Fallout from the Lapierre hit begins

Maxim Lapierre’s hit on Dan Boyle sets off firestorm of reaction around hockey as NHL suspends Blues forwards, demands meeting and Sharks players call him a coward and turtle.

Update: Maxim Lapierre was suspended five games by the NHL on Friday.

As soon as St. Louis' Maxim Lapierre dropped San Jose's Dan Boyle with a vicious hit from behind Tuesday night, it was clear the entire hockey world would stand up and take notice. And by Wednesday morning, boy did it ever. And by the time the night was over, Lapierre was apologizing, his future on the ice in limbo.

First, here's the hit.

Here's a shot of the impact.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

And here's what it looked like afterward on the ice.

Tom Gannam/NHLI via Getty Images

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports

So on Wednesday, the Sharks tweeted thoughts and updates on Boyle. #WinforBoyle was trending on Twitter.

And the Sharks, who saw phenom Tomas Hertl take a suspension-earning blow to the head from Vancouver's Alex Edler less than a week earlier, sounded like they had enough .

"Things like that happen, especially when idiots are idiots," Joe Pavelski said, according to CSN Bay Area via ProHockeyTalk.com. "Dan’s a world-class defenseman, there’s straight numbers [from behind] — there’s guys in this league that will target that. It doesn’t matter. They just go. It sucks."

Added Logan Couture to CSN Bay Area:

"A player that probably shouldn’t even be in the league is taking out
one of the best players in the world. That guy’s got a history. After the first shift,
he’s yelling us from their bench that he’s coming after us, and then he does that.
I don’t even know. It’s pretty gutless. Then he turtles. Be a man if you hit like that.
Don’t turtle and run behind the linesman."

Then others from the hockey world chimed in.

And finally, the NHL weighed in.

Officially, Lapierre is suspended indefinitely, pending an in-person meeting with the league. That development is significant as most insiders believe that an in-person meeting means Lapierre will receive a discipline greater than the typical 3-to-5-game suspensions for hits the league finds out of bounds.

A lengthy suspension would most certainly also be related to Boyle's history. He is indeed a repeat offender. This hit on San Jose's Scott Nichol drew Lapierre a four-game suspension and a $14,000 fine.

Later Wednesday, Lapierre offered up an apology after practice.

“First of all, I would like to apologize to Dan. You never want
to see someone feel that way and, as tough as it is to look at
for the fans and his teammates, I feel the same way. . . . I never [thought]
last night it was going to be a hit to the head or it would be that big a deal . . .
I was just trying to finish my hit. But the game goes fast. It’s not an excuse.
You have to be responsible for your hits and I was the one doing the bad hit last night.

He even reportedly tried to call Boyle to apologize.

—The Associated press contributed to this report

Download the new FOX Sports App to get the latest news and scores from your NHL team.