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Hertl Shines in NHL All-Star Debut

by Missy Zielinski / sjsharks.com

It might have been Tomas Hertl's first time attending the NHL All-Star Weekend festivities, but it's safe to say the 26-year-old didn't just steal the show and make himself known amongst his teammates, he had a lot of fun while doing it. 

After kicking off the weekend with Media Day on Thursday, January 23, Hertl got a head start on practicing his accuracy ahead of the Skills Competition with some axe throwing at a local spot where you can do just that.

Playing homage to his namesake, Ninja Hertl, he also had the opportunity to throw Ninja Stars too.

"They call me Ninja Hertl, so this is perfect," he said.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: When Ninja Hertl gets to test out ninja stars, it���s something you love to see.@TomasHertl48 | #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/HsKEThHk95

The next day started with Hertl's first appearance on the NHL All-Star red carpet, as he walked the perimeter of Enterprise Center (#SharklyDressed might we add) while signing autographs and posing for photos with fans.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Seeing @TomasHertl48 walk his first red carpet just makes you smile tbh:-)) | #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/mjGsOoLmQV

Despite saying he was a bit nervous to compete in the Skills Competition that followed, Hertl did not disappoint when it came to both putting his skills on display and, of course, having some fun.

First, he surprised us all with the moment of the night during the Save Streak competition by unveiling and wearing a Justin Bieber mask when facing St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

Tweet from @TomasHertl48: Hey @justinbieber, what you think??? :-)))) pic.twitter.com/75bo5kf9rR

"Before everything started, the NHL asked, 'hey Justin was supposed to come, but he can't, so do you want to do something?'" Hertl said.

Hertl imitating Bieber goes back to a friendly Twitter exchange between Binnington and the pop star at the turn of the year.

Then during the Accuracy Shooting Challenge, Hertl hit his first three targets almost instantaneously, and while we still think he hit the fourth and final target multiple times, it did not register and he was defeated.

"It was amazing. Three shots and three hit the target, I was like 'oh I got it!'" Hertl said. "I don't know what happened after if I missed it or it somehow it didn't hit it, but I still had a great time."

The weekend wrapped up with the NHL All-Star Game the next day.

Hertl helped lift the Pacific Division to a victory in their first game by scoring four goals and sending the Central Division and the St. Louis Blues' All-Stars packing early. 

Video: PAC@CEN: Hertl scores four goals in Pacific win

With the win, Hertl and the rest of the Pacific Division faced-off against the Atlantic Division squad in the Championship Round. The game was a much tighter matchup, but Hertl scored another goal, this time the game-winner, to help his teammates to a $1 million prize in a 5-4 victory.

Video: ATL@PAC: Hertl beats Vasilevskiy from in tight

"It was amazing," Hertl said. "Right away from the start it was so special for me. Getting to hang out with all these guys - we are usually big rivals, but now we hangout. All the guys are amazing and we have a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this time."

Despite a five-goal performance, he wasn't awarded MVP - though he'll still be MVP to us (and, judging by the reaction on social media, to most fan).

All we can do after a weekend like that is :-))))). 

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