WILMINGTON, Mass. — One day after Daniel Paille was called for boarding Atlanta rookie Alexander Burmistrov in the Thrashers’ win over the Bruins, the Atlanta winger didn’t practice and the Boston forward was accepting of the punishment he received.
Burmistrov was trying to change direction at the Boston blue line with the puck about a foot from the side wall late in the second period last night.
“I knew what he was trying to do. I knew he was trying to curl back and I just cheated on that play and it’s a vulnerable play,” Paille said after the Bruins practiced today at Ristuccia Arena. “It happens. It’s obviously a penalty with … it wasn’t my intention to hit him from behind. But I just read him curling up there and he left himself vulnerable for that hit.”
Paille had one of the classic reactions to the play, as he looked toward the heavens after Burmistrov went down and his Atlanta teammate Ben Eager jumped in.
“I knew as soon as I hit him, it’s a tough break,” said Paille. “I read that play coming up, I knew he was coming up. He didn’t seem very strong on his feet when I hit him either. My reaction was just plain and simple that I knew what I did, but obviously it wasn’t intentional.”
The Thrashers cashed in on that power play for their fourth goal of the night. If Paille had it to do over again, he’d probably do the same thing. But there was another option, he says.
“I still don’t think I pushed him that hard,” he said. “But yeah, there’s obviously … a little thing I could do differently is play a little bit more into the center and let him curl back and not hit him and just play the puck.”
For what it’s worth, Burmistrov, who returned to the game for minimal third-period duty, traveled with the Thrashers on their road trip to Denver.