Boston, MA --
|A Memorable Goal... |
|Winger Daniel Paille earned his first goal as a Bruin just seconds after stepping off the bench in the third period.
Paille found himself on a breakaway that eventually gave the B's a two-goal lead en route to their 3-0 victory over Pittsburg.
The goal was memorable for two reasons -- first, it was Paille's first as a Bruin. Second, it gave the B's forward Mark Recchi his 900th NHL assist.
“It was awesome,” said Paille. “I couldn’t ask for anything better for a goal like that. Or even for the pass from a guy like [Mark] Recchi.
“So it’s been pretty amazing for me today.”
A first-round draft pick, 20th overall, by Buffalo in 2002, the left-winger was traded to Boston on October 20 and has played in ten games with 1-4-5 totals for the B’s.
The 6’0” 200-pound forward described the moments leading up to his goal, which came at 3:34 of the third period.
“I got caught out there as we changed [lines] early and I was open at the blue line. I got myself open at the break away and as I said before it was a wonderful pass by Recchi.
Recchi praised Paille for his work on the goal.
“Oh it was a good play, actually started with Mo [Derek Morris] being strong on his stick and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron
] just zipped it up to me and Danny [Daniel Paille
] came off the bench and he spun free.
“They were pressing a little bit and it was a heck of a goal by him. He took off and it was a great shot.”
With less than 17 minutes left in the game the goal was pivotal to the B's win.
“There is no doubt that kind of gave us the cushion we were looking for,” said Coach Julien.
It was a memorable assist for NHL veteran Mark Recchi, but probably not for the reasons most people expected.
"It was a good play, actually started with Mo [Derek Morris] being strong on his stick and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron
] just zipped it up to me and Danny [Daniel Paille
] came off the bench and he spun free," said Recchi. "They were pressing a little bit and it was a heck of a goal by him -- he took off and it was a great shot."
The goal, Paille's first as a Bruin gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead helped the Bruins to their second straight win for the first time since last March.
The goal also gave future Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Recchi the 900th NHL assist of his illustrious career.
"It took forever to get it," said Recchi. "But like I've said, I set all of these personal things [and] at the end of my career...it will be real cool.
"My kids, they already texted me and they’re probably more happy for me than anything; my dad and my parents [too], so it’s kind of neat.
"I think it’s a lot of assists," continued Recchi with a chuckle when he was pressed for a reaction. "It’s [about] playing with a lot of great players and being in great situations and I’ve been very fortunate for 21 years and fortunately getting to play with this team here."
Recchi's consistent focus on the team is perhaps the most endearing quality of the B's veteran.
"Obviously it is nice for him to get that and I think he has been waiting a while for that 900th assist," said B's head coach Claude Julien. "At the same time, he has been one of those guys that we brought in because we felt at the end of last year when he did come in with his experience and I guess his approach to the game and to the team was really good for our young hockey club, and our young players.
"You can never get enough experience in your lineup. We know that today you have to keep some young guys...[and] you have to have the right mix of veterans and he’s a guy that I think he is at a stage in his career where winning and going for a Stanley Cup is more important than anything else.'
For his part, Recchi was pleased with the Bruins overall effort; an effort that the forward saw as a pivotal moment for his club.
"It was good. Our first period was really good even though we didn’t get a goal, but then we got that one goal lead again and we know we’re a pretty tough team to play against," he said. "I think that’s defensively we’re very very sound right now.
"We had a couple of miscues but nothing [big], you’re going to make mistakes during the course of a game but I really like our focus in the back end and it’s creating more opportunities now because we are really stingy and now those pucks that weren’t going in for us before are starting to go in for us."
Recchi explained that teams go through stretches where things just don't go the way the players and coaching staff wants them to.
"When you go through it you get frustrated and the hardest thing is to stay with it and to stay positive and you got to give a lot of guys credit in this dressing room," said Recchi. "We stuck to the game plan, we stuck to playing well defensively, a lot of times when you get, when your team stops scoring goals you tend to start cheating on the wrong side of the puck to try and create goals.
"No one went away from the system, no one tried...to cheat to create offense opportunities.
"We stayed with the game plan and we knew that if we continued in that path...it would eventually pay off and now it’s starting to pay off for us."
For the Bruins, the decision to aquire Mark Recchi continues to pay off, too.