Bruins react to Paille's hit; Hamill called up


Bruins react to Paille's hit; Hamill called up

By DannyPicard

BOSTON -- Daniel Paille received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his hit to the head of Dallas Stars forward Raymond Sawada in the second period of Boston's 6-3 win on Thursday night.

Paille came over the middle and came up high on Sawada.

Bruins coach Claude Julien came to the support of Paille after the game, saying that it wasn't intentional, and that a possible decision by the league to suspend Paille is up for debate.

"I looked at the hit. I know that certainly wasn't intentional or anything," said Julien. "Sawada came through the slot, he had lost the puck and was reaching for it, so he was a little low. There's an argument to be made there. And that's why there's lots of meetings about that stuff, as far as, whose responsibility is it? At one point, I don't know if Dan could have stopped or if he could have done something different.

"I'm going to let the league look at it. I'm going to certainly support my player."

With Marc Savard currently out of the lineup with his second concussion in less than a year, thanks to an illegal hit from Matt Cooke last season, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference didn't necessarily take the same stance, admitting after the game that it was a high hit.

"I mean, it's a bad hit, right? That's what they're trying to get rid of, and you can't be a hypocrite and complain about it when it happens to you and say it's fine when your teammate does it," said Ference. "So it is a hit that they're trying to get rid of."

A postgame announcement that forward Zach Hamill has been called up from Providence seemed as if it was related to Paille's hit, with the Bruins making a preemptive move knowing that a suspension was looming.

Julien shot that idea down after the game, however, saying that he had known about the Hamill call-up earlier in the day, saying that Hamill and Paille have "no relation."

"He's been playing really well," said Julien of Hamill "He's really, in the last month, his game's been outstanding. We certainly want to give him a shot. And I think coming in is going to give him that opportunity."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Mike Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont debate if it is time for the Bruins to send a message to Tuukka Rask and have Anton Khudobin get the starts in net.

Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most


Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

BROOKLYN -- It took most of his first season in Boston, but Riley Nash is hitting his groove with the Bruins at exactly the right time.

Nash came up huge in a must-win game Saturday night against the Islanders, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Isle. The unheralded Nash and equally unheralded backup goalie Anton Khudobin were the two most important performers in the tight, playoff-style win that snapped a four game losing streak while pushing the B's back into playoff position.

"That's part of [a big win], right? Big performances,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy. "Generally you look to your best players, but [Nash] did a really good job. He's got a sneaky shot, so hopefully he uses it a little bit more. You can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight.

"Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through. But tonight it was the lesser lights for us in terms of offense, so good for us.”

Both Nash goals were titanic. The first came on the first shift following the Islanders goal in the first period. The fourth-line winger stripped Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone and then flipped a shot past Thomas Greiss to the short side that tied the game at 1-1. Then in the third period, Dominic Moore hit Nash in stride as he sped into the offensive zone, and Nash weaved through defenders before sneaking one past Greiss for the game-winner.

The two goals give Nash four goals and six points in 21 games since the All-Star break, in line with his normal offensive output during his NHL career, and a step up from the three goals and nine points in his first 52 games this season.

The affable Nash was more than happy to contribute in a big win, and enthused at seeing the offense finally starting to flow on a semi-regular basis when the Bruins can really use it.

"It's quite the output as opposed to the season I've had so far, so I'll take it and be happy that we won the game,” said Nash. "I think everyone in here knew that was the biggest game of the year. It was going to be a really big uphill battle if we lost that one.

"Both teams came out desperate in a pretty tight, playoff-style game, but that's what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. So we've got to hunker down and take it one game at a time as the saying goes.”

With the Bruins third line fading a bit in these tight, physical games where players have to battle for their ice, it's been vital that Boston's fourth line step up and provide big minutes at both ends of the ice. Nash and Co. did more than that on Saturday night by potentially saving the season with his biggest, best game in a Bruins uniform.