But Tomas Hertl, who scored two goals in San Jose’s clutch Game 5 win, had much to say following the game.
In fact, he guaranteed a Game 7 in a post-game interview.
By no means is Hertl the first player to guarantee a win (or a Game 7). It’s not all that unusual, actually, though the outcomes following such promises vary.
However, he didn’t just guarantee that San Jose will force a Game 7, which by definition guarantees a Sharks victory in Sunday’s Game 6 matchup. He went so far as to say the reason he believes the series will return to San Jose for Game 7 is because the Sharks are a better team than the Knights.
“We have one more game, then come back for Game 7, and I believe it because [we’re a] better team than them,” Hertl said.
HERTL IS CALLING A GAME 7!!! pic.twitter.com/Hbr80Aj5E0— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) April 19, 2019
Hertl was fresh off a two-goal game as he helped the Sharks stave off elimination, but that’s the sort of comment that often fuels the opposition.
Interestingly, Hertl’s comments are reminiscent of those made by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty last season.
Doughty famously said, “There’s no way they’re going to be a better team than us by the end of the season.” Vegas proved him wrong when the Knights swept Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs.
Vegas trolled Drew Doughty so hard last night and I love it pic.twitter.com/SV7Lz2AqXH— NHL Chirps (@ryanchirpz) May 19, 2018
While that was a completely different situation, it does serve as an example of how this Knights team often thrives on motivation. Plus, last year the Knights were the Golden Misfits, out to prove their former teams wrong, and this year they had to prove they weren’t just a flash in the pan.
Now Vegas is back in the playoffs for the second straight season and is one win away from eliminating the Sharks and advancing to the second round.
Regardless of what happens in the rest of this series, you can be sure the Knights will take notice of Hertl’s comments as they prepare for Game 6.