SAN JOSE -- Sharks fans will have to wait at least another day to see if Tomas Hertl will continue contributing to the team’s offense, or be sidelined.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told the media Monday morning the 24-year-old forward is considered day-to-day after taking a shoulder to the head in Saturday night’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers. Hertl did not participate in Monday’s morning skate.
DeBoer doesn’t think the injury is serious. However, being that Hertl’s believed to have a concussion, the timetable for his return remains uncertain.
The hit occurred during the second period of Saturday’s game as Hertl was carrying the puck into the offensive zone and trying to maneuver around Philadelphia defenseman Christian Folin. As Folin went to knock Hertl off the puck, his shoulder came up and appeared to hit Hertl right on the chin. Hertl fell to the ice and looked wobbly and dazed as he tried to get back onto his feet. He then headed into the dressing room and didn’t return for the remainder of the contest.
The Sharks are hoping Czech winger won’t miss any significant time, especially since he has been one of the team’s most productive players so far this season. Prior to the hit on Saturday, Hertl had registered five goals and eight assists – the most spectacular being a game-tying goal with 1.8 seconds left in regulation against the New York Rangers. That goal, and the bulk of Hertl’s offensive hot streak through 12 games, is a result of him finding early season chemistry on a line with Logan Couture and Sharks’ leading goal-scorer Timo Meier. DeBoer had been very complimentary of Hertl’s game earlier that week, saying he was seeing a new level of confidence from the young forward.
Even if Hertl doesn’t miss much time, DeBoer has to rearrange his forward line combinations in a way that will absorb No. 48’s absence. In the latter portion of Saturday’s game, Kevin Labanc filled in on Couture’s wing.
The Sharks’ line combinations were the topic du jour Saturday even before they were shuffled to compensate for Hertl leaving the game. DeBoer moved forward Joe Thornton from first line center to the third line center, which ended up giving way to Thornton scoring the game-tying goal in the third frame en route to the Sharks winning 4-3 in overtime.
San Jose will close out a four-game homestand Tuesday evening with their first matchup of the season against the Minnesota Wild, who visits SAP Center after winning two straight tilts and going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.