Check out my hit tonight on “Sharks Pregame Live”:
Sheng Peng: Are the Sharks about to offer impending UFA Tomas Hertl a contract?
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said on Thursday that he expects the San Jose Sharks to circle back around over the next month here and perhaps make an offer to Tomas Hertl
At this point, we’re not sure about the particulars of such an offer or if Hertl would even be receptive.
But an offer, at least, signals the Sharks’ not surprising interest in bringing back Hertl, the team’s leading goalscorer and an alternate captain that’s seen by the organization as somebody in the vein of leaders like Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. He’s also arguably the franchise’s most popular player.
Hertl, however, has stated before that his priority is to win, which he hasn’t done a lot of in the last two playoffs-less seasons in San Jose.
So what if Hertl doesn’t accept the Sharks’ contract offer?
Hertl Power might be on the way out of San Jose then: He could be the most valuable trade chip during the upcoming Trade Deadline and the San Jose Sharks can’t afford to lose him for nothing.
No Hertl Power will further cripple an already powerless San Jose Sharks power play.
The Sharks are two for their last 24 on the man advantage. Since Dec. 11, the Sharks have given up more short-handed goals (3) than they’ve scored power play goals (2).
So they’re turning to a failed experiment: Putting Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson back on the power play together.
From 2018 to last year, the San Jose Sharks power play has scored more goals with Burns and Karlsson apart than them together, despite numerous attempts to team the two superpowers up.
But Bob Boughner is hoping they’ll figure it out this time around.
“If you get those two out there and you have Tommy, Cooch, and Timo, you got your five best players on the ice. It’s up to them, they got to get it done.”
This is the fourth year that Burns and Karlsson have played together, so the Sharks are hoping the fourth time is the charm for this star-crossed power play duo.
For Nick Bonino, the secret to unlocking the Sharks power play is getting set up.
“I think we have to enter and set up. When we do get set up, we get great chances.”
That’s a great idea in theory, but according to SPORTLOGiQ, the Sharks are the second-worst team in the NHL when it comes to Power Play Controlled Entry Success. Essentially, the Sharks have trouble entering the zone with possession of the puck, even with the extra man.
Suffice to say, the power play is sinking the Sharks’ playoff drive. Their power play goal differential is third-worst in the NHL: That’s their power play goals subtracted by their short-handed goals given up. Their +10 is only ahead of New Jersey and Montreal, a far cry from Toronto’s league-leading +29.
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