SAN JOSE -- Some questions surrounding the Sharks started to come into focus Thursday with the news they could be close to full strength at forward for the playoffs.
Coach Todd McLellan said he is optimistic forward Raffi Torres will be ready to play in the postseason and added that the team will know more about forward Tomas Hertl's availability in the next day or two, pending medical reports.
McLellan also added he has established which of his goalies will start against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the playoffs next week but didn't divulge whether it was Antti Niemi or Alex Stalock.
The return of Torres and Hertl's potential availability for the postseason would give San Jose a major boost up front as it prepares to face the Kings in what figures to be a bruising first-round series. The Sharks are 8-5-2 since Torres' last game March 8 but are 3-4-2 since March 22.
Playing against the Kings also would offer a tantalizing opportunity for payback for Hertl, who was injured in a knee-on-knee collision with Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown in a Dec. 19 game.
Hertl, who had 25 points in 35 games before the injury, had knee surgery Dec. 31 to repair his posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.
Hertl, though, has made steady progress in recent weeks as he built up strength and skated with the team in practice.
"It's been a long time since Tomas has played as well," McLellan said, "so we're waiting for some doctors reports, and we'll go from there."
McLellan said Torres, out with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, will not dress for either of the next two games as the Sharks host Colorado on Friday and play at Phoenix on Saturday to close the regular season.
Torres, injured Sept. 20 in a preseason game against Anaheim, made his season debut Feb. 27 but played just five games. Hertl traveled with the Sharks to Anaheim earlier this week, but Torres did not make the trip.
In the Sharks' 5-2 loss to the Ducks on Wednesday, Niemi started but was pulled in favor of Stalock in the second period after allowing three goals on 19 shots. Stalock stopped nine of 10 shots. Anaheim's last goal was an empty-netter with 1:38 left in the third period.
After Wednesday's game, McLellan was noncommittal when asked if Niemi was still "his guy" going into the playoffs, saying only the 2013 Vezina Trophy finalist was "one of our guys."
McLellan said Thursday he has confidence in both goalies.
"We know what we're doing, unless injury or something else comes into play," McLellan said Thursday of the goalie situation. "But they both have to be polished and ready to go."
McLellan said both Niemi and Stalock will see action in the final two regular-season games.
McLellan said he's been told the series with the Kings will begin as "early as Wednesday or as late as Friday."
"We don't know what our schedule looks like yet, so we don't want to have one or the other sitting for a long time," McLellan said. "So they'll both play this weekend, see action, and they'll both be prepared to play in the playoffs."
Colorado (52-21-7) at Sharks (49-22-9) 7 p.m. CSN-Plus, NBCSN