After a hearing this morning with Paille, the NHL has suspended him four games for the hit. He'll miss games against San Jose, Montreal and two against Detroit, which puts his return on February 15 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He'll forfeit $23,118.28.
Let's look at the hit one more time.
Paille received a major penalty for an illegal check to the head, which in adherence to the new Rule 48, comes with an automatic game misconduct.
There really isn't much debate about this one. It's a blind-side where the head is the principal point of contact, exactly as the new Rule 48 says. It is kind of ironic, though, that the high-profile incident that led to the creation of that rule came against the Bruins a year ago, when Marc Savard was crushed by Matt Cooke. Savard is still suffering the symptoms of that hit.
To their credit, the Bruins and their fans aren't, for the most part, being hypocritical about this. Here's what Andrew Ference of the team said last night after the game, as told to the Boston Herald.
"I mean, it's a bad hit, right?" said Ference. "That's what they're trying to get rid of, and you can't be hypocritical about it when it happens to you, and say it's fine when your teammate does it.
"I talked to Danny and he feels bad. It's tough, that backchecking forward, to make those kind of hits. It's so hard to do it in a clean fashion, with the new rules. It is what it is. He hurt the guy, and I'm sure he'll have a conversation."
Sawada was in the lineup because Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell both have shoulder injuries. Before that Toby Petersen went on IR with a foot injury. Travis Morin had been re-called because of all of that but collapsed (fainted?) at the airport before departing for Boston and was kept in Dallas for a check up.
That's a lot of crazy arsed circumstances to end up where Sawada was on Thursday night.
He ended up the hospital. Here's to hoping he'll be okay, and here's to hoping that someday in the near future, players can learn to hold up in these situations.