WILMINGTON, Mass. — Without naming names, Bruins winger Daniel Paille responded today to a question about a teammates’ comments that the hit from Thursday night’s game that cost Paille a game misconduct and an ensuing four-game suspension was a “bad hit” and the type of play that the league is trying to take out of the game.
“I think to who said it, I think that if that’s what they see that’s their opinion,” said Paille after practice today at Ristuccia Arena. “But for me, I felt that it was a clean hit. But it’s too bad. I know most of the guys in this room would disagree [with ones that thought it was an illegal hit]. And for those that didn’t, it’s understandable with how the issue is with those types of hits. But I know a lot of the guys on the team here know me and understand me, agree with me.
“Just looking at the replay over and over, I feel that I see the shoulder hitting the shoulder … I think I won’t focus too much on those guys and just get the support from everybody else.”
As previously stated, Paille wasn’t asked about anyone in particular. But defenseman Andrew Ference famously had this to say after the game:
“I mean it’s a bad hit, right? That’s what they’re trying to get rid of and you can’t be hypocritical about it when it happens to you, and say it’s fine when your teammate does it. It’s a hit they’re trying to get rid of. I mean you hear it from every player after they do it, they feel bad, and same thing, I talked to Danny and he feels bad. It’s tough, that backchecking forward, to make those kind of hits. It’s so hard to do it in a clean fashion, with the new rules. It is what it is. He hurt the guy, and I’m sure he’ll have a conversation [with the league].”
That conversation didn’t go the way the Bruins hoped, as both Paille and Chiarelli classified the four-game suspension as “stiff.” Whether the hit and postgame comments about will cause a rift in the Bruins’ dressing remains to be seen.