Notes: Paille scores his first goal of the season

191545.jpg

Notes: Paille scores his first goal of the season

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

RALEIGH, N.C. It might have taken longer than expected, but Daniel Paille finally scored his first goal of the 2010-11 season, leaving Adam McQuaid as the only Bruins regular without a goal.

Paille opened the scoring in the second period when he tipped a Zdeno Chara slapper past Carolina All-Star goaltender Cam Ward. It was his first goal in 25 games, dating back to April of last season.

It hasnt been the easiest of seasons for Paille as hes been a healthy scratch on many occasions and a victim of inconsistent playing time, but the winger seems to find a good groove when coach Claude Julien is able to find ice time for him.

With Marc Savard out indefinitely, it would appear Paille has a place in the lineup on the fourth line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell for the time being and hes beginning to take advantage of it, with a goal and 4 assists in 24 games.

Thats the kind of goals that Dan can score for us because hes quick, hes capable of getting there and hes a strong enough kid to hold his position there, said Julien. It was nice to see him get rewarded there, and I think thatll be good for his confidence.

The hotel workers in Raleigh at the Bruins team hotel gave Mark Recchi a chocolate birthday cake for his 43rd birthday on Tuesday another milestone for the oldest player currently still skating in the NHL and the winger made sure to bring the cake with him onto the bus and team charter to share with his teammates.

Recchi celebrated by dining on Monday night with teammates, including Tyler Seguin, who turned 19 on Sunday.

Rex marveled at the fact he can still play the game he loves and the highest level as he turns 43, and was more than happy to celebrate it with the youngest guy on the team.

Its amazing to still be playing. I never ever imagined would last this long, said Recchi. And I love to help young guys. I had some great guys help me when I was youngster.

Milan Lucic had his first fight since October when he dropped the gloves with Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison after a little pushing and shoving in front of the Hurricanes net.

Mark Stuart was the healthy scratch for a Bruins team that found a cohesive six-man defense unit while he was out with a broken right hand. It was the fourth straight game he was a healthy scratch.

Hockey sources indicated to CSNNE.com over the weekend that Stuart is being sought after on the trade front, and it could be only a matter of time before hes dealt in a pure salary cap clearing move in anticipation of another deal on the way.

Julien said it was all about the six defensemen playing at a high level currently, and that includes McQuaid supplanting Stuart as a tough, physical presence around the Boston net in a bottom D pairing.

I dont think its a reflection of his play any more than its what the other six guys have given us, said Julien. Anybody thats watched us knows that the tandem has played well and been pretty steady. For the most part the pairs have been reliable, and for the most part its a numbers game and hes been a victim of that.

When youre in a numbers game you just bite the bullet a little bit and eventually things will work out. I know its not easy for him. To his credit hes always been a team-first guy, and as much as he wants to be in there and wants to play, he also doesnt want to disrupt whats going in the room. Hes not thinking about No. 1. Hes thinking about team and whats best for it, and thats a credit to him.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.