When it comes to headshots, Bruins stay consistent with their message

The biggest difference between Richards’ hit and Paille’s shot is that Richards’ occurred before Rule 48. The rule against lateral and blindside hits to the head has been on the books all season, it has been the topic of too many debates to mention and players have been shown an instructional video. Paille has to react to that play with two intentions – play the puck-carrier and avoid contact with the head. If he couldn’t do the first thing without executing the second, he needed to let Sawada go (he had Ference between him and the goal). It might be sacrilege, but it’s the rule: get low with your hit or be shown the gate.

Paille received a game misconduct in addition to a major penalty and now he could find himself suspended – as well he should. No one is saying Daniel Paille or Mike Richards or even Matt Cooke is the Devil incarnate. (Although with Cooke it’s debatable). All I’m saying, and what it seems some of the Bruins are conveying, is that sometimes a nice person does something evil. Sometimes a person snaps, sometimes the gun accidentally goes off and sometimes you get caught up in the heat of a physical hockey game and blast a guy who can’t see you with a shot to the head.

Now Paille will pay the price. Hopefully he’ll learn his lesson. But more important, we found out that the Bruins do really care about the well-being of others, whether the injured party wears black and gold or another set of colors.

That type of consistency from a team in such a dangerous, physical sport is more commendable than even potent power play or great goaltending. For now, the Bruins definitely lead the league in sincerity when it comes to hits to the head.

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