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BOSTON -- Bruins forward Daniel Paille has been medically cleared for game action, and he'll be ready for the team's second-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens.
"I feel unbelievable right now and I want to continue that throughout this week," Paille said.
The Bruins received another dose of good news Tuesday when defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who tore an ACL and MCL in late December and had surgery on Jan. 7, participated in his first team practice in four months.
|Daniel Paille says he feels "unbelievable" more than two weeks after suffering an apparent concussion off a hit by the Sabres' Jake McCabe.|
Coach Claude Julien tried to downplay his return, but it appeared to be an indication that Seidenberg could play if the Bruins go deep into the playoffs.
"I think they're happy to see him come on the ice with us," Julien said. "Everybody's focused on the playoffs here, and he's just skating with us and doing everything that has no contact. It's more to get him out of boredom. We want to give him the opportunity to make some plays and passes with a little bit of traffic around him, too. We thought it was a good time for him. He's strong enough with his skating that he can jump to that level right now."
The Bruins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the first round without Paille, as forward Jordan Caron was on the team's energy line, along with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. While Caron played well, the Bruins are a better team with Paille in the lineup, especially in short-handed situations.
Julien said he hasn't decided on his lineup for the Canadiens series.
"We'll see where we are," Julien said. "The series hasn't started yet, and I haven't made any decisions yet, so let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here."
Paille has been skating on his own for a week.
I think they're happy to see him come on the ice with us. Everybody's focused on the playoffs here, and he's just skating with us and doing everything that has no contact. It's more to get him out of boredom.” -- Claude Julien, on Dennis Seidenberg
"It feels good to be out there with the guys for a full practice," Paille said. "I've skated for over a week now on my own, or a couple of optional skates, but definitely feels good to get a full-contact practice going. I feel fresh. I've been watching the games with the guys that haven't played and realize how good we've been, so it's definitely positive, especially going into this second round."
Paille appeared to suffer his third concussion of the season at 7:17 of the third period against the Buffalo Sabres on April 12 at TD Garden. The Sabres' Jake McCabe hit him in front of the Buffalo bench, and Paille stumbled when he tried to get up.
McCabe received a five-minute penalty for interference and was given a game misconduct.
"Because it's my third injury this year, there's a lot more precautions to kind of rule out," Paille said. "I believe I could've [returned] midway through the last series. I didn't feel like I had any symptoms/injuries, but there were a lot of precautions and I had to continue with that process. I heard Claude say I felt great after the first day, and I did -- there was no question about that. I guess we didn't want to rush this one."
In real time, Paille thought it was a bad hit from McCabe, but he now realizes it wasn't.
"At first I was a little bit frustrated, but I understand the guy was trying to finish his check," Paille said. "In my mind I believe I moved a lot longer [without the puck], and when I watched the video I was angry because I didn't. Maybe that's the fatigue factor, but it was a guy just finishing his check."
Paille had nine goals and nine assists for 18 points, including a plus-6 rating, in 72 games during the regular season.