By Allan Muir
Just hours after the league threw the book at Patrick Kaleta, another repeat offender, St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre, earned himself a date with Brendan Shanahan for one of the cheapest hits you'll ever see.
Early in tonight's heavily anticipated showdown between the undefeated Blues and Sharks, San Jose defender Dan Boyle rang the puck around the boards deep in his zone. Moments later, Lapierre roared in from behind and blasted Boyle square in the numbers, sending him chin-first into the lip of those boards and leaving him immobile and apparently unconscious on the ice for several scary seconds.
It was as stupid a decision as you'll see anyone make in hockey. There was a clean hit to be made on this play. Conversely, there was plenty of time to pull up from making contact in this area, but Lapierre but followed through, blasting Boyle face-first from behind instead. Forget about fighting -- it's garbage like this that has no place in the game.
After checking his condition, the decision was made by attending medical staff to wheel Boyle off the ice on a stretcher. He was taken immediately to hospital, but Sharks radio reported he was conscious and alert en route.
Lapierre earned a pair of five-minute majors -- one for boarding Boyle and one for taking a beating from San Jose's Andrew Desjardins—along with a game misconduct.
Of course, that's just the start of his problems. Five games seems like an obvious call here for Shanahan, but it could easily go higher considering Lapierre's past. What do you think it'll be?