Oates to Hertl: 'Don't disrespect the league'
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Chuck Gormley

Tomas “Teenage Mutant Ninja” Hertl became an overnight sensation with his between-the-legs goal against New York Rangers goaltender Marty Biron late Tuesday night in the Sharks’ 9-2 win at the Shark Tank.

But not all of the reaction to Hertl’s goal, which was his fourth of the night and gave the Sharks an 8-2 lead, has been positive.

Just ask Capitals center Brooks Laich.

“You tell me that if the Sharks are down 2-1 and he tries that [move] and he doesn’t pull it off, he goes back to the bench and the coach is going to go, ‘Nice try?’” Laich said. “He’s going to say, ‘Shoot the puck in the net like a man does.’"

“It was a situational move. That’s exactly what it was.”

Capitals coach Adam Oates agreed, saying he was “upset” by the timing of Hertl’s move and that Sharks coach Todd McLellan did the right thing by benching the 19-year-old rookie for the 7:55 that remained in the game after he scored the goal.

“I’m glad the coach did that because in this league it’ll bite you if you’re not sharp,” Oates said. “Don’t disrespect the league. I’m sure it was a rookie mistake.”