|Jake McCabe explains his hit on Daniel Paille: ‘I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all’||04.12.14 at 4:07 pm ET|
Early in the third period of Saturday’s game between the Bruins and Sabres, Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe laid out Bruins winger Daniel Paille with a shoulder hit to Paille’s chest in front of the Sabres’ bench that knocked Paille out of the game. Paille immediately went to the ice and then wobbled as he tried to get back up on his skates. McCabe said afterward he was just trying to execute a shoulder-to-chest hit.
“My intentions were shoulder to the chest,” McCabe said. “I don’t think I raised my elbow at all. That was my thought as soon as it happened.
“I got called for interference. I don’t think it was too late. He tried to go through me. I kept my hands down. It was just kind of an unfortunate play. His head was down. It’s too bad.”
McCabe was hit with a five-minute interference call and a game misconduct, and was immediately escorted to the Sabres dressing room.
“I saw him drop,” McCabe said. “I knew right away that it probably didn’t look good that he dropped like that. I hope the guy is OK. I think the guy has a concussion history in the past. A couple of guys were telling me. Best wishes for that but I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all. I was trying to play hard.
“This is the first time I’ve experienced it here. I experience it in college and you have those big hits and more often times than not you’re going to get called for something, whether it be an elbow, apparently an interference tonight. Whatever it may be, you have to keep your hands down as best as possible and just try to play smart.”
The Bruins offered no update on winger Daniel Paille, who left Saturday’s game in the third period after taking a big hit from Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe.
Paille was slow to leave the ice and has already had two concussions this season. Patrice Bergeron also left the game, but he played the first two periods before missing the third, seemingly for the sake of rest. Bergeron sat Thursday in Minnesota, though the team said it wasn’t a healthy scratch.
“With Bergy it’s very minor,” Claude Julien said. “With Paisy I haven’t had a chance to talk yet with my trainers or to the doctors. I’ll probably see later on.”
The Bruins will finish their regular season schedule Sunday in New Jersey. Chris Kelly is not expected to play and Julien said that the team will likely call up multiple players from Providence to play.
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|Bruins clinch Presidents’ Trophy, Patrice Bergeron scores 30th goal in win over Sabres||at 3:12 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron hit the 30-goal-mark and the Bruins clinched the Presidents’ Trophy Saturday with a 4-1 win over the Sabres.
The B’s, who sit at 117 points (54-18-9) with one game to play, will finish with the most points in the NHL for the first time since the 1989-90 season.
Bergeron got to 30 goals for the second time in his career when he took a pass from Brad Marchand and sent a one-timer past Matt Hackett to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead in the second period. Bergeron’s other 30-goal season came in 2005-06, when he had 31.
Bergeron left the game after the second period, though he played the first two periods and didn’t look hindered in any way. It’s possible the team was just resting him.
The big scare, however, came in the third period when Daniel Paille left the game in the this period on a big hit at the blue line from Jake McCabe. McCabe was given a game misconduct for the hit (despite it actually looking clean, though slightly high), while Paille — who has already had two concussions this season — was slow to get up.
Gregory Campbell scored his eighth goal of the season when he took a first-period feed from Jordan Caron and tipped it past Hackett to give the B’s a 1-0 lead. David Krejci followed by getting the rebound off a Zdeno Chara shot off the end boards and sending it in for his 24th goal.
The Sabres scored their only goal in the third period, when Cody Hodgson picked up his 20th of the season. Krejci made it 4-1 on a power play with a shot from the point that went off the end boards and hit Connor Knapp‘s skate on its way in.
The B’s will finish their regular-season schedule Sunday in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Jarome Iginla’s 30-goal season is well impressive, but Bergeron hitting 30 goals is the most impressive individual achievement this season from any Bruin. The thirty goal mark is hard to hit in Claude Julien‘s system (Bergeron became the fourth player to do it since Julien came to town in 2007), and he made it tougher on himself by being a responsible player and not cutting any corners for the sake of goals.
An example of that came in the second period before his goal Saturday. About seven minutes into the period, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith went deep into the offensive zone, with Bergeron staying high. With the puck bouncing around in front moments later, Bergeron stayed high rather than jumping up and giving himself a chance at a goal at the risk of an odd-man rush.
A breakdown of Bergeron’s 30-goal season is as follows: 22 even-strength, seven on the power play, one shorthanded and three empty-net goals.
- Bergeron and Iginla also gave the Bruins their first pair of 30-goal scorers since Julien has been the coach. The last time the B’s had two 30-goal scorers was in the 2002-03, when they had three in Glenn Murray (44), Joe Thornton (36) and Mike Knuble (30).
- The win guaranteed that the Bruins will not lose two straight regulation games this season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- That would be pretty rough news if Paille were to have suffered a head injury on the hit from McCabe. Though a fourth-line player, Paille makes up one third of the best fourth line in the league and is a player who has been moved up when wings on other lines have been injured. He is also a plus penalty killer and was a very good performer last postseason (four goals and five assists for 13 points in 22 games).
- Another scary scene came in the third period when Torey Krug landed on Hackett, causing Hackett to remain down on the ice in pain for several minutes before leaving in a stretcher.
- The Bruins didn’t need to get into the whole John Scott thing, but it happened twice. Scott went after Lucic in the second period, leading to a scuffle in which Zdeno Chara intervened and cross-checked Scott in the face. Chara and Scott got into it again late in the third period and were given 10-minute misconducts.
|Bruins pregame: Daniel Paille cleared for return, Chad Johnson starts in net||03.15.14 at 12:33 pm ET|
Winners of seven straight, the Bruins will welcome back one forward and another making his NHL debut. Bruins coach Claude Julien announced before Saturday’s game with Carolina that Daniel Paille, who has missed the last five games with concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to game action.
Asked if he will be available and will play, Julien was more coy with reporters pre-game.
“Could be,” Julien said with a smile. “Probably. You’ll have to make some deductions. right? I have to keep you guys on your toes. I’m too predictable.”
The other big story Saturday is the NHL debut of 23-year-old forward Matt Linblad, a Friday call-up from Providence.
“It’s pretty special,” Julien said. “I’m sure he’s dreamed of playing in the NHL, and exhibition games are one thing, and this is the real deal right now. But at the same time, I think he’s earned it. He’s played really well. I liked his training camp, I liked his, again, his hockey knowledge and his hockey IQ.
“Hockey sense is always an important part of any player at this level, and he has that. He’s a smart individual, so you put that with the good skater that he he is, and it makes for a pretty decent player. So we have high hopes for him and there’s an opportunity for him to show he’s gotten better over the course of the season.”
Julien also announced that, after playing in three straight games, defenseman Andrej Meszaros would get the day off, giving Torey Krug more time on the blue line as well as the power play.
“There’s going to be some changes here as we go along, and I think [Meszaros] has played three straight games and we’ve continued to work with him,” Julien said. “So, we certainly don’t want to let our other players that have been here be pushed aside because of trades. So it’s just managing that whole back end.”
|Daniel Paille looks to return from concussion||03.14.14 at 1:32 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Daniel Paille took contact in Friday’s optional practice and hopes to return to the lineup from a concussion in time for Saturday’s game. He has yet to be cleared to play, but he said he feels no symptoms of a first-period hit from Ed Jovanovski that he took last Sunday.
Coach Claude Julien said that Paille was “looking good” in practice and that the team would make a decision later in the day Friday regarding whether he will play.
“I feel pretty good,” Paille said. “Actually, this whole week, I’ve just felt normal, felt the same. I didn’t necessarily feel any symptoms really, but it was more of the way it looked, being [cautious] and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I just kind of followed the [protocol] to make sure I was 100 percent. After a few days, there was nothing.”
This is Paille’s second concussion of the season, as he missed seven games in December with a head injury. He said this one wasn’t as bad though, and if he is back Saturday against the Hurricanes he will have only missed two games.
“This past one was probably like one I had in Buffalo, where I took a hit, my head hit the ice and I got dizzy,” the former Sabre said. “I remembered everything, and the process with having any other symptoms wasn’t there. The same thing happened with this one. Obviously I knew I couldn’t play, but I felt good enough to play if I had to.”
Paille added that he had no problem with taking the cautious approach at this time of year, given that his priority is to be in good health for the start of the playoffs next month.
Said Paille: “There’s still about a month left in the season and it’s a push for the playoffs, so there was really no reason to push it at that point.”
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|Daniel Paille out vs. Canadiens with concussion||03.11.14 at 4:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Bruins forward Daniel Paille did not practice Tuesday and will miss Wednesday’s game against the Canadiens with a concussion suffered in the first period of Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
Paille left Sunday’s tilt after taking a big hit from Ed Jovanovski on his first shift of the game. This is the second concussion Paille has suffered this season, as he missed seven games in December with a head injury.
Claude Julien said that Paille is unlikely to play Thursday against the Coyotes as well, though the team hopes to have him back for Saturday’s contest against the Hurricanes.
“He’s feeling much better. Like I said the other day, it’s very minimal, but they deemed it a concussion so he’s going through the protocol right now,” Julien said. “… He’s not playing tomorrow and more than likely not Thursday either, but a very good possibility for Saturday.”
With Paille out, Jordan Caron practiced on the team’s fourth line Tuesday at the Bell Centre and is expected to play in Paille’s usual spot Wednesday.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins beat Canucks for first time since 2011 Stanley Cup finals||02.04.14 at 9:39 pm ET|
Though it didn’t mean as much as their last win over the Canucks, the Bruins beat Vancouver on Tuesday at TD Garden for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins picked up a 3-1 victory, good for their sixth win in their last seven games.
Vancouver native Milan Lucic made it 1-0 at 5:12 of the first period, with David Krejci passing it back to him while on a 2-on-2 with Jarome Iginla. Lucic finished off the play by beating Roberto Luongo stick side from the slot. Iginla added to the lead with a power-play goal off a feed from Zdeno Chara in the second.
Newly acquired Canucks defenseman Raphael Diaz beat Tuukka Rask with a slap shot on a waffling puck in the second at 11:28 of the second, but a Daniel Paille breakaway goal off a stretch pass from Johnny Boychuk increased the Bruins’ lead back to two.
The game was the third played between the B’s and Canucks since the 2011 Cup finals, with Luongo making his first start at TD Garden since Game 6 of the series. He was out dueled Tuesday by Rask, who made 27 saves.
Tuesday marked Chara’s last game with the team before he leaves for Sochi to be Slovakia’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday. The B’s have two games left before the break, as they’ll play in St. Louis on Thursday and host the Senators Saturday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Boychuk was a beast, starting the play that gave Paille his goal and providing a bruising presence. Boychuk found Paille coming onto the ice with the B’s stuck in their zone and sent a pass from the hashmarks of Boston’s zone to Paille at the Canucks blue line. Paille took it from there, beating Luongo low with a stick-side backhander.
That wasn’t all Boychuk did, as he used his body well on Canucks forwards, most notably crushing David Booth multiple times, including a massive hit along the wall in the Vancouver zone late in the second period.
The Bruins will need a couple more performances like that from Boychuk before the Olympic break, as the 30-year-old will be the elder statesman of Boston’s blue line for the next two games without Chara.
– Speaking of Chara, it was good for B’s to get two points in his last game with them before the break. The next two won’t be easy, as the B’s, who are already without Dennis Seidenberg, will be down their best two defensemen. David Warsofsky will play the next two games after being recalled Monday and sitting Tuesday.
– Though his line didn’t have the prettiest night, Paille continued to contribute. The tripping penalty he drew in the first period was the fourth penalty he’s drawn in the last four games, while he continues to use his speed (or, as was the case Tuesday, a fortunate line change) to create chances. Paille has eight goals through 48 games this season after registering 10 in 46 contests last season.
– Iginla has points in five of his last six games, registering three goals and eight assists for 11 points over that span. His assist on Lucic’s goal was the 600th helper of his career.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Brad Marchand missed out on a couple of goals in the second period. What appeared to be the Bruins’ third goal was waved off after it was determined Torey Krug obstructed Luongo. Krug was in front of the net and fell into Luongo as Reilly Smith took the puck behind the net and fed Marchand, with Marchand having half the net open with Luongo down. Luongo immediately argued that the goal should be disallowed, which it was.
Later in the period, Marchand hit the post on a backhand bid in front.
– Statistically speaking, Patrice Bergeron‘s line has cooled off since its torrid stretch in mid-to-late January. The trio of Bergeron, Marchand and Smith now has gone four games without producing a goal.
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