Wild Defenseman Keith Ballard Takes a Puck to the Face (GIF)
Dan Boyle Stretchered Off the Ice After a Hit-From-Behind by Maxim Lapierre (Videos)
Last night’s matchup between the Blues and Sharks was probably the most highly anticipated game of the young 2013-14 NHL season. Heading in, St. Louis was 4-0 and San Jose was 5-0, and both teams were looking like elite contenders.
Unfortunately, it seems Blues forward Maxim Lapierre got just a little too pumped up for the big game. Just five minutes into the first period, with the score tied at zero, he checked Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle from behind, sending him face-first into the ledge on top of the boards.
Now, in fairness to Lapierre, he didn’t come in and crush the guy with full force, and Boyle stumbled right before getting hit. If that hadn’t happen, this might simply have resulted in a two or four-minute boarding penalty, instead of a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
That being said, Lapierre has a history of “questionable plays,” and he hit Boyle in the numbers down in the corner. That’s cheap. And when you do it, bad things are going to happen—like guys getting stretchered off the ice.
Take a look:
Unfortunatley, that hit marred what might have been a great game. After this, the Sharks went berserk on the Blues and rocked them, 6-2.
And victory wasn’t their only revenge, either. They also retaliated with a pretty dirty hit of their own:
That’s Brent Burns sending Brenden Morrow face-first into the boards. He only got two minutes for boarding, but don’t be surprised if the NHL takes another look at it when they’re reviewing Lapierre’s hit on Boyle. Morrow wasn’t taken off on a stretcher, but it sure seemed like a retaliatory hit, and that sort of thing is frowned upon in the NHL.