Sharks forward Kevin LaBlanc will have a hearing with the NHL’s Player Safety Department today after the league called the sleeve-foot of St. Louis Blues center Tyler Bozak from the night before.
In the first period of Thursday’s game at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Bozak was chasing after a loose puck with boards inside the Sharks’ field to the left of goalkeeper James Reimer. LaBlanc followed and pressed his right shoulder and his stick forward of Bozak’s body as they closed on the puck.
Labank’s right foot was also positioned behind Bozak and when Labank fell backwards, intentionally or not, it caused Bozak to fall into the boards awkwardly.
Bozak momentarily remained on the ice, but then got up and angrily went behind Labanque, who was given a tripping penalty on the 8:59 mark of the first period. Brandon Saad of the Blues scored in the ensuing power play, and St. Louis defeated the Sharks 4–1.
LaBlanc said he was not intentionally trying to get BoJack’s legs out from under him.
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“I think it was just a fast game,” LaBlanc said after the game. “I was just trying to get in and I think (BoJack) leaned on me and then we were trying to make a fight and then we ran into each other and I went downstairs.
“It wasn’t anything intentional. I didn’t see the replay of it, but I think I’m going to try hard and make a fight in the corner.”
The Sharks’ next game is against the Washington Capitals at home on Saturday.
Please check back for updates on this developing story.