Apr 15, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT
Tomas Hertl hasn’t forgotten the manner in which his season was nearly ended.
The Sharks rookie, who suffered two torn knee ligaments on a hit from Kings captain Dustin Brown in December, returned from a 45-game absence over the weekend to play a pair and get back into shape for the playoffs.
Hertl explained that going up against L.A. in the opening round is his shot at revenge.
“It’s personal,” Hertl said after practice Monday. “It’s L.A. … For me, it’s more motivation because (it’s) L.A. I want to beat L.A.”
After playing the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in his first game in nearly four months, Hertl couldn’t help but look ahead to the postseason.
“Playoff time, it’s more important, because it’s L.A.,” Hertl said. “I [don’t] much like L.A. this season.”
Here’s the hit in question, which earned Brown a five-minute major and game misconduct:
The Sharks were irate following the incident, and not just because they lost the services of their rookie sensation, who had 10 goals and 25 points in his first 35 games. GM Doug Wilson said he was “disappointed” in Brown’s lack of concern for Hertl — following the game, Brown said the refs got the call wrong — and in the first rematch between L.A. and San Jose, Tommy Wingels blasted Brown for declining his invite to fight, saying the Kings captain “doesn’t want to own up” for what he did to Hertl.
Wingels was at it again on Monday.
“[Hertl] wasn’t happy about it, we weren’t happy about it,” Wingels said of the Brown hit. “He’s aware that it was against the Kings.
“He would love to stick it to them by winning the series.”
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick 22
- Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation 31
- Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career 25
- Discuss: Where’s the best fit for Alex Semin? 15
- Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency 2
- Shots fired! ‘Canes owner Karmanos rips into Jim Rutherford (Updated) 52
- Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency 29
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 38
- Getting clutch? Capitals sign Justin Williams for two years, $6.5M 21
- Coyotes bring back Vermette with two-year deal 33
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)