Deep Blue Sea: Hertl Power!

Plus woman’s hockey in EA Sports’ NHL, Kurtis Gabriel traded to the Blackhawks and more in today’s news and notes.

I know it feels like this are back to normal, but I would like to remind everyone that the season started a month later than usual and the trade deadline isn’t until March 21, 2022. So can everyone please get Tomas Hertl’s name out of their mouths while also talking about the trade deadline? I’m tired.

Am I worried about the fact that Hertl doesn’t have a new contract yet? No. This is not the first season that the San Jose Sharks have thought the season could go a number of ways, so play the season first and deal with contracts later. Logan Couture’s current contract wasn’t signed until July 1, 2018, after the team lost in the conference semifinal to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Do I think the Sharks are playing well enough to keep Hertl when the time comes? Maybe? I don’t know what Hertl’s barometer is when it comes to defining how successful the team has to be for him to stay, or if he even quantifies it that way. But I do know that I’m having fun watching the Sharks right now and it seems like they’re having fun playing hockey too.

And, as Hertl says, fun must be always.

Since I mentioned Couture earlier, I also want to point out this beautiful quote from the captain about how Hertl is playing right now (courtesy of The Mercury News):

“Every player in this league goes through ups and downs and when he’s hot. man, he’s so good and so important for our team,” Couture said Tuesday. “That goal in Columbus was a big goal for him to just let him feel good about his game and about himself.

“It looked like he had about 20, 30 pounds lifted off him and it’s good to see the puck go in the net for him.”

Hertl scored again against the Minnesota Wild last night, extending his goal streak to 5 goals in three games.

News & Notes

  • Would the Sharks trade an unsigned Tomas Hertl if they’re in a playoff spot in March? [The Mercury News]
  • Rink Fries: 25 NHL trade candidates of interest to watch [Sportsnet]
  • NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus the biggest surprise of 2021-22 for every team [ESPN]/

Blood in the Water

  • Women’s hockey is finally coming to EA Sports’ NHL franchise [The Ice Garden]
  • Where do the Flyers go from here? [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Montreal Canadiens place Arsen Khisamutdinov on waivers for contract termination [Habs EOTP]
  • First women up: Some potential female candidates for Montreal’s front office [Habs EOTP]
  • Why Are the New Jersey Devils Trying to Fix What Isn’t Broken? [All About The Jersey]
  • Blackhawks acquire Kurtis Gabriel from Maple Leafs for Chad Krys [Second City Hockey]
  • Arizona Coyotes pay overdue bills to avoid arena eviction [CBC]
  • ‘This is now Rutherford’s team’: New Canucks prez has full control [Sportsnet]
  • 5 takeaways from Day 1 of the NHL Board of Governors meeting [Sportsnet]
  • COVID-19 vaccines protecting NHL players against serious illness []/

Scores & Recaps

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
  • Chicago Blackhawks 2, Montreal Canadiens 0
  • Anaheim Ducks 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (SO)
  • Nashville Predators 4, New York Islanders 3
  • Detroit Red Wings 2, St. Louis Blues 6
  • Carolina Hurricanes 2, Calgary Flames 1 (OT)
  • Boston Bruins 3, Edmonton Oilers 2
  • Winnipeg Jets 3, Seattle Kraken 0
  • Dallas Stars 0, Los Angeles Kings 4
  • Minnesota Wild 5, San Jose Sharks 2/

Click on a team name to find a recap on their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule

  • New York Rangers at Buffalo Sabres, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on MSG-B, MSG+, ESPN+
  • Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on SN, TVAS, ESPN+, HULU
  • Nashville Predators at New Jersey Devils, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, HULU
  • Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on ALT, BSDET+, ESPN+
  • Florida Panthers at Arizona Coyotes, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on BSAZ+, BSFL, ESPN+
  • Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on SNP, TSN3, ESPN+
  • Philadelphia Flyers at Vegas Golden Knights, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on ATTSN-RM, NBCSP, ESPN+/