It was the first meeting between the two Western Conference teams and it turned out to be a very crucial game for one of the teams.
The St. Louis Blues received goals from Matt D'Agostini and David Perron, while Jaroslav Halak stopped all 25 shots and the Blues shutout the Sharks 2-0.
This game proved to be crucial for St. Louis at the beginning of the second period.
Early in the second period, Joe Thornton was called for boarding and the Blues received a power play.
As time expired in the Blues' man advantage, Blues left-winger David Perron received a pass from the defense and was simultaneously blindsided by the 6'4", 240 pound Sharks' center man, Joe Thornton. Perron fell to the ice hard and needed assistance when he was getting off the ice.
Thornton was given a major penalty and a game misconduct.
Perron returned to the ice and about nine minutes later, he gave the Blues some insurance when he scored St. Louis' second goal. The game proved to be crucial for the Blues once the game ended.
Tests were taken and bad news was given to the team and their fans: Perron had suffered a concussion and would be spending time on the injured reserved list.
Thornton was given only a two-game suspension; he also had to forfeit over $77,000.00 of his salary. This money was given to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. Thornton had a hearing to appeal his suspension with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, but the suspension was upheld and Thornton missed two games against Tampa Bay and Anaheim.
Perron's concussion was the first injury that started the Blues' injury-plagued season. He was joined on the IR with teammates T.J. Oshie, Andy McDonald and, most recently, goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Even though Oshie and McDonald have returned and are helping St. Louis make a playoff push, David Perron has now missed 53 games and is a huge reason the Blues are so far out of the playoff race.
It is no doubt that the Blues are the team in the NHL that was bitten hardest by the injury bug. Even though most of the players have recovered and returned, Thornton's victim is still sitting out games due to feeling concussion symptoms.
Almost four months later, the Blues and their fans all over are starting to wonder what went wrong with the season and why this team most likely will not be playing in the playoffs.
Thornton has no history of being a "dirty player" and by no means am I stating that he is a "dirty player;" that said, the blindside hit he issued to Perron has not only cost him his season, but also the Blues postseason dreams.
Was a two game suspension enough for Thornton's hit?
I, along with many other NHL fans, am wondering this: Was giving Thornton only a two-game suspension enough?
Thornton has clearly shown that he does not see why he was suspended in the first place, but the video shows Thornton lower his shoulder and give Perron an elbow that might have cost Perron his season.
My opinion is that Thornton should have been given a multigame suspension.
Perron has stated that he hopes to return to the ice this season. However, as of February 25, Perron is still feeling symptoms and is not close to returning.