New York Hockey: Tomas Hertl

Rangers 'embarrassed' in 9-2 loss

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
10:20
AM ET


Chances are that if you didn't know Tomas Hertl before Tuesday night, you do now.

The 19-year-old Czech forward, San Jose's first-round draft pick in 2012, was the shining star in the Sharks' shellacking of the New York Rangers, finishing the game with four goals in only 11:12 of ice time.

His fourth marker will be the one that people talk about for weeks to come, as it could very well end up the goal of the year.

There are simply no words to describe this feat of skill and beauty. (Oh, and his mom was on hand to witness this dazzling performance).

It was the second straight multi-goal game for Hertl, who notched a pair in the Sharks' 4-1 win over Phoenix. He has six goals in three games.

While the Sharks were absolutely dominant, the Rangers left the building dejected. Several players described the rout as "embarrassing," which could be the understatement of the season.

Should this game be a cause for greater concern? Honestly, that's premature. The team played poorly during the preseason but it's hard to imagine that a new coach, a counterintuitive training camp schedule and the absence of three top-six forwards didn't play a role in that. It is surprising that the Rangers were so decisive in knocking off the Kings only to get completely waxed the next night, but it happens. The Rangers can't afford to be ill-prepared against a team with so many offensive weapons like the Sharks and Tuesday's debacle was a good reminder as to why.

Rest assured the Rangers will be smarting from that humiliation the rest of the nine-game road trip. If a stinker like that was going to happen, best it happened early in the season. To assume the loss was indicative of serious wide-scale problems would probably be a mistake.

The one thing from Tuesday that should be a concern for the Rangers is the prospect of being without one of their star forwards. Rick Nash, who had an excellent game Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings, was forced from Tuesday's game after a high hit from Brad Stuart. After the game, Nash told reporters he received an elbow to the head, a blow that gave him in a headache that worsened as the game progressed.

Nash, who missed time last season with a concussion sustained in February, did not return to the game after the hit.

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