If you don’t appreciate what Daniel Paille is doing right now for the Boston Bruins then you don’t understand the game of hockey.
Paille has been as consistent as one can be this season and has made significant progress on the ice in comparison to years past. His grittiness, toughness and willingness to fight for every inch have been a key to many Bruins’ victories this season.
All of this has caught the eye of head coach Claude Julien.
“He was very good, he was very good and I think he had five shots on net,” Julien said about Paille’s efforts in last night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. “He didn’t score, but certainly was a good player for us.
“Absolutely, I didn’t mind his game tonight. He came up big for us,” added Julien. “It’s nice to see those kind of players step up and play those kind of games because we have some players right now that are fighting to find their games.”
This is nothing new to report here from Julien. Paille has been a pest all season long scoring those dirty goals or goals that get the B’s back in games. His stats may not jump out at you – six goals and five assists on the year – but he has been a difference maker whether he is skating on the Merlot line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell or the first line with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin (as he was at the start of Monday’s contest). That versatility is a good reason why many Bruins fans consider Paille a favorite for the annual “7th Player Award” this season.
In his last nine games, Paille has totaled three goals and an assist for the Black and Gold. Bruins fans should appreciate his efforts every night because he has earned those minutes he is receiving. Not only is he contributing in the offensive zone, Paille continues his dominance as a great penalty killer and he is showing that again this season.
Paille’s ability to straight-line skate and kill penalties deserves a promotion, and with the Bruins’ recent struggles of putting the puck in the net, a shake-up was needed. Julien is finally rewarding Paille with his efforts, at least for the time being.