Before we get into the game recap, I want to start by saying that all of our thoughts are with Dan Boyle. It’s never good to see a player get injured and seeing Boyle lie there on the ice really ruined this hockey game for me. I wish him a speedy recovery.
What should have been a competitive, exciting hockey game took a sobering turn early as Boyle was hit from behind by Max Lapierre and crashed into the boards face first. As the two were chasing a puck towards the end of the ice, Boyle seemed to stumble and was checked on the numbers by Lapierre. Boyle’s first point of contact with the boards was his jaw and he was on the ice for several minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.
He was conscious and attentive as he was taken to a local hospital -- we will bring you more on his condition as we receive it.
Lapierre was given a five-minute major for hitting from behind and a game misconduct. Andrew Desjardins was given a two-minute instigating penalty, Reeves and Pelech were both ejected all for their parts in a large scrum that developed immediately after the hit.
Seconds later the Sharks would go on the penalty kill after a Vlasic hook. After a minute or so of 4-on-3 play, the teams were back at 4-on-4 for another minute followed by a minute and a half of powerplay time for the Sharks. Don’t worry, it was even more confusing while it was happening.
Logan Couture took advantage of the power play time.
After Tomas Hertl nearly scored the second goal on the same powerplay (thanks major penalties) he was clipped by a high stick, giving the Sharks a brief 5 on 3 that the Sharks very nearly converted on. Seconds after the 5-on-3 ended Joe Pavelski earned his first goal of the season with an absolute BULLET ending the Sharks powerplay time.
Whether it’s just me lumping on narrative or something that existed on the ice, the Sharks looked energized after the Boyle injury. Sharks beat writer David Pollak commented on Couture and Pavelski’s fist pumps appearing more pronounced after their goals. Like I said, could just be narrative talking, but it felt good to see the Blues pay on the scoreboard for Boyle.
Unfortunately Brent Burns continued the carnage with four minutes to go in the first period as he made a dirty hit on Brenden Morrow who was immediately taken to the Blues dressing room.
Morrow and Burns raced for a puck and once Burns realized he was beat to the puck he threw his shoulder into Morrow which drove him into the boards. I don’t think it was near as dirty as the Lapierre hit, but I would not be surprised if Burns gets a call about that play tomorrow.
Tommy Wingels scored his second of the season on a great hustle play. He took the puck to the net and was denied by Halak. Wingels then carried the puck around the goal and stuffed it in on a nice wraparound to put the Sharks up 3-0.
Scott Hannan made it 4-0 with his first goal since February of 2012. A blast from the point slipped through the legs of Halak -- I can almost guarantee the Blues’ netminder wants that one back.
A goaltending change was made to start the third period as Brian Elliott entered the game to try and keep the Blues in the game.
After a period of sustained pressure by the Blues, Joe Thornton made it a five-goal advantage for San Jose. Hertl generated a turnover behind the net and threw the pass to Thornton in the middle of the slot. Jumbo took advantage as he roofed the puck that fooled everyone -- even the broadcasters who did not know a goal had been scored.
St. Louis wasn’t done yet as tallies by Vladimir Tarasenko and Roman Polak cut the Sharks lead to 5-2 with seven minutes to go in the game. But an ill-advised penalty taken by Chris Steward, who was trying to goad Marc-Edouard Vlasic into a fight, put the Sharks on their seventh powerplay of the night where Patrick Marleau made ‘em pay.
- The Sharks went 3-7 on the powerplay tonight. Not too shabby.
- Joe Thornton was on the ice for his first goal against of the season tonight. (Thanks mymclife)
- Joe Pavelski finally scored his first goal of the season. Praise Jesus.
- Speaking of which, the Pavelski line looked pretty darn good tonight after I had voiced concerns earlier this season.
- The Sharks obliterated the Blues in terms of shot-differential while the game was close -- I highly recommend you check out the Extra Skater page linked to above.
- I was impressed by how cool and calm the Sharks were after the Boyle injury. It would have been easy to give in to the emotion of losing a leader on the team and it was great to see them take their frustration out by playing great hockey.
- Again, thoughts and prayers are with Dan Boyle. Hang in there, Boyler.