St. Louis: Hit on boards scary

St. Petersburg Times (Florida)


MONTREAL — Lightning LW Marty St. Louis said he lost his equilibrium for about 45 seconds and had trouble skating after the back of his head hit the end boards Saturday when he was run over by Atlanta’s Clarke MacArthur.

“Was it a scary moment? Absolutely,” he said Tuesday. “When you’re on the ice and you can’t put one foot in front and your family is in the stands, it’s hard.”

But it was not a concussion, St. Louis said, as on Monday he raised his heart rate on the stationary bike to 175 without ill effects and took a neurological test he said was normal.

St. Louis, who entered Tuesday fifth in the league with 78 points, played against the Canadiens in his 373rd consecutive game, the league’s sixth longest active streak.

Still, the episode is not one St. Louis will forget quickly.

“It’s not like the hit itself hurt me, it was the back of my head hitting the board,” St. Louis said. “Back there is your vision and your balance, and both were pretty shaky at the time.

“It was me skating myself off the ice. I had full balance and everything. It probably took about a minute or so to get back to normal, but I didn’t have light legs or was light-headed off the ice. I was aware of everything.”

INJURIES: C Zenon Konopka will miss at least a week with back spasms that began as he trained during the Olympic break, and LW Ryan Malone did not play because of an upper-body injury coach Rick Tocchet said has been lingering.

“Leadership, obviously toughness,” Tocchet said of what the team loses without Konopka. “He’s probably our best guy on the bench keeping guys alive. It’s a big hole. He’s a big part of our team.”

HEADS UP: Captain Vinny Lecavalier said watching replays of Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke lay out Boston’s Marc Savard with a shoulder hit to the head “makes me sick.”

“That’s the type of player he is,” Lecavalier added. “He runs around and he hits guys who are in a vulnerable position.”

Lecavalier should know. Cooke’s hit on him in April 2008, when he didn’t have the puck, separated Lecavalier’s shoulder, which required surgery.

“I think they should suspend him more than one game,” Lecavalier said. “If they don’t it’s going to be a big mistake, especially protecting a guy like him who has previous times hit guys dirty.”

SHATTERING: With consecutive one-timers that missed the net, C Steven Stamkos during the morning skate broke two panes of glass atop the end boards. But the glass didn’t fall, prompting players to keep shooting in an attempt to bring them down.

“The 7-year-olds in us comes out,” Stamkos said.

“It was like angry sharks, man,” Tocchet added.

But while small shards of glass fell with every shot, the pane stayed up.

“We were waiting for the closer,” Tocchet said.

Meaning D Kurtis Foster, who has broken at least four panes of glass in games this season but was not part of Tuesday’s fun.

ODDS AND ENDS: Stamkos’ 17th power-play goal broke the team record set by Brian Bradley in 1992-93 and matched by Lecavalier in 2006-07. … D Matt Smaby was scratched.

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