San Jose Sharks rookie winger Tomas Hertl, the leading rookie scorer in the NHL, was injured from a knee-on-knee hit from Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown in the Sharks’ 4-1 loss at Los Angeles Thursday night. The video of the play appears below:
Brown was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit. Roman Jedlicka, a journalist from the Czech Republic, reported via Twitter that Hertl could be out for a month:
#SJSharks Tomas Hertl should be one month without hockey. Good source. Bad for Czech hockey team, bad for Calder Trophy…
— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 20, 2013
However, Bob MacKenzie of Canadian sports network TSN said he had heard it might be a longer absence for Hertl, one of the front-runners for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 20, 2013
Hertl has 15 goals and 25 points, both tops among NHL rookies this season.
It’s hard to tell from the video how much intent there was on Brown’s part, but he’s got a bit of a history for this sort of thing:
Michal Roszival is also from the Czech Republic … does this mean Dustin Brown has some sort of thing about checking Czechs?
For the Sharks, the injury couldn’t come at a worse time (not that there’s ever a good time for an injury). But after a flying start, San Jose has struggled of late with consistency. The Sharks have had a six-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak within the last month and are 2-2 in their last four games. They return home from a three-game road trip to host the Dallas Stars Saturday night.