Tomas Hertl responds to “hitting a wall” talk for San Jose Sharks

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Go six games without a goal in this league and suddenly you’re chopped liver. At least that was the case for Tomas Hertl. After setting the league aflame with an incredible stretch of play from October 3 to October 15 that saw him score seven goals, he’d gone quiet—pundits around the NHL were suddenly wondering aloud if Hertl had run out of power and gone dry.

Don’t over-evaluate it indeed.

Hertl scored early on when the San Jose Sharks took on the Ottawa Senators last night, breaking his goal drought at six contests.

You’ve got to love where he scored from as well. He’s really shown a knack for getting it done in the dirty areas.

What was interesting was how much attention Hertl’s small goaless streak received. Ottawa mentioned it in their opening comments on air, and it was something that had been discussed on San Jose’s end as well. It wasn’t like Hertl had suddenly gone away from his game, like some rookies can do after finding success.

He was still shooting the puck and had tacked on and assists across that span of six games, so the idea that his offense had suddenly gone dry seems a little silly in retrospect. There isn’t a player in the league that hasn’t gone a handful of games without finding the back of the net.

On the flip side, there are plenty of players in the NHL that have never scored four goals in a game and aren’t capable of putting up the sort of numbers that Hertl has to this point. He’s still on pace for 75 points despite the slowed production, and while he might not finish with that kind of stat line, it’s important to remember that Hertl is still a kid, still learning a language and still adjusting to the best pro league in the world.

When he’s not scoring he’s still been outstanding in all three zones and has the kind of hockey IQ and awareness that coaches and managers dream of on draft day.

Let’s cut the teen some slack the next time he doesn’t score for a week or so, shall we?

Topics: NHL, San Jose Sharks, Tomas Hertl

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  • Lori Larman

    I know that there is a work in progress. The first thing that comes to mind is ice size. He was on ice that gave him 200′ x 100′ to work in. Then to come down to
    100′ x 85′ was big for him. To relearn the thing of when to pass and to go to the net. Listening to new voice and a new language. It takes time to learn that. To make sure that he under stood what is being said to him. What side of the stick to put the puck on.

    I can see another Ovechkin in him. A very deep passion to be the best he can be. To make those around him better. I keep using the word passion because he learn to love the sport with that passion. To be hit hard and bounce right back up and go down ice. To see him witching him relate to the coach as play go on.

    Just tell me how 16 scouts didn’t see the skill level of him. Is the hockey just wanting big players and not skilled ones. The last time I saw this passion for hockey was in 1977 when Doug Wilson was drafted. How Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Hertl had had the same passion for hockey. So that to me we is why we took Mr. Hertl

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