BOSTON -- With just under eight minutes left in regulation of the Maple Leafs' 4-2 win in Game 2 on Saturday, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf lined up Bruins winger Daniel Paille for a hit along the boards in the neutral zone after Paille received a pass and passed the puck ahead.
On Sunday as the Bruins were boarding their bus for the airport to fly to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 Monday and Wednesday, Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald and Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com caught up with Paille, and the Bruins winger didn't hold back on his assessment of the play.
"I haven't seen the video, but I know my head got hit. I'm not sure if it was shoulder or arm, or anything," said Paille. "He's a big hitter. I stood up and didn't fall. I think that's a big reason why [there was no penalty or suspension]."
At first glance it appeared to be an elbow to Paille's head, but in slow motion, it appears that it was Phaneuf's shoulder that made contact with Paille's head.
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference was suspended one game for an elbow to Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski in Game 1, although there was no penalty on that play, either. The league cited principal contact to the head as a reason for the suspension, so there was plenty of debate on the Internet on Saturday night and Sunday, suggesting that the same could be said for Phaneuf's hit on Paille. However, the league decided to not even review it.
"Plays like that are called [a penalty] normally. Not always, but normally," Paille said. "During a game when a play like that isn't called you get frustrated by it. It's just something that you can't control. You just want to move on and worry about the next game. It was frustrating at the moment, and it was something that caught us off guard."