Hertl scored his first goal of the year Tuesday against the Isles, tying the game late in the second period of what turned out to be a 3-2 win. He finished plus-2 with two shots on goal.
The Sharks had blown a 1-0 lead by allowing two second-period goals, but Hertl's tally with 1:57 remaining in that middle frame turned the momentum back the other way. He's off to a bit of a quiet start, having notched two points in four games, but Hertl's top-line assignment has included significant power-play time, and it's clear to any observer that he has the talent to capitalize in those situations even though he hasn't yet.
This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, as the 22-year-old was productive in his role with the two veteran stars last season, recording 23 of his 39 even-strength points with them. It's a plum role for Hertl, who will be looking to crack that coveted 50-point plateau for the first time in what will be his fourth NHL season. To do so, the Czech native will probably need to increase his production with the man advantage, as he put up just seven of his 46 total points on the power play in 2015-16.
Hertl figures to be on the
Not much has been made of Hertl's injury, which dates back to the Stanley Cup Finals, but this latest report notes that the experiment of putting Nikolay Goldobin on Hertl's line during the scrimmage was a failure; of course, that likely has more to do with the rookie Goldobin doing rookie things, and not a poor reflection on Hertl. The 22-year-old's next chance for game action will be this Friday, when the
Hertl is still recovering from the knee injury he sustained during last season's Stanley Cup Finals, and will now set his sights on returning to the ice for San Jose's first preseason contest Sep. 27 against the Canucks. At this juncture, there's no reason to believe Hertl won't be fully healthy when the