DALLAS — Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle remained in a St. Louis hospital Wednesday afternoon, though he was expected to fly home to San Jose later in the day for further medical evaluation.
The team did not release any details of his condition, but in an exchange of texts, Boyle sounded optimistic after being knocked unconscious by an illegal check from behind during the first period of Tuesday night's 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
"I'm OK. That was scary," Boyle texted. "Hopefully the symptoms will be very minor if any going forward."
Boyle was prone on the ice for several minutes before being lifted onto a stretcher after being driven face-first into the top of the boards by Blues forward Maxim Lapierre, who is likely to face supplemental discipline from the NHL for the hit.
The team had been scheduled to practice Wednesday at a suburban Dallas rink, but coach Todd McLellan decided that a day off would be more valuable as both a physical and mental break.
"It was an emotional day, it was a taxing night for a lot of players who played a lot of minutes once Dan left," McLellan said, noting that Matt Pelech was given a game misconduct and Andrew Desjardins had to sit out 17 minutes for responding to the hit on Boyle.
Players did work out at the team hotel before getting a little extra free time. The Sharks will regroup Thursday morning for a pregame skate, then try to go for a seventh straight win to open the season for a second year in a row when they face the Dallas Stars.
The Sharks also have placed forward Adam Burish on injured reserve because it appears he could be undergoing back surgery for an injury that occurred in the first game of the exhibition season.