So I had been tracking the San Jose Sharks all pre-season because my buddy Matt Nieto is in their system working to earn a roster spot in the Show. To no surprise, he made the team after a strong showing at camp and impressive play during the preseason. Safe to say when I found out he made the team I was all sorts of fired up. Nieto is, for lack of better words, the Man. Had a ball python named Jaffar and drew sick graffiti during his all too limited free time during college. I digress.
Tuesday night I get home from a class around 9 o’clock. Chef up some grub and tune into the Red Sox playoff run. From the corner of the room: “Nieto has his first NHL point!” Sick. Without sounding like a parent who just saw herfirst child make a friend shortly after sending him off to kindergarten, I was filled with a similar emotion hearing the news. He was battling for a spot. Got a point. Nice. He’s in. Since my time at BU I have became friends with a few guys who have gone on to make an impact in the NHL, but this was the first time it has been someone close.
A few moments later, bang: “Nieto score his first NHL goal.” Unreal! If you can imagine, we were all pretty fired up here in apartment 814 off Commonwealth Ave. Fast forward a few hours later and I’m checked back into the hotel I call home for nine months out of the year and find out Nieto tallies another assist! I go to watch the video highlights and all the sudden….
HOLY HERTL! Tommy fucking Hertl! Excuse my french, I know there are ladies present, but what a night for the Czech rookie. I knew the kid had talent after posting two goals against Phoenix in his second NHL game, but four Ginos against the New York Rangers is something else. Not to mention going between the legs top cheese for the fourth goal. Talk about cocky.
This San Jose team has the perfect blend of veteran leadership and young talent this year. The Sharks will be a dominant leader in the Western Division this season. Keep an eye out for more highlights from Nieto and Hertl.