SAN JOSE -- Tomas Hertl told the media after Saturday he feels a lot better after missing three games with a head injury, and is hopeful he will return to game action Sunday evening when the Sharks host the Calgary Flames.
“I should be fine, ready to play,” he said, adding he just has to go through just a bit more testing before he can see any game action.
The Czech forward has been practicing with the Sharks while being sidelined, although Saturday was the first time we’ve seen him take line rushes with the rest of the team. He filed onto a familiar line with Logan Couture and Timo Meier, a combination that has contributed to a lot of the team’s goal-scoring through the start of the season.
Hertl said he hasn’t had any setbacks since taking a shoulder to the head in last weekend’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but added that he doesn’t want to rush back and not be completely healthy.
“If you play a lot of minutes, you have to be ready,” he said. “You have to be 100 percent, and hopefully I am.”
Needless to say, Hertl’s anxious to rejoin the team and help them turn things around. Hertl accompanied the Sharks on their two-game roadie to Dallas and St. Louis and had a front row seat to watch his team lose both contests.
Hertl echoed what his teammates said after their 4-0 loss to the Blues – the Sharks have to play a more defensively sound game, whether they’re playing on offense or on the blue line.
“We’re giving up too many (chances),” Hertl said. “The last few years, we’ve had the best defensive team. We’d give up one, two goals. Now, every period we’re giving up great chances.”
The 24-year-old winger has 14 points in 14 games played so far this season. He tallied an assist on Meier’s first-period goal last Saturday against the Flyers before being taken out of the game.