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Hertl practices without no-contact jersey

Apr 3, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks skates during warm-up prior to the NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on December 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Sharks 4-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) Getty Images

Tomas Hertl‘s exciting rookie campaign came to a screeching halt when he suffered a knee injury due to a knee-on-knee collision with Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown on Dec. 19.

He won’t be back before the end of the regular season, but he still might join the Sharks during the playoffs. Even that isn’t guaranteed, but he took another step in that direction when he practiced on Wednesday without a no-contact jersey. Instead he skated as a top-six forward.

“You can read into progress, certainly. You can see it,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “If you’ve been around our team for awhile and have watched him skate, he’s progressed along very nicely.”

McLellan added that he remains “a little ways away.”

If Hertl is able to play before the end of the first round, it would make for an interesting storyline. As things stand, the Sharks’ probable opponent is Brown and the Kings. So if he’s able to play again, the 20-year-old might be able to shape the latest chapter between the California rivals while getting some measure of revenge.

In a preview of that potential series, the Kings and Sharks will play tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    FU Brown!

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    I really hope Brown owns up to his actions tonight. Wingels extended the invitation to fight last game, Brown turned it down multiple times. Maybe Burns/Thornton can lay a big hit on him.

    2 points and a little payback would make for a great Thursday night!

    • hockey412 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Yeah, I have to think a concentrated effort to nail him repeatedly over the course of the game would make a statement – I wish more teams would employ it. Not talking about leaving positions to take a run, just taking the opportunity each and every time it presents itself.

      • wtfkwp - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        Laughing that you don’t think everyone doesn’t always try to get their shots in at Brown.

      • hockey412 - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        DO IT MORE

    • wtfkwp - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      One of the best complete hockey players in the league doesn’t have to answer to your scrub when he wants to fight.

  3. sjsharks66 - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Exactly, I am not talking about a devastating hit that would result in an injury. Just every time he has the puck, put him on his butt.

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