Paille, with two goals in yesterday's matinee win against the Red Wings, now has four goals in his last six games. So, the question has to be asked, who is this guy and what has he done with the real Daniel Paille?
To say Paille was struggling through the better part of this season would be an understatement.
With just one goal in his first 57 games, it didn't come as a shock when Paille was benched on February 22nd, in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Paille had a total of eight points and was a -10 up until that point. It seemed as though Paille was trending downward, as the young kids from Providence began to come up and inject new life and energy into the team.
Being benched is the ultimate wake up call for any player, and it looks like, at least in the short term, Paille has woken up.
Some of the speculation as to why Paille had struggled was that he was trying to do too much. With injuries, lack of personnel and a host of other reasons, the Bruins had Paille playing outside of his comfort zone. Paille is effective when he's killing penalties and providing a spark on the 4th line, and now with the arrival of Maxime Talbot, the 4th line is finally coming together. Talbot provided a nice assist on Paille's second goal of the game against Detroit.
Paille also showed a flash of brilliance yesterday on the goal above. He was able to create the turnover, and out skate the Wings, on his way to scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal.
Now, with all this being said, people aren't looking for him to reinvent the wheel; a five goal season doesn't put you in the Hall of Fame, but if he is able to maintain even a shred of this recent production, it would be absolutely huge for this team going down the stretch. Secondary scoring becomes even larger in the playoffs as the top lines begin to cancel each other out.
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