MONTREAL -- Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle finally opened up Saturday about the hit from St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre that knocked him unconscious.

"I don't think he thought he was going to put me in the hospital with the hit, so I agree with him that wasn't his intention," said Boyle, who had declined to talk about the play for two days. "At the same time, we're told since we were 5 years old not to hit a guy when you see numbers and it's pretty clear he saw my numbers and he decided to hit anyway. That's just lack of respect is what I think."

Boyle skated at Bell Center with his teammates, but is not scheduled to play in Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens. He said he has no idea when he will be ready to compete.

In Boston, Boyle talked about the aftermath of Lapierre's hit, but wouldn't talk about the play itself or the Blues forward who received a five-game suspension. In Montreal, he said he had given the topic more thought.

And while he faulted Lapierre for the decision he made, Boyle acknowledged he might have done something similar -- depending on the opposing player.

"We've all been playing long enough that in a split-second, we're conditioned to make that decision," Boyle said. "A lot of guys would probably choose to not hit there.

"And vise versa for me, too. There's a lot of guys in the league where I wouldn't hit and, I'm not going to lie, there's probably a handful that I would."


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Boyle's family made the short drive from Hull, Ontario, to the Bell Center and were glad to see the defenseman's health had improved to the point where he could practice.

  • Forward Tommy Wingels skated on the third line after taking a high hit from Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara in Thursday night's 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. Coach Todd McLellan said the decision had not been made yet whether Wingels would play.

  • Antti Niemi will start his 11th consecutive game against the Canadiens with back-up Alex Stalock set to get his first action of the season Sunday in Ottawa.

    For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him at twitter.com/@PollakOnSharks.