Tag: Tomas Hertl

Calgary Flames v St. Louis Blues

PHT Morning Skate: Tarasenko’s goal is even better in flip book form


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The case for Marc-Andre Fleury’s contract extension. (Pensburgh)

The Chicago Blackhawks are happy with their goaltending so far. (CSNChicago.com)

Is it wrong to deem Patrik Elias “over the hill?” The Newark Star-Ledger argues that it’s an unfair description. (Newark Star-Ledger)

Tomas Hertl and the sophomore slump. (Puck Daddy)

Alex Ovechkin is now one of 30 people who hold NHL franchise scoring records. How does he compare to the other 29? (Japers Rink)

Interesting stuff on the original Rocket Richard Trophy. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Jason Spezza finds his copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and urges us not to panic. (Dallas Morning News)

Vladimir Tarasenko’s highlight reel goal against the New York Rangers inspired this beautiful “animated” treatment:

Compare it to the actual goal:

Slumping Caps to keep Wilson with Ovechkin, Backstrom

Arizona Coyotes v Washington Capitals

Losers in five of their last six, the Washington Capitals are looking to bump the slump tonight at home against Calgary — and they’ll be leaning on their new-look top line to get it done.

Sophomore power forward Tom Wilson, playing in just his fourth game of the year, will stick with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin after the trio joined forces for the first time in Sunday’s loss to Arizona. While the move might come as a surprise to some — Wilson was a fourth-liner for almost all of last year — it’s something that head coach Barry Trotz has wanted to implement for a while.

From the Washington Post:

Before Wilson fractured his fibula in what the Capitals called “a fall,” Coach Barry Trotz envisioned the 20-year-old skating beside Ovechkin and Backstrom, complementing the skilled top-line cornerstones with a physicality — “a bite,” Trotz called it. But the injury demanded patience, months of it, and accepting that Wilson needed time to heal before that possibility could become reality.

“He can also keep, as I say, the flies off him, if people want to take liberties,” Trotz said. “I know both [Ovechkin and Backstrom] can take care of themselves pretty well, but when you see 6-foot-5 young Mr. Wilson out there as well, who’s got a little bit of an edge, you think twice.”

Against Arizona, Wilson played a career-high 15:04 and tied Ovechkin with a team-high five hits, playing the big-bodied power role the club envisioned when it selected Wilson 16th overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — one spot ahead of San Jose sniper Tomas Hertl.

“We don’t have enough net presence,” Trotz explained, per NHL.com. “We don’t have a lot of interior play. We need to be a better cycle team, we need to be a better down-low, filter-everything-to-the-net type of team. If we’re going to have success, we’re not at the net enough for me.

“If we’re at the net a little bit more, we’re going to keep things alive, we’re going to score a few more goals.”

Related: Trotz: ‘Some of the behavior has to change’

Video: Cold no more — Hertl finally scores

Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels

Tomas Hertl went into tonight’s game against the New York Islanders with just one assist in his last eight contests and was demoted to the fourth line as a result. For a guy that’s found success wherever he’s played — including his NHL rookie season — this has been a new experience for him.

“It’s a little tough for me because on my last team, too, I’ve never been this long of a time with no scoring,” Hertl told CSN Bay Area prior to the game. “It’s hard. I just keep working.”

His hard work finally paid off tonight. During a Sharks power-play in the first period, he shot the puck behind the net and then got in front of Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak so that he was in position to capitalize on a pass from Tommy Wingels.

Sharks send struggling sophomore Hertl to fourth line

San Jose Sharks v New Jersey Devils

It sounds like San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl will leave the nurturing cocoon that is the Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski line. In fact, there might be some chance that he’ll watch Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders* in street clothes.

In other words, Hertl’s been bumped down to the fourth line and may even be a healthy scratch tonight, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz.

Update: Kurz reports that doesn’t sound like Hertl will sit out tonight’s game.

Really, when you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why.

After showing some of that rookie year promise in his first four games (two goals on just six shots), the 20-year-old hasn’t scored another goal. He only has one assist in his last eight games. Hertl’s possession stats are fine, yet he’s not a defensive dynamo at this point in his career, so such a prolonged slump does indeed call for action.

As Kurz would say, he’s riding the “struggle bus.”

Honestly, as electric as his Dustin Brown-abbreviated debut season was, those of us who’ve been around the Jonathan Cheechoo/Sergei Samsonov block wondered how much of Hertl’s brilliant work came down to lining up with Thornton.

Even if “Jumbo Joe” inflates his numbers, the Sharks still have plenty to gain in getting Hertl back on track. Maybe a demotion or even a night in the press box will do the still-promising young forward some good.

* – Airing on NBCSN, by the way.

Struggling Sharks bump Pavelski down to third line

San Jose Sharks v New York Rangers

After three straight regulation losses, it seems like the San Jose Sharks might be facing another crisis of confidence (though not quite at the level of this offseason’s borderline meltdown). Perhaps a notable lineup change might help the Sharks find some stability?

CSNBayArea.com reports that the Sharks will bump Joe Pavelski down to the third line against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Here’s how San Jose’s top nine forwards are expected to look:

Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – James Sheppard

Matt Nieto – Joe Thornton – Tomas Hertl

Tommy Wingels – Pavelski – Chris Tierney

If one thing stands out about this alteration, it’s that it gives the Sharks better depth. Wingels has been drawing strong reviews as a depth winger even before his two-goal performance against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014-15 opener, but skating with a center like Pavelski could make him that much more effective.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan explained that this move is more about improving defense than creating more scoring chances.

“We’re kind of going in waves where we have a line or two that’s responsible and then one that falls off, and it varies,” McLellan said to CSNBayArea.com. “It’s not just the top lines or the third or fourth lines. It varies. We’re trying to find some balance defensively.

“I think offensively we’ve been fine. I’m not too concerned about creating chances or anything like that. It’s the play in our zone, and it comes from a variety of different areas. It’s not just one thing.”

Of course, the biggest defensive improvements would theoretically come from improving the defense, yet the Sharks don’t enjoy the same array of options among their blueline corps.

If nothing else, Saturday’s game against Buffalo could provide a confidence boost. The first real test for such a tweak – assuming this even sticks – would come against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)