Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Hertl, Meier Doing Little Things to Get Out of Slump



Credit: AP Photo/David Becker

Maybe Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl are emerging from their slumps?

The signs were there in the San Jose Sharks’ 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, even though Meier and Hertl didn’t score any goals.

It’s now eight games without a goal for the scoreless Meier and none since opening night for Hertl. They combined for 65 goals last year.

Preview/Lines #8: Behind Hertl, Meier’s Struggles

But if the Meier-Hertl-Alexander Barabanov line keeps playing like they did against the Flyers, the goals will come.

From the drop of the puck, they were all over it.

Travis Sanheim (6) tries to spring Noah Cates (49) for a zone exit, but Hertl (48) is on top of Cates, forcing a hurried clear. Matt Benning (5) turns it back up to Timo Meier (28), who fires from a distance on a partial 3-on-2, hoping for a rebound.

This was a good omen: The Hertl line forcing turnovers meant the Sharks’ top offensive trio counterattacking an off-balance defense. How often this season have we seen Meier trying to force play against a set defense?

Here’s the line’s next shift: Alexander Barabanov (94) stays on Tony DeAngelo (77).

And so on…

This all culminated in the San Jose Sharks’ opening goal. It’s an almost-full minute of pressure from the Hertl line.

Barabanov and Hertl harass Travis Konecny (11) trying to exit (00:07), Hertl gets a stick on the Konecny clear (00:10), and Jaycob Megna (24) dumps it back in.

Meier pressures Konecny in the corner (00:17), Hertl bothers Kevin Hayes (13), and it looks like Meier forces Justin Braun (61) into a turnover, which leads to a Meier jam.

Konecny tries to fire it out from the corner, but both Meier and Barabanov are obstacles (00:27).

Hayes gets possession again and tries to skate it out, but Meier stands him up (00:36).

There’s a reason why Konecny and Hayes were benched in the third period.

Tortorella Benches Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny in 3rd Period of Flyers’ Loss

For the Sharks, I also found this promising on this shift: Hertl using his size and strength down low, warding off Braun, until Karlsson is open to hammer the puck past Felix Sandstrom.

That’s what you want to see from Hertl, him dominating down low.

“They took a big step forward tonight. To get the goal was huge,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn noted. “I thought there were a lot more signs of sustained pressure, the things that allow those guys to be special players since they’ve been in the league. We’re gonna need that moving forward, and hopefully, it’s something they can build on.”

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook

All the San Jose Sharks news that's fit to print

Enter your email to get the best Sharks coverage delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.