SAN JOSE -- Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said Saturday that while he expects opposing teams to play hard against rookie Tomas Hertl, it's because of the top line he plays on and not a response to the attention he has been getting.

And, he added, the hit on Hertl that earned Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler a three-game suspension was a hockey play gone wrong and nothing personally directed at the 19-year-old Sharks rookie who has been in the spotlight with six goals in his first four games.

"No, not at all. I think Alex Edler was going to play the puck and caught him with the shoulder and that was it. I don't think it had anything to do with Tomas Hertl being Tomas Hertl," McLellan said after the Sharks morning skate in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Ottawa Senators.

Hertl has been criticized by some for his flair on his fourth goal against the New York Rangers, but even more people in the hockey community have come to his defense for bringing some excitement to the game.

McLellan said his youngest player knows what to expect on the ice alongside Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, even with limited English skills.

"He's playing on a line that gets attention. You don't have to speak English to understand that. He knows who he's playing with," McLellan said. "He's had some success early in the season. Again, he's a bright young man. He'll understand he's going to get the attention of the opponent."                                                  



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