Paille, Stuart making bids for ice time


Paille, Stuart making bids for ice time

By DannyPicard

BOSTON -- Claude Julien's postgame message was simple, following Tuesday night's 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"If you have any sense of pride, you're embarrassed about tonight, not because the other team played well, but because we did not play to the level that we should be playing . . . it's unacceptable," he said.

The Bruins now go on a six-game road trip, and will be joined by forward Chris Kelly, who was acquired by the B's following Tuesday's loss, in exchange for a 2011 second-round pick.

The sense of pride that Julien preached about will certainly be tested. And on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs, at least two players who aren't guaranteed every-day roster spots put their names on the score sheet.

Daniel Paille and Mark Stuart connected (kind of) eight minutes into the game to give the Bruins a 1-0 first-period lead.

Paille's attempted pass out front to Gregory Campbell hit the skate of Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek and re-directed into the Maple Leafs' net.

It came as the result of a good dump, and a smart, aggressive decision by Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart to join the attack and follow Paille deep into the offensive zone. Paille beat all Maple Leafs players to the puck, and dropped it behind the net to Stuart.

Stuart's attempted pass out front to Campbell was blocked, and found its way over to Paille on the other side of the net. And the rest resulted in a 1-0 Boston lead.

"I definitely wanted to make an impact as soon as possible, whether it was a check, or just keep moving my feet and getting to the puck first," said Paille.

"I was looking there to pass it to Campbell there," he said. "I was fortunate. I got a lucky bounce off Komisarek, his foot, so I'll take it there. But I'd rather have that win. It was a lucky bounce for us there."

Lucky bounce or not, it was the result of hard work on a puck down deep in the zone. And it was hard work done by two players whose uncertainty in the everyday lineup grows greater by the day, and by the trade.

Paille made his return, on Tuesday, from a four-game suspension for an illegal hit he put on Dallas' Raymond Sawada on Feb. 3. Stuart had been a healthy scratch for eight consecutive games, leading up to his return to the lineup on Sunday in Detroit.

With the arrival of another forward in Kelly, and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli saying on Tuesday night after the Kelly trade that he still had nine defenseman on his "board," the competition for playing time is in full swing.

With the possibility of another forward being moved in a trade for that extra defenseman, it's quite possible that Paille's role on the team may not change, being a fourth-line player who also kills penalties.

But even if there's not a trade for a defenseman, the Bruins currently sport seven players on the blue line, and on Tuesday night, Stuart made his case, finishing the game as one of only two Bruins players with a plus-rating (1), and getting on the score sheet with an assist.

That assist came on Paille's goal, and came as a result of what Julien called a good pinch.

"I have no problem with our D's pinching and being involved in the offense, as long as it's not a risky situation," said the Bruins coach after Tuesday's loss. "Stuart's attack was not a bad decision. We want our D's to support the attack. We want our D's to pinch at the right time. We want our D's to pinch, and we want our forwards to cover up for them. So there's no issues there. As long as it's not a bad pinch, we saw some of those against Detroit, that ended up costing us."

Just ask Johnny Boychuk, who found himself as a healthy scratch on Tuesday night, making way for Steve Kampfer's return to the lineup, and Stuart's second consecutive game. Boychuk tried to pinch along the right boards at Detroit's blue line on Sunday, and it ended up costing the B's, as the puck got past Boychuk, and the Red Wings scored on the ensuing rush, and taking a 4-2 lead in the process.

There's a difference between being smart and aggressive. Stuart was aggressively smart with his support of the rush on Tuesday night, and his play against the Maple Leafs showed enough pride to where an unhappy coach had nothing but good things to say about him.

"Well I think right now, he's one of those guys that's excited to be back in the lineup," said Julien after the loss. "And it shows. Right now, you'd like to see other guys play with that kind of an edge."

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

Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself


Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.


Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.


Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: