SAN JOSE — The news on Tomas Hertl’s injury wound up being quite “positive” considering that the team is already playing with a depleted forward group in the wake of injuries to Joe Thornton and Joel Ward.
Head coach Pete DeBoer labeled Hertl as “doubtful” for the Sharks game against the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center Thursday while acknowledging that the prognosis could have been much worse.
“As positive as doubtful can be,” the Sharks coach said. “I don’t think, at this point, that it’s as serious as it could have been.”
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Hertl left the Sharks 2-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday in the final minute of the first period after getting driven into the boards by Nick Cousins. The Sharks forward skated off the ice holding his right hand after taking off his right glove.
The 24-year old kept his right hand in his pocket Wednesday morning as he spoke with reporters.
“It’s for sure a little bit better than last night,” Hertl said. “It’s day to day. Hopefully, every day, it’ll feel a little bit better. I just want to be back as soon as possible because I know it’s not a great time to be out for a game. We need everybody right now.”
Losing Hertl for a significant period of time would have been a tremendous blow to the Sharks, who are trying to survive a tightly-contested playoff race in the Western Conference without Thornton, who suffered a right-knee injury on Jan. 23, and Ward, who injured his right-shoulder on Feb. 8.
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Hertl ranks second on the team in goals (15) and fifth in points (33). His move to Logan Couture’s left wing in the third game of the season helped kickstart the Sharks offense in the wake of Patrick Marleau’s departure to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason.
The Sharks currently hold a two-point lead over the Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific Division and a three-point edge over the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, who are tied for ninth place in the Western Conference.
With Hertl’s injury further depleting the Sharks forward depth Tuesday, head coach Pete DeBoer skated Brent Burns at forward for most of the third period against the …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports