Scary moment during Tuesday night's battle of the unbeatens between the San Jose Sharks at the St. Louis Blues as Sharks' defender Dan Boyle had to be stretchered off the ice after a check by Blues' center Maxim Lapierre.
The incident, which occurred in the first period, saw Lapierre drive Boyle into the boards from behind.
Boyle's jaw appears to hit the edge of the boards, and Lapierre's gloves drive through the back of his neck. Scary, scary stuff, although he did move his limbs as he was being removed from the ice.
The hit kicked off a line brawl (and then a fight between Matt Pelech and Ryan Reaves, if anybody cares).
The Department of Player Safety just flexed their muscle in a big way, handing out a 10-game suspension to Patrick Kaleta. Will Lapierre see a big ban for this incident?
Working in his favour: he's not a repeat offender. His last suspension came in 2010, prior to the regime change in the league disciplinarian's office. Lapierre could also argue that Boyle stumbles just prior to contact, and it puts the Sharks' blueliner in a vulnerable spot just as Lapierre is committing to the hit. But when you see the numbers like that and you drive right through them, and, of course, when the aftermath of the hit calls for a stretcher, you're in serious trouble. Expect Lapierre to sit for awhile.
As for Boyle, let's hope he's back sooner rather than later.