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Pregame Notebook vs. San Jose

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON – This afternoon at TD Garden, the Northeast Division leading Boston Bruins will take on the San Jose Sharks in their second consecutive Western Conference match-up.

Coming off a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night, Boston will look for their fourth consecutive win in the second game of a four-game homestand. 

After losing six straight games from Jan.3-13, the Sharks come into today’s matinee having won six of their last seven contests. 

“They’re a big strong team and obviously they’ve been a lot better as of late” Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said after the team’s practice yesterday. "They’re winning more consistently now, the back end has a good variety of speed and skill with size and toughness."

Entering today’s game, the B’s are 3-4-2 against the Western Conference with a 2-3-1 mark against the Pacific Division.

“We’re certainly a team that’s trying to improve our record against the Western Conference and that started [Thursday] night and hopefully it’s going to continue here in the next week,” Julien said. “We play [San Jose] and then Detroit a couple of times and make sure we’re capable of playing against all the teams in the league.”

Hamill In...
After registering 2-14-16 AHL totals through December, P-Bruins center Zach Hamill went on a January run and compiled a 1-11-12 line to earn a re-call from Providence.  

The Bruins announced the move Thursday evening, after the B’s 6-3 defeat of the Dallas Stars.   

“I think he’s one of those guys that is a good playmaker. He makes great passes and he sees the ice well,” Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said after yesterday's B’s practice in Wilmington. 

“From what I’m told, he was also shooting more and creating some of those situations.”

“He’s not a real heavy guy, but he’s playing a lot stronger and that comes with experience at the pro level.”

Hamill was called-up on April 10 of last season and played in his first NHL game the following day against the Washington Capitals. 

He scored his first career NHL point with an assist in that game.

Through 44 games with Providence this season, Hamill has 3-25-28 totals and a plus-4 rating, earning a chance to prove he belongs in Boston.

“It’s a look,” Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said of Hamill’s call-up.  “It could turn into something longer.  It could be a very brief look. We’ll see how he plays.  You have to earn your time, but he’s also earned a look.”

Although Hamill doesn’t know how long he’ll be in Boston, he’s planning on making the most of every minute of his experience.

“I’m taking it day-by-day right now and even shorter, shift-by-shift,” he said.

...Paille out
The league announced yesterday that Boston Bruins winger Daniel Paille has been suspended four games for a hit to the head on Dallas’ Raymond Sawada in Thursday night’s 6-3 B’s defeat of the Stars. 

“When I hit him I felt I hit his shoulder at that moment and looking at the replay I felt that he kind of turned towards me so I went and finished my check,” Paille said of the play.  “I felt that I hit him in the shoulder at first.”

Paille and Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli took part in a hearing with the league yesterday morning. Paille was told of the verdict right before Friday's 11:30 a.m. practice at Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington. 

“I thought it should have been less than four games based on what’s out there and based on the history of the player and based on really how I saw the hit unfolded,” Chiarelli said.

Paille will begin his suspension tonight when the B’s take on the Sharks. He’ll remain sidelined through Boston’s tilt in Detroit on Feb. 13 and could return to the ice when the Bruins play Toronto on Feb. 15 in TD Garden.

“I understand that with the situation, that it possibly could be suspendable. I was aware of it that it would be, before the hearing even happened.  Just the way, how sensitive it is,” Paille said.  “I understand that the league sees it a different way (than I do) and I can see both sides.  

“They decided to go with a suspension so I accept that right now.”

Savard Update
Beyond a schedule clarification, there was no new news on injured center Marc Savard on Friday.

"I haven’t been updated," said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. "He was seeing our doctors today so I haven’t been updated.

"I won’t have anything for you in the next day or two," added Chiarelli. "I’m meeting with Marc and his agent over the weekend and I would think early next week we’ll have something as far as the global status of him."

As for how Savard is feeling, Chiarelli said, "His spirits are, I guess, okay.

"He’s been having headaches and vertigo still everyday."

Chiarelli's meeting with Savard and his agent will take place on Saturday.

"There’s not going to be a summit or anything, but we’re going to meet and figure things out," he said.

The GM was also asked if there were any contingencies, personnel wise, should Savard not be able to return and the center's salary cap space opened up.

"It certainly gives us more flexibility so we’d look at different ideas -- more different ideas," said Chiarelli. "We have to try and replace him.

"We’re not going to replace his skill or anything; there’s just not that player available.

"So, we’re just going to have to get creative."

As for the team's trade deadline shopping list, Chiarelli said, "I’d like to try and get a defenseman that can help our group. 

"I think our defense has played very well, but to try and ease some of the minutes off some of our players.

"Of course now without Marc -- again I’m not going to replace him exactly, that player is not available. But we can replace bits and pieces of it and hope that some of the stuff falls on the shoulders of the other players," he said.

---Hannah Becker and John Bishop
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