It looks like both Zach Hamill and Daniel Paille could join the Bruins lineup tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
Hamill is most certainly in given his previous center experience and the Bs need for a pivot to facilitate things in between Shawn Thornton and Jordan CaronDaniel Paille. Paille will need positive results from a neuro-psych test conducted on Monday if he wants to suit up against the Kings, but both coach and player expected the ace penalty killer to pass with flying colors.
Julien was leaning toward putting Paille back in the lineup provided he had cleared the final medical hurdle while returning from a mild concussion, and keep the fourth line from having two inexperienced players in Caron and Hamill.
Whether Paille plays or sits, the former 2007 first round pick in Hamill will be skating in his second stint with the big club after filling in when Rich Peverley and Benoit Pouliot missed several games in November.
If Dan is available we have a decision to make, but I dont think any of those guys have enough experience in the middle, said Julien. I dont know if I feel comfortable taking guys from other lines and putting them on the fourth line. So Zach will fill the role in the middle. When we had him up here he was really reliable at doing the job in his own end. Hes a guy thats a good playmaker.
Hes been playing wing mostly this year, but hes also a guy that has played center for most of his career. That versatility has been really good for him. When we had him up here I really liked what he brought to the table. So when it got to the point where we needed a center we thought he deserved to get the call.
Both NHL promotions have been in emergency call-up situations and the 23-year-old has to hope the second look in Boston goes just as swimmingly as the first one did.
Hamill fared well while putting up an assist and a plus-3 in two games, but the points havent been popping up with quite the same regularity once he was shipped back to the P-Bruins. Hamill has 14 points (7 goals and 7 assists) in 25 games for the P-Bruins and holds an even plus-minus rating, but still got the call over some other potential call-up candidates at the AHL level.
Hell be centering the Bs fourth line Tuesday night against the Kings, so his game will be more about providing energy and offensive possession in the attack zone than about making pretty plays. Its an adjustment, but either way Hamill said hell attune his game and do whatever is required to stick in Boston for as long as possible. Manning the third line in his last audition should prepare him for his Merlot Line debut against Los Angeles in a game where the Kings should be flying.
I played with Chris Kelly and either Caron in the first game or Peverley in the second game when I was called up, said Hamill. Im smart enough that I think I can adapt to whatever style I need to play. Ill do whatever gets me in the lineup. Their speed, their skill and their work ethic isnt hard at all to adapt to."
Im keeping it simple for lack of a better term. I just need to know situations, who were playing against and making sure were smart all over the ice. I have to keep it simple, but I also want to use my skill set when I see a chance to make a play out there.