San Jose won 3-2 against the Montreal Canadiens last night at HP Pavilion. It was a frustrating game for the boys in teal with the game having many non-calls and bad calls for both sides. The Sharks found themselves down by one goal going into the 3rd period where one hit turned the whole game around.
Only 1:50 into the 3rd San Jose’s Scott Nichol took off on a break away. His shot rang off the post and as he was slowing up to turn past the net he was crosschecked into the boards by Montreal’s Maxim Lapierre. Luckily (if you can call it that) the combination of him slightly turning and hitting shoulder first saved him from receiving a more critical injury, if not he could have been paralyzed. As it was reported today Nichol will only miss 7 to 10 days due to an upper body injury.
Maxim Lapierre brings a whole new meaning to the term “back checking”. In an interview today in Los Angeles he said that’s all he was doing and that Nichol “fell into the boards weird”. The NHL took notice and released a statement suspending Lapierre four games and he will lose $14,248.72 in pay, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Lapierre will be eligible to return March 13 against Boston.
Perhaps what was worse about that dirty hit was that no penalty was given! The ref closest to the hit looked away right before Nichol collided into the boards. The fact that apparently none of the refs on the ice saw it just makes the matter infuriating. Their job is to police the game and keep the players safe, when this doesn’t happen a game can and will get out of hand. I applaud the San Jose Sharks players for answering back with goals and not fisticuffs when they so easily could have.
The Hit on Nichol:
[sorry – video removed from source]
Hits like this need to stop! Repeat offenders, such as Lapierre, need the book thrown at them. They should have to forfeit more than just that games pay and if they do it again the number of games suspended should double, as should the fine. Playing in the NHL is a privilege, there’s no room for the blatant disrespect of the rules and cowardly hits these types of players display.
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