Jabber Jaws: Hertl, Karlsson & Boughner on Meier’s 5-goal night
Hertl, Karlsson, and Boughner, as well as the man himself, comment on Timo Meier’s record-breaking night.
Timo Meier’s record breaking afternoon provided a lot of excitement at the Tank yesterday. He netted five goals by the second period, bringing his total to 20 goals on the season. Meier became the fifth player in the last 25 years to score five goals in a game, and the first for the San Jose Sharks. He also scored the fastest hat trick from the start of a game in franchise history, per NHL PR.
This game highlighted the growth we’ve seen this season in Meier’s game and it has been recognized by his teammates. Head coach Bob Boughner noted that the ways in which Meier was scoring goals was impressive and it was a game where his hard work was getting rewarded. He also noted Meier’s growth not just on the ice, but also in the locker room, as he has become more of a leader on the team.
Tomas Hertl recorded four assists, a new career high, assisting on three of Meier’s goals and the Rudolf Balcers’ goal. Erik Karlsson also recorded his 500th assist on Meier’s fifth goal.
Here’s some of what they had to say:
On memories of his own four-goal game: [Laughing] We’ve been actually talking about it, but it’s now a long time ago. I think we can stop almost talking about it, it will be in memories, but tonight was Timo’s night.
On what they were saying to Meier on the bench: Just keep shooting, you know, because it will go to the net. When you get a hot hand, especially when he scored a hat trick earlier, just keep shooting ‘cause there will be probably a couple more. Me and Rudy [were] talking, just keeping playing. It’s always nice to have [a] couple points night and help you. When you get hot hand, you have to use it. It’s impressive to score five goals in the NHL. It’s not easy, not many guys do it, so it’s really cool for him.
On the looking for Meier on the power play: I think because our power play wasn’t great, just make sure to try [to] score. Like you make it in practice for next game, and finally we score two big goals on power play and help us. I bet if he’s open, we will give him the puck.
On Meier’s growth: I think just working. He works really hard on his game, especially like the games before, he was always like, up and down, he was skating, he was on the puck one night and otherwise, he was kind of nowhere. This year, he just come and he is there for us every night and [this was] the best player in the NHL doing it. If you want to be [the] best and help the team win, you have to be there most the nights. You can’t be one night off and one night on. I think he [got] through it and this year, he’s there most the nights and helping us win a lot of games.
On how special Meier’s five-goal game was: It’s always nice. When you see guys have accomplishments like that, it raises the spirit for the whole team.
On takeaways from the game: It was a big game for us. We did what we needed to do. At the same time, I don’t think this was one of the better games that we’ve played this year. So we gotta keep moving forward and we’ve got another divisional game coming up.
Today, we found a way to put it away early, which is always nice to have. [...] We’ll bank this one and we’ll move on.
On the growth of Meier’s game: He is a big boy and he skates well. I think he is starting to use that to his advantage a little bit more and it’s hard to defend. He is starting to realize that he can put a lot of guys on his back and create a lot of things for himself with his size and his speed. Pucks keep finding him.
He’s a big body that skates well and is hard to play against. He finds open areas out there and he’s been doing that on a consistent level this year, which I think has come with the experience that he’s had and the things that he’s gone through. We all knew that he had great potential, but this year, he’s definitely matured into a way where he brings that on a nightly basis and even though it doesn’t always work out on the scoresheet, he still keeps going. If you keep doing that, you’re going to get games like this.
On if he has ever been a part of five-goal game: I can’t remember if I’ve seen a guy that hot, as Timo. In the first period he had, and coming back and getting another two in the second, I think it was nice to see. We’ve talked about how great a season he’s had. Being voted as our All-Star, which is much deserved, and we talked about all his work away from the puck.
One of these games today, I believe is just — you put in enough good hard work and then that’s the game that pays you back a little bit. Today, Timo got paid back, and our team I think got paid back a little bit with some puck luck.
On the mood on the bench during the game: You can see guys looking at each other like, not so much because he had the third, but the way he scored them as well — just the patience, the shot, picking the corner, it wasn’t just a fluky goal. Those goals were pretty goals and he had a shooter tonight. It was nice to watch and enjoyable to being in one of those games as a coaching staff too. We haven’t been in a lot of those this year, where you could sort of — well, you never relax but, you feel good on the bench and you can roll your bench. You feel confident in your game and the players, and it was sort of nice to be in a game like that, to be honest.
On being hard and the growth of Meier: Absolutely, he is natural gifted. He is bigger, stronger faster, shoots harder than most guys in the league. I don’t take a lot of credit for it other than just trying to make him a 200-foot player, but Timo deserves all the credit. He has put in a lot of hard work in and he’s got to commit to that and he did. I have talked about this many times: I’ve noticed the way he’s come back and been one of our leaders, not just on the ice but in the room, he’s done a rally good job of being a really good team guy and a guy that is more vocal this yea, a guy that’s helping out the young guys. Just a good positive attitude back on that bench, which goes a long way.
On giving Meier extra ice time: Usually you do that when a guy’s trying to get a hat trick. When he’s got five, I mean, you want to put him out there. On the last power play, I put him out there to start and he came off, I put him right back out there, right after that power play, towards the end of the second part of that power play. Just trying to put him on a different line, because Tommy and those guys were tired. At that point, though, Timo, he had a great day at the office, obviously. He was being a team guy and changing at the right times. He wanted to score more, but he wasn’t doing it at the cost of the team. It’s nice to see a guy get rewarded for all that hard work.
On if he’d ever scored five goals in his entire hockey career: Honestly, I don’t even remember. Probably was somewhere like, in juniors, in the Swiss league somewhere. No, I don’t remember, so it’s pretty special.
On if he ever thought he’d have an NHL game like this: No. [slowly smiles]
On going for six goals and record-setting: I always want to score. [Laughs] You don’t really think too much, the main focus is to win that game and after the game you realize that stuff. I know Mike Ricci has five goals, [laughs] he told me that. It’s great. I think overall a great, great team effort. My linemates made some really nice passes and on the power play too.
On hearing the crowd chanting his name: It’s very special, it’s almost like you can’t describe it. It’s very special, goosebump feeling. Our fans have been great. It’s just a really, really cool feeling.
On if he had a chance to look at his phone: No, I haven’t.
On how he’s feeling in the immediate aftermath of the game: It’s a pretty cool feeling, but at the same time, you don’t want to get too high. We’ve got a day off tomorrow, then it’s back to work. Definitely, it gives you a lot of confidence, but you wanna go back and work hard. We’ve got some important games coming up for us, so my focus is gonna be — [laughs and shrugs] yeah, obviously, check the messages, and it’s exciting, all that — but then it’s back to work and put in the work to have a successful stretch here with the guys.
On if he will always remember this day: I will definitely remember this day and it’s special when it’s a holiday. It’s definitely pretty cool, but I hope there is going to be another game like that, you want more of that. But like I said enjoy it, don’t get too high and go back to work.
*Lightly edited for clarity.