The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Monday that San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl has been suspended for two games. This is his first career suspension. With Thomas Hertl suspended, the Sharks will need to look elsewhere for offence.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 19, 2022
Tomas Hertl Suspended
Hertl has been suspended two games for high-sticking center Elias Lindholm early in the final period of the Sharks’ Sunday night 5-2 loss. After Hertl won the period-opening faceoff, Lindholm cross-checked him twice in the right arm. Hertl retaliated with the blade of his stick directly to Lindholm’s face. He was penalized on the play and Lindholm scored 10 seconds into the Flames’ power play.
Hertl spoke to Sheng Peng postgame and acknowledged the penalty was a bad decision on his part.
Hertl says he was cross checked 3 uncalled times by Lindholm before retaliating. Knows it was a bad penalty by him
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 19, 2022
What This Means for the Sharks
Hertl is the Sharks’ second-leading point scorer with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points. He is nine points behind defenseman Erik Karlsson (12-29-41) and two points ahead of Timo Meier, the team’s leading goal-scorer. In 618 games for the Sharks, he has 192 goals and 227 assists for 419 points.
Hertl was the only Sharks forward to record more than one point on Sunday and was one of only three attackers not to record a negative goal differential. To replace Hertl, the Sharks will likely add a 4th line player. Left-shooting forward C.J. Suess has been a healthy scratch and could draw in. However, the Sharks could also recall a player from the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda. Suess has appeared in one game, seeing just 5:50 of ice time on December 7th.
With Thomas Hertl suspended, the Sharks will be in tough against some strong Western Conference opponents. However, now is when depth players will get a chance to show they can do more.