Paille a cagey veteran
Let’s face it, the extra equipment no problem
As Daniel Paille has spent the last five games learning, it is not easy playing with a full cage when you’re used to only a half-shield. If yesterday’s game can stand as evidence, Paille appears to be adjusting to his equipment.
Paille, who’s been wearing a cage to protect his broken nose, scored the tying goal in the second period. It was one of four shots for the No. 4 left wing in 8:45 of ice time.
“Every game, I feel like I’m improving,’’ Paille said. “I thought today was my best game since I’ve been back.’’
Paille can feel the heat. Jordan Caron, a healthy scratch yesterday for the fifth straight game, is sniffing for a crack as a bottom-six wing. Benoit Pouliot has been playing better as the No. 3 left wing. Caron played well alongside Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton when Paille was injured.
But when Paille is playing like he did yesterday, he can be a game-changing element because of his speed. On set faceoff plays in the defensive zone, the Bruins can ice the puck or bank long passes off the wall because of their confidence in Paille’s wheels. Paille can also be an ornery forechecker because of how quickly he can close on puck carriers.
“Just persistent, I guess,’’ Paille said of his chances yesterday. “At one point, you want to help the team out with something, whether it’s scoring a goal or not. One thing for me is always about effort. I wanted to do more today.’’
In the second period, Paille was nearing the end of his shift. When he saw Jimmy Howard leave his crease to play the puck behind the net, Paille stayed on the ice. Nathan Horton picked off Howard’s pass, then spotted Paille going to the net. Paille scored his third goal of the season at 4:05.
“I thought I’d try and stay on the strong side just in case the puck went there,’’ Paille said. “Horty made a great play. He read the play and gave it to me a lot sooner than I thought.’’
It’s been awhile
Winnipeg, the erstwhile Atlanta franchise, visits TD Garden tonight for the first time in its new iteration. Ex-Bruins Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart have found contributing roles for the Jets. And former Bruin Shane Hnidy is the Jets’ radio analyst.
“It’s really important,’’ Patrice Bergeron said of forgetting about yesterday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Red Wings. “We’re playing a good team. Winnipeg’s a team that we’re aware of some of their players. They’re young. They’re starting to build a good core of players. It’s going to be a tough game.’’
The Bruins can start a new winning streak tonight.
“I don’t think there are any reasons here to get overly comfortable,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “We have to understand that we’re still in a tight battle, because even our division is pretty tight right now, so every game seems to mean a lot right now, which is good for the game.’’
The Bruins were whistled for three penalties yesterday. But they limited Detroit to just one power-play shot. Zdeno Chara led all players with 2:14 of shorthanded ice time . . . The Bruins held the Wings to only six first-period pucks on Tuukka Rask. The Wings are averaging a league-high 34.8 shots per game . . . The Bruins had the best scoring chance of overtime. Gregory Campbell won an offensive-zone faceoff against Pavel Datsyuk with 12 seconds remaining, and the puck went back to Chara at the point. The captain ripped a one-timer just wide of the net. “You wish that someone could have had a stick on it,’’ Bergeron said. “It was a great set play.’’ . . . The Bruins are 3-1 in shootouts. Julien sent out three quick-strike shooters instead of forwards who prefer to deke in Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Horton. “We’ve got guys when it’s time to deke,’’ Julien said. “The scouting report is out there. We have certain guys that will do that a little better.’’ . . . Caron and Steven Kampfer were the Bruins’ healthy scratches. Former Boston College standout Patrick Eaves was a healthy scratch for the Wings . . . Tim Thomas should get tonight’s start.