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Preview/Lines #25: Hertl’s Frustration Evident to Boughner

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

COLUMBUS — Bob Boughner has noticed Tomas Hertl’s frustration.

The San Jose Sharks star hasn’t notched a point in five games. Not coincidentally, the Sharks have scored just 10 goals in that stretch – and five of those goals were in one game against New Jersey.

“It’s frustrating because he’s getting chances,” Boughner offered.

The big centerman could probably stand to get more chances though: Per Natural Stat Trick, Hertl has been outchanced by Timo Meier, Noah Gregor, Brent Burns, Nick Bonino, Erik Karlsson, and Jonathan Dahlen in the last five contests.

Boughner says he had a heart-to-heart with Hertl this morning.

“My message this morning is don’t show it. Sometimes, he’s got some body language, things like slapping his stick or slamming the door when he comes back. It’s not him being a bad teammate. It’s just him being frustrated,” Boughner shared. “And sometimes as a leader, you have to funnel that frustration a little better. I just told him, Guys look up to you, especially young guys, and they don’t want to see you slamming doors and slapping sticks because you haven’t buried your chances.”

The San Jose Sharks head coach did acknowledge the weight that Hertl is carrying. Unlike say a Logan Couture, Hertl hasn’t had the benefit of playing with a Timo Meier this season. Instead, Hertl has been forced to be the focal point of his line while flanked by the likes of skilled-but-raw wingers like Alexander Barabanov, Rudolfs Balcers, William Eklund, and Noah Gregor.

“To be honest with you, he’s got to do a job on that line of making his wingers better. Generating for that line and being the motor on that line,” Boughner noted. “And most times he has, but there’s times he hasn’t, and I had that heart-to-heart with him this morning, we need to get that line more consistent.”

San Jose Sharks (13-10-1)

Columbus Blue Jackets (12-10-0)

Per NHL.com:

Oliver Bjorkstrand — Boone Jenner — Jakub Voracek
Gustav Nyquist — Cole Sillinger — Max Domi
Eric Robinson — Sean Kuraly — Alexandre Texier
Yegor Chinakhov — Justin Danforth — Gregory Hofmann

Zach Werenski — Jake Bean
Vladislav Gavrikov — Andrew Peeke
Gavin Bayreuther — Adam Boqvist

Elvis Merzlikins

Where to Watch

Puck drop against the Blue Jackets is 3:00 PM PT at Nationwide Arena. Watch it live on NBC Sports California and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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