(Photo: Krista Patronick)
Daniel Paille has been moved up and down the lines for the Boston Bruins, especially when the team has seen injuries. His role on the fourth line, better known as the energy line, is an important contribution to the team in every game. I had an opportunity to chat with him after the Bruins were able to beat the New York Islanders on Saturday night in a 2-1 hard fought battle.
Communication is key to any team’s success, but more so when a player is with other line mates either for a shift or for the evening. And of late, Bruins head coach Claude Julien has been shaking up his lines to get better performance. Paille has seen his fair share of movement up and down the lines this season, and was again moved around on Saturday evening.
“There’s tons of communication out there, especially if I get moved up there with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron],” Paille said. “He’s talking the whole time, so it’s an easy transition.”
There was one instance in the game where Bergeron saw an opportunity to get the puck to Paille, unfortunately the rolling puck could not be contained and it went high of the net. But the pass was a crisp tape-to-tape opportunity with Bergeron knowing exactly where Paille would be as he let go of the puck.
“When I’m playing with my regular line, I’ve kind played with Soupy [Gregory Campbell] so long l kind of know where he’s going to be and he’s talking too.”
Paille and Campbell are all that remain of what used to be known as the “Merlot” line when Shawn Thornton, now part of the Florida Panthers organization rounded out that line. And energy is definitely something that Paille has. Many teams tend to forget how fast he can be. And though he doesn’t score tons of goals, his quickness can frustrate the opposition.
The team had some uncharacteristic gaffs against the Islanders where players simply didn’t have their sticks on the ice and those struggles continued throughout many shifts of the game.
“I don’t think we need to worry about [that]; definitely improve tomorrow,” Paille explained. “You know sometimes when you’re not going to bring your best game and you have those flaws where you’re normally good, you want to come back the next night and respond, so I think it’s important for us to do that and kind of move on and work with it that way.”
While the team won last night, Paille acknowledged that some of that was because of Tuukka Rask’s strength in the net, and the team knows they need to step up their play as they take on the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night. They have the same motivation as if they had lost.
“Yah, I don’t think there’s a difference either way, if you lose or had Tuukka bail us out there,” Paille considered. “We realize that we need to be better there.”