February 4, 2011

Paille 'a bit shocked' by four-game suspension

by Jesse Connolly

Bruins winger Dan Paille was tossed from the game in the third period after receiving a match penalty for his hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawada. (Getty)

WILMINGTON -- After a disciplinary hearing via conference with the NHL's VP of hockey operations, Mike Murphy, Bruins winger Dan Paille learned that he will be suspended for four games for his blindside hit to Stars forward Raymond Sawada on Thursday night.

 "Obviously it was a fast-paced play," Paille said, reflecting on the incident after the team's practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday morning.

 "I just recognized that Sawada was going on a breakaway. He cut back to the middle. If you look at the play, I'm ahead of him. When I hit him, it felt that I hit his shoulder at that moment. He kind of turned towards me so I just went to finish my check."

 Having had a clean record throughout his first 294 games in the NHL in both Boston and Buffalo, the 26-year-old forward was taken aback by the length of the suspension.

 "Right now, while I don't agree with the amount of games, I accept it," he said. "I'm just going to focus now on being ready to come back."

 Paille indicated that he expected to be disciplined, as the match penalty he was given warrants an automatic suspension, but not so severely.

 "I was expecting a suspension for sure, possibly two games," he said. "I was a bit shocked at the amount, but I'll just learn to accept it right now and hope that Ray is alright. As of right now, I heard he does not have a concussion, which is something I'm glad that he doesn't have. I hope that the injuries he has now is all he gets."

 Asked if he would reach out to Sawada -- who reportedly has a broken nose and banged-up shoulder -- Paille stated that he hopes the Stars forward knows vicious hits aren't part of his repertoire.

 "I would hope that he would somewhat understand and just know the type of player I am," said Paille. "I don't go looking for that."

 Defenseman Andrew Ference was asked about the play following last night's victory, and had no qualms with calling it a "bad hit."

 When asked about a teammate making such an accusation, Paille said they're entitled to feel that way, but presumes majority of the rest of the team would be on his side.

 "Well, to who said it, if that's what they see then that's their opinion," he said. "For me, I felt that it was a clean hit but it's too bad. I know most of the guys in the room would disagree with (it being a bad hit). For those that didn't, it's understandable with the issue right now with those types of hits.

" I know a lot of the guys on the team here know me and understand me and they'll agree with me."

 Zach Hamill will take the suspended winger's spot in the lineup in the interim, as the Bruins had already planned to call him up before their tilt with the Stars.

 Paille can return to action on Feb. 15, when the B's will welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to TD Garden.