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Julien: Raymond Sawada needed to position himself properly 02.04.11 at 2:21 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said Friday that he completely supports Rule 48, which outlaws blindside hits to the head in the NHL, but in the case of Thursday night’s Daniel Paille hit on Raymond Sawada, felt that the play should also be a lesson to players skating with their heads down.

Sawada broke his nose and sustained a shoulder injury on the play. Julien noted that regardless of the fact that Sawada was playing in just his first game this season (11th of his career), there is no excuse for positioning one’s self for such an event to occur.

“Once you’re in the pros, you’ve been told for many, many years never to play with your head down,” Julien said. “So if he hasn’t learned by now, he shouldn’t be in the pros.”

Paille was suspended for four games after a hearing with NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy on Friday morning. Head disciplinarian Colin Campbell is unable to have a say in the matter given that his son is Paille’s linemate Gregory Campbell.


Julien said that Shawn Thornton, who left Friday’s practice, will be good to go Saturday against the Sharks. The coach noted that it was his call to send Thornton off the ice, with the winger feeling less than 100 percent. Thornton scored his eighth goal of the season Thursday night.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Raymond Sawada,
Daniel Paille disagrees that controversial play was a blindside hit 02.04.11 at 1:59 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Daniel Paille clearly regrets that his hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawata (video) took place on Thursday, but after being suspended for four games, he doesn’t agree that the play was a blindside hit.

“It was a fast-paced play. I just recognized that Sawata was going on a breakaway, and I just went over to backcheck and get the puck, but he cut back to the middle,” Paille said following Bruins’ practice Friday. “If you look the play, I’m ahead of him when I hit him, and I felt that I hit his shoulder at that moment. Looking at the replay I felt that he kind of turned towards me so I wouldn’t my check. I felt that I hit him in the the shoulder at first.”

Rule 48, implemented following Matt Cooke‘s blindside hit on Bruins center Marc Savard last March, states that “a lateral or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.”

“Obviously with Rule 48 and the sensitivity it’s [caused] around the league, it’s sensitive and I know that it’s something that someone has to [be made] and example of, and it happened to be me,” Paille said. “Right now, though I don’t agree with the amount of games, I accept it and and just going to focus now on being ready to come back.”

“I was expecting a suspension for sure, but possibly two games. I was a bit shocked at the amount, but I’ll just learn to accept it right now. I hope that Ray is alright. As of right now I heard that he does not have a concussion, which is something that I’m glad he doesn’t have.”

Following Thursday’s game, teammate Andrew Ference didn’t hide his thoughts on the play, calling it a “bad hit” and saying the Bruins would be “hypocrites” if they were to defend it. Paille didn’t seem to mind the line of thinking throughout the locker room, respecting his teammates’ opinions.

“I think that to who said it, if that’s what they see, that’s their opinion, but for me, I felt that it was a clean hit. It’s too bad, I know that most of the guys in the room would disagree with that. ‘€¦ It’s understandable with how the issue is right now with those types of hits, but I know that a lot of the guys on the team here know me and understand me and agree with me.

“Just looking at the replay over and over I see the shoulder hitting the shoulder and then just kind of tagging along. I won’t focus too much on those guys and just get the support from everyone else.”

Paille is eligible to return on Feb. 15 against the Maple Leafs. Here are some other quotes from his session with the media:

On whether he thought it was suspendable, despite thinking that it was shoulder-to-shoulder:

“I mean, I understand that with the situation that it possibly could be suspendable. I was aware that it would be before the hearing even happened, just with how sensitive it is. In my opinion, it is how I see it. I understand that the league sees it a different way, and I can see both side. They decided to go with a suspension, so I accept that.

On whether he understands the significane of Rule 48 in relation to the Bruins:

“I’m aware of what this rule does to our team, especially with how sensitive it was for us with Marc, and pretty much the reason that it all got started. ‘€¦I’m aware of Rule 48 and I tend to avoid all those types of situations. To permanently injure players is something I don’t want in this league and something I’ve been trying to fight against. In saying that, I also believe that I went to hit [his] shoulder.”

On what he would say to Sawada if he speaks to him:

“If I get in touch with him, I’ll probably just say that I was going to finish my check and I had no intention of hurting him the way I did there. I would hope that he would somewhat understand and know the type of player I am, that I don’t go looking for that. I hope that he would understand that.”

Read More: Blindside hits, Daniel Paille, Raymond Sawata,
Bruins’ lines see tweaking with Zach Hamill promotion 02.04.11 at 12:14 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — After taking part in one of the more interesting games in recent memory Thursday, the Bruins returned to practice Friday at Ristuccia Arena. With Zach Hamill having been called up and Daniel Paille set to begin a four-game suspension, the lines saw some adjustment. With both players on the ice, here’s how the lines looked:





Shawn Thornton left the ice during the practice, though it’s unclear at this time what the cause of his early departure was. We’ll have more from the room following practice.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Tyler Seguin, Zach Hamill,
Daniel Paille suspended 4 games for blindside hit on Raymond Sawada 02.04.11 at 11:57 am ET
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WILMINGTON – The Bruins have been against dirty hits for some time, and on Friday they saw action taken against one. B’s forward Daniel Paille was suspended for four games Friday following his blindside hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawada in Thursday’s 6-3 victory over Dallas. Paille was given a game misconduct after the play, with Sawada not returning to the game.

Paille was present at Friday’s practice, skating on the fourth line with Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Tyler Seguin. The team had called up center Zach Hamill from Providence on Thursday, meaning no move will need to be made to fill his roster spot. Paille will be eligible to return Feb. 15 against the Maple Leafs.

Read More: Blindside hits, Daniel Paille, Marc Savard, Raymond Sawada
How the Bruins have become Team Unity, and why it matters 02.04.11 at 8:57 am ET
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Just four minutes into Thursday’s slugfest at the Garden, Stars forward Adam Burish came in on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and fired a shot several seconds after the whistle had clearly blown, stopping play.

That is a big hockey no-no.

And Andrew Ference made sure Burish paid the penalty. The Bruins defenseman came over to enforce the hockey the law, eventually drawing Burish into a fight ‘€” which Ference clearly won ‘€” and a message had been sent. Don’t mess with these Bruins or you pay the price, especially on Boston’s home ice.

“We’€™re a tight group,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice and assisted on an empty-netter. “We’€™ve always said that and we all know that. We’€™re ‘€¦ we get along real well off the ice and we try to bring that on the ice. I think that Ference fight is the best example just by showing that he took a shot after the whistle on Tuukka and Andy responded right away. So I think it’€™s ‘€¦ it showed our unity, and we’ve got to keep going.”

As for Ference himself, he said Thursday’s win showed how the Bruins can get back to being the right mix of talent and toughness, just like 2008-09, when they were the top seed in the East and a favorite to get to the Stanley Cup finals.

“One of the good things we did in that year, and something we’€™ve established over the last few is, when our team is emotionally and physically involved, we’€™re a very good team,” Ference said. “We’€™ve proven that the other way around, too. When it’€™s not there, we lose games. You know, go back to the Carolina series a couple years ago. I think that’€™s what almost all of us pointed our fingers at, it was missing. We know that that has to be there for us to be successful, and it was good [against Dallas].”

Bruins coach Claude Julien certainly had no problem with it.

“It was an opportunity for us to step up for each other, and we did and I thought it certainly played in our favor,” Julien said of the four fights in four minutes ‘€” three in the opening four seconds. “We’€™re a team that can handle that and guys seem to be ready for it and certainly that part of it was good. Those two quick goals also were proof that we were ready to play.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adam Burish, Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien
Andrew Ference says Bruins can’t be hypocrites after Daniel Paille’s blindside hit 02.03.11 at 11:09 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference didn’t beat around the bush after the team’s 6-3 win over the Stars Thursday. B’s forward Daniel Paille cheap-shotted Stars forward Raymond Sawada with a blindside hit in the second period, and Ference, having seen the same thing happen to teammate Marc Savard last March, was honest in identifying it as a dirty play.

“I mean it’€™s a bad hit, right? That’€™s what they’€™re trying to get rid of and you can’€™t be hypocritical about it when it happens to you, and say it’€™s fine when your teammate does it,” Ference said. “It’€™s a hit they’€™re trying to get rid of. I mean you hear it from every player after they do it, they feel bad, and same thing. I talked to Danny and he feels bad. It’€™s tough, that backchecking forward, to make those kind of hits, it’€™s so hard to do it in a clean fashion, with the new rules. It is what it is. He hurt the guy, and I’€™m sure he’€™ll have a conversation.”

Paille was given a given a game misconduct for the hit, and the league will likely look into a suspension for the forward.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Daniel Paille, Marc Savard,
Patrice Bergeron continues hot streak with three-point night 02.03.11 at 10:48 pm ET
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After being named the NHL‘€™s first star of the month for January, Patrice Bergeron has continued his hot streak right on into February. After scoring the game-winning goal Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Hurricanes, he Bruins assistant captain registered two more tallies and an assist in Thursday night’€™s 6-3 win over the Stars to give him four points in two games so far this month.

Bergeron scored the game’€™s second and third goals, his 18th and 19th markers of the season, eight minutes apart in the first when he buried two Brad Marchand centering passes.

‘€œIt’€™s been going well,’€ Bergeron said of playing with Marchand. ‘€œ[Marchand] has that speed and he has those great hands. He made two easy tap-ins for me.’€

Bergeron returned the favor by setting up Marchand for an empty-netter late in the third after missing a chance at the hat trick when he shot wide of the open net.

‘€œThat last one, I guess I didn’€™t want it, so I gave it to him,’€ Bergeron joked. ‘€œI guess one [hat trick] was good enough this year.’€

For Bergeron, Thursday marked his team-leading 13th multi-point game of the season. He now has 11 goals and nine assists in his last 14 games. When asked if this is the best stretch of his career, though, Bergeron said he’€™s not really concerned with that.

‘€œTo be honest, I’€™ve kind of stopped thinking about that,’€ he said. ‘€œBut I feel good and got to keep it going.’€

He also noted that his linemates ‘€“ Marchand and veteran winger Mark Recchi ‘€“ have been a big part of that. Recchi started the rushes that led to all three of the line’€™s goals Thursday with crisp breakout passes.

‘€œThat’€™s all because of him,’€ Bergeron said of Recchi. ‘€œThe three breakouts on those three goals, that all starts with him.’€

Bergeron was also quick to deflect credit for his first star of the month honor.

‘€œI have to give credit to all my teammates and my linemates for this award,’€ he said. ‘€œThere’€™s no award that can be credited only to yourself. It’€™s all about my teammates. I’€™m trying to work hard each and every night and bring everything I can to put up wins for the team, so I’€™m happy to get recognized like that.’€

Read More: Brad Marchand, Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron,
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