WILMINGTON – There’s no quit in Daniel Paille, not even when he’s worked all season to establish himself as a regular in the lineup and then suddenly finds himself in the press box as the Bruins’ 13thforward.
“It definitely hurts a lot more than usual, even though it’s two games,” said the Boston speedster after practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena. “For me, I work every night and try to do the best I can and some nights some guys are going, or streaky, and I’ve just got to wait it out and when I get back out there, fight every chance, it’s the same story. But I’m not going to quit. I’m going to battle to the end and help the team as much as I can.”
Paille, who was a healthy scratch the last two games after Rich Peverley returned to active duty, has been in this situation before. He was sat out in Buffalo several games before he was traded to the Bruins in 2010. Last season with the Bruins, he was scratched 35 times over the course of the regular season. But when the playoffs rolled around, he answered the bell all 25 times.
Just as in the past, he has no plans to ruin the Bruins’ championship-caliber chemistry – unless you consider trying to supplant one of his teammates among the top 12 forwards.
“If it’s up to me, obviously, yeah. But it’s not,” said Paille when asked if he feels like he’ll be able to get in before the final six games of the regular season are complete. “I just have to learn to accept it and just wait and you could wait a long time, but I know eventually things will work out in the end. And for me the main focus is to stay positive and mentally go through it and I know what I need to do. But for me, I don’t need to rest, I’m good.”
Head coach Claude Julien stressed that the players who are sitting out – Paille, Joe Corvo, Mike Mottau – are not being punished. The numbers game has just squeezed those guys out. Paille has 9-6-15 totals and a minus-3 rating in 65 games this season.
Julien explained that rookie Jordan Caron’s ability to fill in among Boston’s top six, in addition to his recent ability to score and create chances, has made him a more attractive option the last couple games.
Like Tyler Seguin last season, Julien knows that depending on the length of the Bruins’ playoff run, every healthy scratch might be pressed into duty at some point. An injury, or even the end of a hot streak by one of the lineup’s incumbents, could easily usher in a reunion of Boston’s fourth line.