The Boston Bruins had to climb out of a hole early on Saturday thanks in large part to their rookie defenseman Jeremy Lauzon.
The Bruins rookie was reckless on Saturday afternoon taking several potentially costly penalties against the Arizona Coyotes, a team that was coming into this one desperate to break a 15 game winless streak. Lauzon found himself in the penalty box in the final minutes of the game's opening period, forcing the Bruins to kill a penalty in a scoreless game with just minutes left before the first intermission, but as we would learn that was only the start of Lauzon's problems in this game.
Almost immediately after exiting the penalty box Lauzon found himself with a great scoring chance but was entirely unable to capitalize on the opportunity, and that may have resulted in some frustration for the 22 year old. Just seconds after Lauzon had missed on his scoring chance veteran Coyotes forward Derek Stepan found himself on top of the loose puck and wasted no time in clearing it up the ice, but even his quick clearing attempt was not enough to get him out of danger. Whether it was due to the frustration of his missed scoring chance or simply a reckless play on the part of Lauzon, he proceeded to level Stepan with a very reckless hit to the head.
The long time National Hockey League veteran immediately collapsed to the ice following the hit, and after watching the slow motion replay it is not hard to see why Stepan was rocked on this one. Lauzon caught Stepan up high on this hit and to make matters worse it appears as though it was Stepan's head that absorbed the entirety of the impact. Lauzon just clipped Stepan in the head but missed his body entirely, resulting in the veteran's head and helmet being slammed into the protective glass. Lauzon even appeared to launch himself into this hit, with one foot clearly leaving the ice well before contact was made, and no doubt that is what the officials saw as well.
Lauzon was ejected for the hit, and upon video review the officials on the ice opted to uphold the call and remove him from the game, awarding the Coyotes a 5 minute major to start the second period.