Daniel Paille joked that he ran himself into the boards a couple of times to make sure he was ready to return from a mild concussion that might not have been a concussion at all. Any and all symptoms abated almost immediately following the Krys Barch hit against the Florida Panthers last week. The fourth line winger missed only one before jumping back in on Tuesday night.
Paille didnt factor into the scoring in Bostons 3-0 whitewashing of a sorry Los Angeles Kings bunch, but he brought exactly what Claude Julien was looking for before placing him back in the lineup: penalty-killing excellence and the kind of energy that quick feet and a willingness to do the dirty work provide.
For a guy thats had a slap shot crush his nose into a bloody mess, suffered a mild concussion when the Florida enforcer took a run at him and has been battling a head cold for the better part of two weeks, Paille hopes this is a permanent return to good health and more importantly good luck.
Hopefully thats over now, and we can focus on just playing consistently every night, said Paille, when asked about the neurological testing and normal concussion rigmarole that players must endure to get back on the ice. And hopefully no more injuries come up."
Its just been unfortunate bounces. Whether its been their own teammates, or something like that. With my concussion, Ive just got to be aware of my surroundings around me. I think the leagues done a good job.
Paille joked that he was going to run into the boards because he hadnt really been tested for contact during a light Monday skate with his teammates and a Tuesday morning session leading up to Kings game. He passed his Monday neuro-psych test with flying colors, and got the contact he was looking for when he was drilled by Dustin Brown in the first period.
Paille bounced right off the body contact and then got Brown back by sending him flying later on in the same shift. As luck would have it that was Pailles first shift of the game with Shawn Thornton and Zach Hamill, and the 27-year-old was off and running for the rest of the evening.
Part of the decision to play Paille was locked into Juliens desire to avoid playing two rookies (Hamill and Jordan Caron) on the Bs fourth line. Paille managed that with his 19 shifts along with his 2:32 of short-handed ice team that aided the Bs greatly in holding the Kings to an 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
Hes been feeling good for a couple of days and once he was cleared he was ready to go, said Julien. We needed a little bit of experience in our line-up with Zach Hamill coming in, so it was good timing on his part.
Paille said he thanked Brown, an infamously intense hitter within the NHL, for the jarring body shot because it let him know that he was officially free to skate without hesitation. So its back to work for one of Bostons grinders with the hope that the hockey gods smile upon him a little more brightly for the rest of the season.