22-year-old Tomas Hertl remains day-to-day with an unspecified injury, according to San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer on Sunday.
Hertl missed Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final — a 3-2 overtime win for San Jose — with what is suspected to be a lower-body injury that may have occurred late in Game 2. DeBoer wouldn’t tip his hand with regard to Hertl’s status on the team’s off-day, simply stating that Hertl remains day-to-day.
Despite a dry spell early in the season, Hertl has been crucial to the team’s success. He was putting up points in a big way through the second half of the season and was a strong possession player throughout the 2015-16 campaign.
A prolonged absence from Hertl would be a real blow to the Sharks.
In his place, Melker Karlsson played Game 3 on the team’s top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Karlsson failed to register a shot in the game, but was integral to Joonas Donskoi’s overtime winner. Karlsson kept the pressure on the Penguins’ break out as the Sharks made a line change. He lost his stick and a glove, but slowed down the Penguins enough to get the Sharks back in the zone for a shift that saw Donskoi pot the game-winner.
Despite his lack of stats on the scoresheet, it may be telling that Karlsson was in the game during overtime, while Tommy Wingels and Dainius Zubrus were stapled to the bench. He was able to be impactful, but didn’t offer the offensive boost that Hertl can bring.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.