ST. LOUIS – At this point, it just looks like it isn’t going to be a very pleasant season for Loui Eriksson in Boston.
After coming back from a pair of concussions earlier this season, the Swedish winger was once again roughed up in the first period of the 3-2 overtime loss to the Blues on Thursday night. Fortunately, it wasn’t a headshot this time around, but instead a Maxim Lapierre high stick that “bashed in” a group of his teeth.
Adding insult to injury: the clear infraction went without a penalty call after Lapierre’s stick blade left Eriksson’s mouth a bloody mess. A highly animated coach Claude Julien pointed it out to the referees afterward, but to no avail.
The sequence ended with the Blues scoring the game’s first goal on an Alex Steen shot from the top of the right face-off circle, and the B’s bench boss was rightfully incensed watching a potential four minute power play instead become a goal against.
“The linesman saw it, and the rule is that the linesman can call it if there’s a high stick with blood,” said Julien. “We thought it was going to get called because he’d seen it. Technically, we thought [the goal] wouldn’t count, and it could be taken back. But that whistle needed to be blown right away, and it wasn’t.
“So they can’t take it back, and we have a player with some teeth bashed in. He had quite a few stitches in his mouth. This guy has already been through a lot for us...poor Loui. Nothing is getting called against him, and he’s just taking his lumps. It was a little disappointing.”
Eriksson remained in the bench area long enough for the refs to inspect the damage done by the high stick, but missed the rest of the first period while getting worked on by the B’s medical staff. He finished with a shot on net and two takeaways along with a minus-1 rating in 15:41 of ice time, and has to be wondering at this point what he ever did to anger the hockey gods.
Eriksson was sporting a painful-looking swollen mouth after the loss, and understandably didn’t speak with the media after the game.