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Maxim Lapierre boards Dan Boyle, completely ruins game

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Slammed viciously into the end boards, Boyle left tonight's game on a stretcher.

USA TODAY Sports

Twenty minutes in, the San Jose Sharks are dominating their much-anticipated contest with the St. Louis Blues. They're leading 2-0 on the scoreboard, boast a 14-6 advantage on the shot clock and have essentially dictated play at every turn. But none of that matters because this happened:

Boylehit_medium

A matchup between two of the league's three remaining undefeated teams quickly morphed into a sad, lifeless husk of a hockey game. Far more importantly, the Sharks' most valuable offensive defenseman was taken off the ice motionless on a stretcher, although he appeared to be able to raise his right arm under his own power. Players like Lapierre, who you might remember from such dirty hits as this one on then-Shark Scott Nichol three years ago which was met with a four-game suspension, have no place in the game and it's laughable that some believe the existence of fighting keeps them out of it. It clearly doesn't.

But that debate, as well as any discussion of how long a suspension this merits (as if the Blues would even miss Lapierre's worthless ass) and this game as a whole, seems meaningless at this point. All that matters now is whether Boyle will be okay.

Update: Some good news: