Let the cage commentary begin.
An incredibly bruised, swollen and stitched-up Daniel Paille  took the ice for Saturday’s morning skate, donning a cage and skating for the first time since he was hit in the face with a slap shot from Steve Staios in the third period of Monday’s victory over the Islanders. He won’t play Saturday, but he is actually day-to-day despite not being able to breathe out of his nose and, (Shawn Thornton ‘s words, not ours) looking like “a raccoon.”
“I woke up this morning and felt a lot better than yesterday. I just decided to go out there,” Paille, who will not play Saturday, said after the morning skate. As I pushed a little bit, I felt a little bit of blood flow through the head, but nothing to print me or stop me from going. I was pretty happy with the result today.”
Paille, 27, last wore a cage when he was 15 years old. He figures to be stuck with this one for about a month while his face heals.
“At first when I put it on, I had to look through the holes, but after a while I kind of got used to it,” the winger said. “You kind of ignore it. It’s a certain adjustment, but I think after a couple of skates you get used to it.”
If Paille needs any pointers on how to deal with life with a cage, he doesn’t have to go far. To his right in the Bruins’ dressing room sits Chris Kelly , who had six points over an eight-game stretch in the playoffs when a shove into the post from Scott Gomez left him wearing a cage from Game 4 against the Canadiens until the end of the Philadelphia series. Kelly had to deal with a lot of extra attention with the magical cage, but it undoubtedly took the Bruins a long way in the first two rounds.
“He just says that with time, you won’t even notice it anymore,” Paille said of the advice Kelly gave him. “I’m just waiting for that moment.”
Thornton’s raccoon comparison isn’t the only wise-crack Paille has heard since getting surgery Wednesday. He said that, among other things, teammates have told him that he looks no worse now than he did before getting hit in the face. It actually hurts for Paille to smile, so while he can’t laugh at the jokes being made, he certainly takes them in stride.
“Guys are getting a laugh out of it, so I’ve got to make the best of the situation,” Paille said. “The main thing is to be positive about it.”
Paille hopes to get the packing in his nose out early next week. He obviously isn’t 100 percent, but said that he could play despite not being able to breathe out of either nostril.
“I think eventually yeah, if need be, but it’s just a matter of adjusting,” Paille said of potentially getting in an upcoming game. “I skated out there, and the couple of strides where I felt like I was pushing a little bit, I felt pretty good about it.”