Tonight, San Jose will take on Los Angeles for the first time since Kings captain Dustin Brown sidelined Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl on Dec. 19 — and to hear the Sharks tell it, the incident is still fresh in their minds.
“Intensified [the rivalry] a bit, I think,” Tommy Wingels said, per CSN Bay Area. “We weren’t happy, and I certainly wasn’t with the way things were handled, and the play itself.”
Here’s the incident in question:
Brown was tossed for kneeing, so the Sharks had no opportunity for retribution during the game. Hertl underwent knee surgery shortly thereafter and has been sidelined ever since, and there’s still no clear timetable on his potential return.
Following the game, Brown said the referees got the kneeing major call wrong, which prompted Sharks GM Doug Wilson to say he was “disappointed” in Brown’s lack of concern for Hertl.
This is just the latest chapter in what’s become a very heated rivalry between the California clubs. The two engaged in a spirited seven-game series last postseason, which included a number of barbs (see here and here) and Raffi Torres’ huge hit on Jarret Stoll, one that got Torres suspended for the duration of the series.