He told reporters Thursday he figured that fight caused the immediate tension.

“I’m not quite sure why they were still so bitter about it,” Kadri said, “especially when he’s the one [who] initiated it with me, so it’s not like I went out looking for it. … I kind of knew they were pretty agitated from the start, and I figured I’d run with that.” 

The Leafs scored seconds after the ensuing power play expired. 

With the man advantage winding down, Toronto center John Tavares threw the puck in front of the net from behind the goal line. The puck bounced off San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s skate and helplessly through goaltender Martin Jones’ pads.

Up to that point, the Sharks allowed one shot on goal and three attempts on the penalty kill. 

"The biggest thing is [Kadri] got us a power play to start the game,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “They're gonna say it's not a power-play goal because I think there was one second or something [on the clock], but that's a power-play goal. It's a great way to start the game.”

Kadri, who is known for getting under his opponents’ skin, was hit a game-high six times. He drew another penalty later in the first period, then drew and received two of his own when he and Sharks winger Melker Karlsson were twice penalized for roughing in the third.

Still, the Sharks out-attempted (18-16), outshot (11-7), and out-chanced (9-5) the Leafs with Kadri on the ice five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick. San Jose tied the score 3:18 after Tavares’ tally, and held a lead at the end of the first period. 

[RELATED: DeBoer talks Sharks' defensive woes against Leafs]

Goodrow and Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said they did not think Kadri threw the Sharks off their game. DeBoer thought Kadri “crossed the line” fighting Thornton, but said the pre-puck drop confrontation “was the end of it.”

If there is any remaining tension, we’ll know in fewer than two weeks. The Sharks and Leafs conclude their season series Nov. 28 in Toronto. 

Peter DeBoer says Sharks' Tomas Hertl 'probably' won't play vs. Blues

Peter DeBoer says Sharks' Tomas Hertl 'probably' won't play vs. Blues

SAN JOSE – The Sharks would’ve liked to see Tomas Hertl penciled into Saturday’s lineup against the St. Louis Blues.  It’s looking like that may not be the case.

Hertl participated in team practice on Friday, but coach Peter DeBoer told the media the 25-year-old forward "probably" won’t suit up Saturday when the Sharks have their rematch with the Blues. It will be the second straight game Hertl misses on the Sharks’ current six-game homestand, after he was taken out of Tuesday’s win over the Nashville Predators with a lower-body injury. 

The Czech winger missed San Jose’s last bout with the Blues Nov. 9 in St. Louis after being sidelined with a head injury.  The Sharks lost that game 4-0.

[MORE SHARKS: Sharks' tension with Nazem Kadri boils over in loss to Maple Leafs]

There’s no denying the Sharks would like to have Hertl back in the lineup healthy as soon as possible, given how well he has played so far this season. He scored 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in as many games, including an assist on Joe Pavelski’s first-period goal in Tuesday’s win over the Nashville Predators. 

With Hertl out of the lineup, it’s unclear how the Sharks' forwards will lineup against Blues. DeBoer experimented with a number of line combinations with Hertl out of the lineup. It isn’t clear yet if the combinations used in Thursday’s loss to the Maple Leafs will be the same Saturday.