The San Jose Sharks don’t begin their playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings until Thursday night, but obviously the two teams are already furiously doing prep work and buzz around the Sharks is abundant.
Hertl Sounds Off On Kings
“It’s more motivation because [it’s] L.A. … I want to beat L.A,” Hertl told CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz.
Hertl played in the Sharks’ final two regular season games and he looked pretty fluid on the ice, although he probably will not be playing at the same level that he started the season with.
But Hertl has to remember: the best revenge is to beat L.A., not look to retaliate on Brown (as the KingShark noted in his column).
Update On Torres, Hannan
The Sharks could certainly use Raffi Torres on the ice for a full series against the Kings, as last postseason, Torres was suspended in Game 1 for a hit on Jarrett Stoll. The Sharks lost that series in seven games.
Torres, however, missed the final 17 games of the regular season after a brief return. He is still dealing with the aftereffects of ACL surgery during the offseason, and like Hertl, is not at 100 percent.
We’ll see where he is on Thursday, if he’s ready to play or not. He has good days and bad days. If he’s good enough to play and can contribute without hurting the team, and certainly looking toward helping the team, he’ll definitely be in. If he can’t do that, then he won’t play.
A physical and feisty player that gets under opponents’ skin, Torres is exactly what the Sharks need in a grueling series against the Kings.
Meanwhile, veteran defensemen will be available to suit up for Game 1. Hannan sustained an injury against the Avalanche on Friday, and did not play on Saturday against the Coyotes.
Who Will Start In Goal?
That remains to be seen. Despite his struggles, Antti Niemi has remained the Sharks’ number one goaltender all season, but backup Alex Stalock has shown that he is more than capable of playing in big games.
After the game in Phoenix, McLellan provided a somewhat ambiguous answer when asked if Niemi would be “his guy” during the postseason. He responded by saying that Niemi would be “one of our guys,” meaning more than likely that Stalock will be seeing at least some action.
Just to add to the speculation:
McLellan knows his starting goalie, but won’t reveal who – to us, or to Niemi or Stalock #SJSharks
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) April 14, 2014