Notes: Paille scores his first goal of the season

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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

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.