According to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area, rookie sensation Tomas Hertl could return to the Sharks' lineup in time for Game 1 of their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings and might even play as soon as this weekend's season-ending back-to-back against Colorado and Phoenix.
As you'll recall, Hertl was the victim of a knee-on-knee hit by the Kings' Dustin Brown back on December 19th and underwent PCL and MCL surgery as a result. He hasn't played since but his possible return to the lineup to face L.A. in the postseason couldn't come at a better time for a Sharks team that has had their forward depth issues thoroughly exposed in recent weeks. Assuming Hertl slots in with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns on the team's top line, they could once again ice a strong third line centered by Joe Pavelski with another injured forward in Raffi Torres potentially able to return and fill in on left wing. While the Sharks team we've seen recently would be in tough to beat the Kings, adding Hertl and Torres might be enough to swing those odds in San Jose's favor.
For a helpful preview of what the Kings have in store next week, here's all four goals from Hertl's legendary game against the Rangers early this season: