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Practice Update 2/4: Paille Skates; Marchand, Thornton Progressing

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

Wilmington, MA - The Bruins returned to practice today at Ristuccia following Sunday’s off day in preparation for their next game in Montreal on Wednesday night. Forward Dan Paille was seen back on the ice in his merlot jersey after he took a high stick from Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers last Thursday.

"He's doing fine. The doctors haven't cleared him yet, but you saw him skating today," B's Head Coach Claude Julien told media following practice.

Dan Paille
Danny Paille returned to practice, after catching a stick up high from Sabres defenseman Tyler Meyers in last Thursday's game.

"A bit worried about what could happen, but I was lucky that it's not serious and I'll be able to come back right away," Paille told media postpractice, on catching the stick up high, near his eye.

"The vision's really good. I just had to make sure to just rest and then stay home most of the time and make sure that everything was good," added Paille on the trainers having him stay back in Boston and rest up, instead of traveling with the team to Toronto, amidst the shortened season. "The days went by - the doctors told me to be aware and be careful with it."

"Obviously the goal is to play if I can," said Paille, who as of practice on Monday, had not been told he was cleared yet.

Marchand and Thornton Progressing

Three other Bruins were missing from the ice - David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton. Krejci was just a maintenance day and Coach said "he should be on the ice tomorrow," while Marchand is "progressing very well."

Marchand had left Saturday night’s game in Toronto after colliding with the boards in the second period, returned to take a couple of shifts and then did not return for the rest of the night. He had been cleared to play and wanted to keep going, but Coach Julien and the staff wanted to take the proper precautions and have him re-evaluated.

“It was a cautionary move on our part and instead of making the situation worse, we said let’s pull him back,” Coach Julien had said following the game. “We don’t want to lose players for long-term injuries by pushing through a minor one and we hope that after he gets re-evaluated and things settle down, that he’ll be better quickly.”

As for Thornton, Coach Julien said that he's "doing really well" and has been symptom-free for a few days now, after sustaining a concussion Thursday night against the Sabres. GM Peter Chiarelli had announced on Friday that he would be out 7-10 days following the concussion, so it appears as though No. 22 is progressing at a good pace.

Coach also said that Thornton skated earlier this morning and had biked on Sunday. "Things are going well, but obviously there's a protocol to follow, and we're certainly going to follow that to the letter."

Coach noted that among forwards Krejci, Marchand and Paille, "there's nobody that's a definite 'no' moving forward here for the next game."

"But we'll make those decisions tomorrow before we leave, and who can and can't play on Wednesday" he added, commenting that it is "very doubtful" for Thornton to make the trip to Montreal.

Campbell's Versatility Golden

With the absences, Gregory Campbell was wearing the second line gold jersey, along with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Campbell had filled in on the left wing Saturday night in the B's 1-0 win over Toronto when Marchand did not return to the game, and ended the night logging a season-high 14:21 in ice time, with two shots on goal, two hits, a blocked shot and 75-percent winning percentage on the faceoff dot. No. 11 also made his usual contributions to the B's strong penalty kill, finishing the game with 3:13 on the shorthanded unit, behind only Zdeno Chara (with 3:46).

"We take pride in everybody being able to fill different roles in different spots and help the team win," Campbell had said in Toronto following the win.

"He played a really solid game for us and that’s what Gregory is capable of doing," Coach Julienhad commented to media after the game. "He’s a very versatile player, he can play center, he can play the wing, he’ll block shots, he’ll do whatever it takes, and the more I finally get him in those situations, when you’re asking him to step up, he does a really good job."

Today following practice, Coach praised the gritty forward yet again.

"Gregory sometimes doesn't get enough credit. When he's got some players like that to play with [Bergeron, Seguin], you're going to see him going to the front of the net, you're going to see him grinding it out. He's going to give that line some offense - this is certainly not a guy who can't give offense. He's capable of doing it."

Confidence in Providence

With Campbell on the second line at practice, the fourth line consisted of Dan Paille, Lane MacDermid and Jamie Tardif. The third line remain unchanged, and with Krejci's absence, Jay Pandolfo (still on a Professional Tryout Agreement with the club) filled in on the top line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.

Postpractice, Coach Julien had plenty of good words to offer on the play of MacDermid, Tardif - who recently suited up in his first NHL game on Saturday.

"They both were driving to the net hard, and they made something happen," Coach said on their play against Toronto. "You have to have confidence in those guys."

"Give the coaching staff over there [in Providence] a lot of credit. They're doing a great job in developing and preparing those players."

One takeaway from the work stoppage was that Coach Julien was able to spend a good amount of time in Providence, evaluating players in the B's system.

"That helps, when you see what they can do and the confidence you have in them. That's certainly something that was very helpful in the lockout, being able to assess those kind of players and what they bring. There are a few more down there, as I said earlier in training camp, that could easily be here and we'd have lots of confidence in them."

Respect for Pandolfo

NHL veteran and Stanley Cup Champion Jay Pandolfo filled in today on the top line in Krejci's absence and has been a player that has shown not only throughout his illustrious career, but being with the B's since training camp, that he can be used in all situations. And has always shown excitement about being with his hometown B's, despite still being on a Professional Tryout Agreement.

"We haven't let him go because certainly he's somebody that we are thinking about," said Coach Julien on the player whom he coached with New Jersey from 2006-07. "As you know, it's a little bit more complicated than me just standing here saying we'd like to have him on our team. Ceratinly, he's a guy with lots of experience. He's a guy that's here because people respect that part of it and what he can bring."

"Right now, he's happy to be here with us….He's certainly a guy that has earned the right to be here, and is a player that you might see with us down the road if we can work it out."

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