Tomas Hertl scores power-play goal to cut Blues lead in half in Game 4


Tomas Hertl scores power-play goal to cut Blues lead in half in Game 4

You can never count them out.

The Sharks kept things interesting in the third period of Game 4 of the Western Conference final against the Blues on Friday when Tomas Hertl stuffed in a power-play goal to cut St. Louis' lead in half at 2-1 with 13:12 remaining in regulation.

It was Hertl's first point of the series. Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson were credited with the assists.

Sharks issue qualifying offers to Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and five others


Sharks issue qualifying offers to Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and five others

The Sharks took their first step towards re-signing restricted free agents Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc.

San Jose issued qualifying offers to Meier, Labanc, Dylan Gambrell, Antti Suomela and three others on Tuesday. That means the Sharks retain their rights as restricted free agents, and would be entitled to compensation if any of the seven players signed an offer sheet with another team. 

Now comes the hard part. The Sharks, who have just over $14.8 million in salary-cap space according to Cap Friendly, risk losing forwards Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi and Gustav Nyquist as unrestricted free agents. Retaining all three and re-signing Meier, Labanc and Gambrell will be difficult if not impossible, even if the restricted trio sign bridge contracts. 

Meanwhile, the Sharks didn't issue qualifying offers to seven other restricted free agents. Defenseman Joakim Ryan and forward Rourke Chartier headline the group, all of whom can become unrestricted free agents. Tuesday marked the deadline for teams to issue qualifying offers to RFAs, which would ensure they would receive compensation in the unlikely event of an offer sheet. Now, the Sharks won't receive any compensation should Chartier or Ryan sign elsewhere. 

Ryan, 26, played in 44 regular-season games last year as rookie blueliner Radim Simek seized a spot among the Sharks' top six defensemen. While Ryan didn't play between Jan. 23 and March 13, Simek's season-ending knee injury allowed Ryan to draw back into the lineup from mid-March onward. He suited up for every Stanley Cup playoff game, but played the fewest minutes per game of any of the team's defensemen (8:41) during the postseason. 

With fellow left-handed defensemen Mario Ferraro (2017 second-round pick), Jacob Middleton (made his NHL debut last year) and Tony Sund (35 points in 60 games in Finland last year) still on their entry-level contracts for next season, it's conceivable Ryan has played his last game in teal.

[RELATED: Can cap-strapped Sharks afford to keep Donskoi?]

Chartier, 23, made the team out of training camp and scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 28. He returned to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda for good on Jan. 13, but did not suit up after Feb. 22. Sommer told reporters shortly after that Chartier had "upper-body issues," and the forward was concussed twice in the previous season. 

It's possible that Ryan and/or Chartier re-signs. A year ago Tuesday, the Sharks did not issue a qualifying offer to defenseman Dylan DeMelo. San Jose re-signed DeMelo on July 7, before including him in the package to acquire defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators. 

Sharks hilariously troll Golden Knights, others with schedule release


Sharks hilariously troll Golden Knights, others with schedule release

The Sharks released their schedule for the 2019-20 season Tuesday morning, and whoever came up with the idea for the way in which it would be displayed on Twitter deserves a raise. Maybe two.

It was that good.

Alongside each of the 82 game dates listed in a was a song pairing someway related to the opponent for that particular matchup. Some titles were simply "dad joke" humor. Others were more savage with their intent.

And they didn't save the best for last.

Nope, the Sharks came out guns a blazing and didn't hold back. Their first two games of the 2019-20 season are against their new-ish rivals in the Vegas Golden Knights, whom San Jose eliminated in a wildly memorable seven-game first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. You might recall that in order to do so, the Sharks had to not only overcome a three-games-to-one series deficit, but also scored not one, not two, not three -- but FOUR! -- goals on a single power play in the third period of the decisive game.

It was quite possibly the greatest single-game comeback in NHL postseason history. As such, it's a rather painful memory for the Golden Knights, and the Sharks, well, didn't waste an opportunity to rub it in.

The first song title listed: "The Kill" by Thirty Seconds to Mars.

The second song title listed? "4 minutes" by Madonna.

The theme continued with the other two Sharks-Golden Knights matchups on the schedule. For their third encounter on Nov. 21, they chose "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba ("I get knocked down, but I get up again"). For the fourth and final meeting: "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar.

The Sharks' sense of humor wasn't limited to their matchups with the Golden Knights, however. A scan of the playlist will reveal several hilarious pairings, many of which don't pull any punches.

For instance, "Welcome to the 60s" for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have not won a Stanley Cup since 1967.

"If I Could Turn Back Time" for a matchup with the longtime rival Los Angeles Kings, who have not won a playoff game since 2016. 

"Bills, Bills, Bills" for the first game against the Ottawa Senators. Gee, I wonder what that could be in reference to?

[RELATED: Why Karlsson skipped free agency to re-sign with Sharks]

You get the point. Now give that person a raise.