The San Jose Sharks improved their 2013 record to 6-0-0 Tuesday night after a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, but the story of the game came early in the first period before any goals were scored. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was carted off the ice 5:22 into the game after a vicious hit into the boards by the Blues’ Maxim Lapierre.
Boyle appeared to move his right arm as he was carted off, but he laid motionless on the ice for some time following the shove from behind by Lapierre. San Jose released a statement during the game saying that Boyle was moving his extremities and that he would be sent to a local hospital for evaluations. Lapierre was ejected from the game and called for a five-minute major for checking from behind and a fighting major.
One more thing: Lapierre capped off his classless move by letting out a smirk on his face as his skated away from the scene. He’ll surely receive a suspension.
Boyle’s well-being is of much more concern than his absence from the lineup. The extent of his injury isn’t quite known yet, but nothing about what happened Tuesday night in St. Louis looked good. From a competitive standpoint, Boyle’s injury hurts the team immensely. He is the captain on defense and leads the team in minutes aside from goalie Antti Niemi. He is a very important player to the Sharks, but his loss as a player comes second to his health.
The Sharks responded to the horrible wreck in a vindictive manner. Less than four minutes following the hit, San Jose scored two power play goals, which were products of fighting that followed. Patrick Marleau added a third power play goal, the team’s final score on the night, and injected confidence in the Sharks’ ability to score on the power play.
But still, the Sharks could have won 20-0 and this game still would be considered a bad one. Losing Boyle hurts, and San Jose will see the affects immediately.