Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Paille’

Scratching Our Heads

March 29, 2011

michael ryder bust

A recently familiar note will appear next to Michael Ryder’s name in the box score for tonight’s game at TD Garden versus the Chicago Blackhawks.

Healthy scratch.

It would seem that Claude Julien and the Bruins have been listening to Mike Milbury of late and that the once seemingly infinite number of chances Ryder has had to prove himself worthy of a spot at forward in the line-up for the team has finally found a limit. Milbury, in a recent NESN broadcast, flew into a mini-rant about the floundering winger and labelled him a “bust” and suggested the team cut bait on the winger at last. Not really a revelation to anyone, of course, except to those whom Ryder’s teasing one-game-in-ten flashes of effort and offensive skill gave hope that he might find a way to finally become a more productive player on the team.

Not the case, however.

The infuriating winger will likely be benched once again tonight in favor of Daniel Paille, himself a healthy scratch for much of the season unless injuries or the youthful indiscretions of Tyler Seguin forced Julien to play him. That, in itself, speaks volumes. A winger being paid $4 Million dollars to score goals sitting on the sidelines in favor of a truly marginal, defensive minded player whom the Buffalo Sabres decided was a “bust” last season. Welcome to true ignominy, Michael. Welcome to total irrelevance.

No one’s wasting any time feeling bad for him, however. He’s had ample opportunity to show he was worth his paycheck. Chance after endless chance to at least show the effort and the desire to compete that we get glances of from time to time. The skill that once potted him 30 goals in the NHL. He’ll probably see some ice at some point before the season ends but it will only be to rest others in preparation for the upcoming playoffs in which, hopefully, he will remain in the press box. Put it this way; If the Bruins are dressing him it will be a sign things have gone horribly wrong.

Even with a bit of garbage time to close things out, however, his totals for 2010-11 will hover somewhere close to the underwhelmning 17 goals, 21 assists and a minus -5 he’s sitting on now (pun intended). Many of those points came in short bursts of surprising productivity which would, just as quickly, dry up and blow away. Pathetic numbers, really, when you consider how much ice time Claude Julien would give him at times earlier in the year, including a good deal of power play time. Pathetic for anyone considered an offensive player in any professional league.

So it certainly appears the curtain will close now (his contract is up after this season) on the Michael Ryder era in Boston without anyone, fans or players or management, understanding the mystery of why the guy could never pull it together. Why there were so many no-shows. Perhaps they knew the truth up in Montreal when they let him go prior to him signing with the Bruins. That he was a bust and always would be.

Hey, even a blind nut finds a squirrel once in a while, right?

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Looking Forward

November 8, 2010

david krejci boston bruins

The Bruins currently have 14 forwards on their active NHL roster, so finding a live body to fill in David Krejci’s spot in the line-up on Wednesday night can be done without any emergency call-ups from Providence. Daniel Paille and Brian McGrattan are both seasoned NHL pro’s at this point of their careers and one of them can fill the now vacant 12th forward slot against Pittsburgh.

Neither of them can replace Krejci, though. Neither of them can be the creative on ice straw that stirs the offensive drink that is the Bruins’ top line featuring the supremely talented Czech pivot with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton on the wings. It’s no accident that the two of them look to be laying the foundations for career years as they play with Krejci. He is blossoming into a master playmaker. Puck skills, vision. The ability to do the unexpected and the smarts to play at both ends of the ice.

There’s no replacing that.

Hell, neither Paille or McGrattan are centers either. A position thought to be one of depth going into the season now looks a bit bare. Patrice Bergeron continues to shine but behind him are only the extremely raw Tyler Seguin and the always-game Gregory Campbell. The count there is three and none of the above can be said to be a real No. 1 center in the NHL, as Krejci is becoming. Marc Savard is likely weeks away, so that leaves a hole.

There are a number of ways to plug it. The easiest is to shift another forward to the center position and insert Paille into the line-up at wing. Blake Wheeler seems the likliest candidate to me, given that he played the position in college and even in a couple of pre-season games. In fact, you could bump Seguin up to skate with Lucic and Horton for a couple of games, shift Wheeler to centering Michael Ryder and Paille. Or have Wheeler center Caron and Recchi while Bergeron takes that top slot. He’s earned the chance to play there, for sure.

The Seguin flip, however, would enable Claude Julien to keep many of the current line combinations somewhat intact. Like this:

Lucic-Seguin-Horton
Recchi-Bergeron-Caron
Paille-Wheeler-Ryder
Thornton-Campbell-Marchand

It seems extremely risky, however, to put the unnervingly young, and currently somewhat mistake prone, Seguin in a position that would entail so much ice time and responsibility. I have a hard time believing that a defensive minded coach like Julien would do that. Hell, he had Tyler on the bench for the entirety of that 3rd period against St. Louis after Seguin was guilty of a number of miscues on the ice earlier in the game. The kid has a lot to learn.

A solution further down the probability slope, as Neil Asher called it, would be the call up of a true center from Providence. There’s no Trent Whitfield to look to right now but there is blue-chip prospect Joe Colborne who has done well for himself in the AHL so far this season. A steady 5 goals and 5 assists with a +6 in the stats columns. Seems to be developing well. Zach Hamill, however, is not. The former 8th overall pick (2007) has got some folks now wondering if he’ll ever show himself to be a serious NHL prospect.

Regardless, I doubt the B’s will reach down without having at least tried the Wheeler experiment. Krejci might only miss a week or so which could mean anywhere from 4-6 games. More if the concussion is more serious. If the team responds to the situation well and plays fairly decent against Pittsburgh and Montreal, then perhaps no drastic moves will need be made.

Practice this week should sort it all out, I would think, and give us a clearer picture of what Claude Julien and the boys upstairs have in mind.

Update: Brian McGrattan has been waived for the purpose of sending him to Providence. That just leaves Paille at the moment to jump into the line-up for Krejci. We’ll see if this is a precursor to further movement.

Short and Sweet

April 10, 2010

boston bruins short handed

File this one under “Fucking Astonishing”.

The Boston Bruins scored three short handed goals on the same penalty kill in the space of 1:04 minutes at the start of the second period to take a 3-0 lead over the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden this afternoon.

Daniel Paille, Blake Wheeler and Steve Begin all scored for team while killing off Matt Hunwick’s hooking penalty.

boston bruins short handed goals

As far as I can tell, no team has ever done this before.

Not even the 80’s Edmonton Oilers. Many teams have scored two, of course, including Gretzky and Co. but it does seem that this is indeed a new NHL record for Most Shorthanded Goals Scored on One Penalty.

Unfortunately, the ‘Canes later scored twice to bring the score back to 3-2 and make it a game again but if the B’s can hold on and take the two points they will guarantee themselves a spot no lower than 7th in the East, significant because it would allow them to avoid the powerhouse Caps in the first round of the playoffs.

Amazing game.

Patrice Bergeron saves an own goal on a delayed penalty call as he scoops the puck literally right off of the goal line as it was headed into the empty net vacated by Tuukka Rask.

Milan Lucic scores an empty netter at the end for a 4-2 victory and the Bruins clinch their spot in the 2010 Playoffs, no lower than 7th in the East. Great game with a little of everything and a rousing celebration for the fans at the end as the team clinches. All on Fan Appreciation Day when the team will give the shirts off their backs to select fans after the game.

A fitting thank-you to those who have remained loyal throughout what has been a very difficult season, to say the least.

Props to Jack Edwards who called the conclusion with his usual awkwardly dramatic flair but summed things up quite neatly in the end

This season the Boston Bruins have been through NHL Hell but they’ve earned themselves a snowball’s chance to play for the Stanley Cup.

Not bad, Jack. Not bad.

21st Century Schizoid Men

March 21, 2010

Boston Bruins New York Rangers Scrum

So today against the New York Rangers at home it seems the Bruins have decided to show up and play the type of game they were supposed to on Thursday against the Penguins. A ton of hitting, in your face play, a lot of emotion and fight on display. I don’t understand the rollercoaster highs and lows this team gives us in terms of effort on the ice, I really don’t.

Of course, in response to this wonderfully scrappy play, the refs step in and start calling everything that moves and the entire first period becomes an erratic game of special teams play.

Deep sigh.

Still, hopes remain that we’ll see more of the feisty stuff in the second and third and that someone will get a chance to clean Sean Avery’s clock like you read about.

_

Highly entertaining, chippy game continues here with the Bruins showing some strong play. Excellent penalty killing and tight overall defense are carrying them in this one.

Aside from all the great pushing and shoving and yapping, we’ve seen a penalty shot by Daniel Paille late in the period that he failed to convert. Shortyly afterward, however, Miro Satan buried an open side shot on a great pass from Andrew Ference for a 1-0 lead.

Who is this Bruins team and where have they been all season?

_

Nice win for the Bruins over the Rangers when they needed it most. 2-1 the final, the game winner an improbable backhander from Dennis Wideman in the third. The schizophrenic season continues.

Guess we’ll see who shows up in Atlanta in another match up of Eastern Conference Playoff Bubble Teams as the Thrashers are now closer to the 8th spot than New York, a team who looks to be fading a bit after this one.

Onward ho.

Like Flies

October 21, 2009

They are dropping.

Word today that Marc Savard has been place on Long Term Injured Reserve with a broken foot and will miss 4-6 weeks. Apparently Savard has been attempting to play with the injury for a time. Word also that Shawn Thornton was missing tonight’s game vs. Nashville with the ever popular “undisclosed injury”.

With so many injuries cascading down the mountain like an avalanche right now and the recent trades and call ups, it seems like the will be fielding an entirely new team on the ice at the Garden. Certainly, the lines wil be a jumble as Julien tries desperately to patch together a functioning NHL team from the myriad of new faces dotted about his locker room.

A brief rundown:

Center Trent Whitfield has now been recalled from Providence to fill aspot down the middle with Savard missing and David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron needing to move up in the depth chart. He’ll wear no. 42 and we can only hope he is indeed the answer to some Black and Gold questions.

Daniel Paille is in from Buffalo (wearing no. 20) and will make his Bruins debut. Surprised by the trade, he is apparently eager to make an impression with his new team and one hopes to see much needed energy and spirit from the recent acquisition.

Brad Marchand, impressive in training camp and consistently scoring goals for the P-Bruins, will skate the wing, likely in an offensive role with a team now desperate for any sort of scoring presence as he makes his NHL debut. Marchand wears no. 63.

Vladimir Sobotka, up at intervals last season, will make his 2009-10 debut with the team. A sometimes frustrating player, the Bruins could really use the sort of offensive pop he’s shown in the AHL to translate to the NHL a.s.a.p.

All in all it should be a wild, interesting game with a lot of interest. How will all the new faces fit in? What are fans to do with all these high expectations now? How far do they need to be lowered? Where will the Bruins find their level until the injured start to make it back into the line-up.

Start the mixing and matching and let’s see what we get.

Ch-Ch-Changes

October 20, 2009

With Milan Lucic being put on long term injured reserve with a broken index finger on his right hand and his team mired in a sluggish 3-4 start to the season, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has decided to be proactive in an effort to solve the problem.

It started on Sunday. Lucic went on IR (out 4-6 weeks) and the dominoes started falling. First off, scrappy (but underperforming) winger Chuck Kobasew was shipped to the Minnesota Wild for two players and a draft pick. The players are both forwards, Craig Weller, a 6-4 220 lb. journeyman right wing with 4 career NHL goals, and Alexander Fallstrom, a Swedish born fourth round pick of the Wild’s currently in his freshman year at Harvard. The pick is a second rounder in 2011.


Good Luck Chuck

Not a bad haul but, then again, Chuck had had a fairly decent season last year scoring 21 goals and helping anchor a gritty, in your face third line unit with Patrice Bergeron. With only one point on the young season and a need to clear cap space, Kobasew (making $2.33 mil) became a necessary sacrifice in the chess game Chiarelli was about to play with his roster but there’s a good chance some of his grit and scoring will be missed.

Next move, the recall of three forwards from Providence. Vladimir Sobotka, Brad Marchand and Guillame Lefevbre were all called up to the big club adding depth options for Claude Julien and, perhaps, helping light a fire on some of the other underperforming forwards who could see some fresh faces ready and eager to step into an empty slot.

But Chiarelli wasn’t done yet. Today, yet another move as the B’s pick up Daniel Paille from the Buffalo Sabres for a couple of mid-level draft picks. Paille is 25 years old and was the Sabres 1st round pick in 2002 (20th overall) and has scored 35 career goals in his four plus years in the Buffalo organization. At 6 foot 197 lbs. he’s solid and plays the body well but is unlikely to drop the gloves at any point.


Welcome To Boston Daniel

It seems the B’s are replacing Kobasew’s slot on the third line with Paille and, while certainly losing a bit of talent, are gaining a million dollars in salary cap room (Paille makes $1.3 million). This allows the team to carry an extra forward or two to help with depth, etc.

A lot to take in, I know, and it remains to be seen how it will play out. I’m not even sure what the line-up will look like tomorrow night when the B’s face Nashville at the Garden. There is likely to be at least 2 forwards making their Boston debut then and, hopefully, it will bring a renewed energy to the team and the atmosphere in the building.

Can’t wait to find out.