People get hit exactly like the hit on Boyle in EVERY game between two physical teams. It's a hockey play.
Actually, its an illegal hockey play, called boarding or checking from behind. Take your pick.
From NHL rulebook: http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26329
A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.
There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize the contact.
However, in determining wheter such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.
While there are hits into the boards in every game, it is very rare someone hits a guy from behind pushing his head downward into the dasher. I defy you to show me one such hit this year outside of this game, much less one every game between two physical teams. The combination of hitting from behind in addition to driving him into the boards, the extreme defenselessness of Boyle as he was falling and his back was turned, and Lapierre not trying to avoid but instead worsening the hit by pushing downward combine to make this hit so bad. You could argue that Boyle, by turning his back and falling put himself in a vulnerable position, but it was not immediately before the check. His back was turned the whole time. So no, the forechecking players are not supposed to have coffee but they are supposed to avoid hitting the defenseless player, not push him down into the boards. That is the rules of the National HOCKEY League. So I am fine watching hockey, which is not what Lapierre was playing. Maybe you should watch the UFC instead if you want to watch people slam someone against the cage.
Isn't a big part of your analysis that Lapierre intended to injure Boyle? If we don't know what he was thinking, then how can you come to your conclusion?
We can never know 100% for sure what someone is thinking, so I do not begrudge someone a differing opinion than mine on what a player was likely thinking. I am merely explaining why I think he should be severely suspended and why I do not want him on the Blues. Someone can obviously look at the tape and see something else. I believe we can infer that it is highly likely he was trying to injure Boyle and therefore he should be punished accordingly. Even if the intent was not to injure, the recklessness of the play should be punished harshly. If someone disagrees, I respect their right to a different opinion. Basically, it was my way of saying to Viper, "with all due respect to your opinion, I am new here and don't want to insult you, but here is my differing opinion." Now I am going to log off and watch some Ultimate Fighter on the dvr cause I do enjoy the UFC in the right time and place.