Max Lapierre is off to a rocky start in St. Louis. Heading into the year, Lapierre was supposed to bring additional grit and aggressive play to the team's fourth line. Instead, he has brought reckless play and stupid decisions. Lapierre's poor decisions have directly led to power-play goals by the opposition.
With a potential suspension looming for his hit on Dan Boyle, it's time to sit Lapierre and release the Cracknell.
Here's Lapierre's hit in case you missed it:
To be fair, Lapierre's hit on Boyle was a bit unlucky as Boyle stumbled some which partially resulted in his awkward collision into the boards. With that being said, Lapierre has still been at the center of two extremely reckless plays which have resulted in goals for the opposition.
The first occurred when Lapierre committed a boneheaded boarding call against Chicago. The result was a power-play goal for the Blackhawks. Jump ahead to the team's widely anticipated bout with the Sharks and you have Lapierre pushing Boyle into the boards. The Sharks scored twice on the following advantage. The second San Jose goal may have come right as one of Lapierre's infractions was expiring, but it can still be blamed.
So, what do you do with a player who is playing reckless hockey and has yet to make a positive contribution for his new team? You send him to the bench. The NHL may take care of this for the Blues by suspending Lapierre, but it's clear he needs to sit one way or the other.
Ken Hitchcock has stated that he wants to get some of the healthy scratches (Brian Elliott, Ian Cole, Magnus Paajarvi and Adam Cracknell) into the lineup. Now is his chance. Lapierre will likely miss some time which would allow a guy like Cracknell to see some time out on the ice. Cracknell is the obvious replacement as he has the ability to skate at center if called upon. Paajarvi makes more sense as a winger, so the lineup would need to be juggled around in order to fit him in.
Pardon the pun, but Lapierre is skating on thin ice. Two dangerous plays and a couple goals against. With the Blues possessing a wealth of depth, Lapierre is skating himself out of the lineup one dirty hit at a time.