The Blues won’t have winger Maxim Lapierre for Thursday night’s rematch with the Blackhawks at the United Center.
Lapierre was suspended indefinitely Wednesday for the blindside hit from behind he put on San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle in Tuesday’s game.
Boyle had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher and spent the night in the hospital. He was released Wednesday and flew home to San Jose.
Lapierre has a hearing with the NHL on Friday, which usually means a suspension of five games or more.
Lapierre was given a game misconduct for hitting Boyle from behind in the first period of San Jose’s 6-2 win, but that was of little comfort to the Sharks.
“It’s just disgusting to see that type of play in hockey,” said Sharks center Logan Couture. “When a player that probably shouldn’t even be in this league is taking out one of the best players in the world.”
Added Joe Pavelski: “Idiots are idiots out there.”
On Wednesday, Lapierre apologized for the hit. He said he tried calling Boyle but nobody answered.
“First of all, I would like to apologize to Dan,” Lapierre told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You never want to see someone feel that way and, as tough as it is to look at for the fans and his teammates, I feel the same way.”
Lapierre is a repeat offender. In 2010, he was suspended for four games for a hit on San Jose’s Scott Nichol.
“It’s tough to separate a guy that’s yapping from a guy who tries to hurt people,” Lapierre said. “I know I’m the type of guy who talks a lot on the ice, but it’s really not my intention to hurt anybody.
“I was just trying to finish my hit. It’s not an excuse. You have to be responsible for your hits, and I was the one doing the bad hit last night.”
Rozsival to sit:
Hawks defenseman Michal Rozsival was ill and missed practice Wednesday. Coach Joel Quenneville said Rozsival wouldn’t play Thursday against the Blues, meaning Nick Leddy will have a new partner yet again.
Leddy has played with Rozsival, Sheldon Brookbank and Mike Kostka this season.
“I think you get a little more familiar with your guy you’re with,” Quenneville said. “Having somebody different every game is where it’s at. It might be tougher for the guy coming in than it is for Nick because he’s playing and the other guys aren’t.
Credit the defense:
Patrick Sharp gives all the credit in the world to the Hawks’ defensemen for helping create offense.
“I think it’s our defense,” he said. “That’s been the story the last season-and-a-half. Our six defensemen — or seven or eight that we have in our lineup — they swing out of the neutral zone and keep pucks alive for us forwards.
“They give it to us with speed, and you guys know our forwards love getting the puck with some speed.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.