BOSTON -- There was no minor penalty for a Dion Phaneuf hit that rode up a bit high on Daniel Paille, and there will be no supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety either. The incident happened with about 7:45 remaining in the third period as Paille received the puck against the side boards in the neutral zone, and Phaneuf moved in with a shoulder check that caught the fourth line forward.
Initially the hit appeared to be a check directed at Paille’s head, and he made an elbowing motion to the referees after the play, looking for a call. Coming off Game 1 where Andrew Ference was suspended for a similar blow to the head, it’s understandable from the Bruins’ players’ perspective that they’re looking for things to be called both ways.
“There were similarities [to the Ference hit], but slight differences as well,” said Paille. “It’s not something we have to think about it. The league will decide about it. It was unfortunate that it happened, but it’s something we can’t really control as players.”
The frustration is understandable given that Boston earned only eight seconds of power play time through an intensely physical playoff hockey game on their own TD Garden home ice.
Several views of the video, however, showed Phaneuf caught Paille with a hit where the chest was the principal point of contact, and then it appeared the Toronto defenseman finished with a shoulder in Paille's. Perhaps it should have been a minor penalty for elbowing or an illegal check to the head, but Phaneuf’s hit didn’t seem to rise to the level of suspension-worthy in this case.
A day later, without supplemental disciplinary action against the hard-hitting Phaneuf, Paille was ready to move on to Games 3 and 4 in Toronto with the rest of the Bruins.
“I haven’t seen the video, but I know my head got hit. I’m not sure if it was shoulder or arm, or anything,” said Paille. “He’s a big hitter. I stood up and didn’t fall. I think that’s a big reason why [there was no penalty or suspension].
“Plays like that are called normally. Not always, but normally. During a game when a play like that isn’t called you get frustrated by it. It’s just something that you can’t control. You just want to move on and worry about the next game. It was frustrating at the moment, and it was something that caught us off guard.”
Paille also said that the cut on the bridge of his nose wasn’t from the Phaneuf hit, but was instead aftermath from a play just previous to the incident where he went in for a hit on Matt Frattin. The impact from Frattin's elbow caused his visor to rip open the bridge of his nose and required a couple of stitches to clean up.
So it was a pretty rough night all around for Paille, and not getting any kind of recognition from the referees or the league made it all the tougher.