Welcome to One Good Thing, a weekly feature where we take stock of the last week in San Jose Sharks hockey and find something that just lifts our spirits. Whether it’s a performance on-ice, or a player’s Instagram post, we’re here to talk about the reasons we love this team. Winning or losing, let’s take the time to bask in these small moments.
Can we take a minute to talk about our Sweet Czech Prince, Tomas Hertl? The great Erik Johnsgard touched upon Hertl this week in his Weekly Power Rankings, but here in this space we want to celebrate Hertl and just how good he's been for the Sharks.
Tomas Hertl broke on to the scene with his amazing four-goal night against the New York Rangers and gave us two iconic moments that night, the between the legs goal —
— and probably the only thing that Sharks fans root for more than a Stanley Cup.
While a knee injury derailed his rookie season (Fuck Dustin Brown), and ended his cup run in 2016, he has been able to bounce back and of course gave us the Fun Must Be Always, during his rehab.
Hertl was always a capable winger, but when the Sharks moved him to center last season, he took off as a player. Since Dec. 28, 2018 when the move was made, Hertl leads the team with 31 goals and is second with 64 points in that time frame. During the playoffs, Hertl made his Game 7 guarantee and then went out and backed it up in double overtime.
Hertl ended that playoff run second on the team with goals (10) and fourth in points (15).
While Hertl, and most of the Sharks, had a slow start to this season, things seems to be heating up for the 26-year-old. Hertl has six goals and three assists in his last five games and has been a force all around the ice. The energy and passion that he plays with are crucial to what the Sharks do. Hertl’s ability to drive play, control the puck and defend are a major reason for the Sharks rejuvenation as of late.
For example, take this play in overtime against the Nashville Predators last Saturday. Hertl makes a move towards the net, the puck gets lost, then while he is getting up, he’s is able to poke check the puck away from Filip Forsberg (without tripping him) and gather the puck to start another attack.
Tomas Hertl is the engine for the Sharks right now. His hustle and skill have helped to turn around the Sharks’ season, but his joy and passion for the game make him lovable. We are lucky to be able too root for our own fireball of pure joy and enthusiasm on a nightly basis, and on the best nights, we get this one good thing.