According to the league, Paille violated Rule 48 for a blindside hit to the head where Sawada suffered a broken nose and injured shoulder.
Following Wednesday’s morning skate, Paille was asked if he saw the Penguins’ Matt Cooke drill Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin from behind during a game Tuesday night. Paille said he was watching and saw the highlights, too.
ESPN.com's Pierre LeBruin is reporting Cooke has received a four-game suspension.
“In that sort of case, [Tyutin’s] back is turned the whole way, so you have to be aware of that,” Paille said. “I don’t think Tyutin left the game, he felt all right so obviously that plays a factor. It happens in the game more often than not. I think guys tend to do that, but I don’t think they hit as hard as Cooke did yesterday.”
Tyutin was able to remain in the game. Sawada did not return to the game after Paille’s hit.
The Bruins know all too well the type of player Cooke is. He landed a blindside hit on the Bruins’ Marc Savard on March 7, leaving the Boston forward with a Grade 2 concussion. Savard suffered his second head injury in a 10-month period on Jan. 22 and the team decided to shut him down for the remainder of the year.
“[Cooke] is the type of player who needs to play with energy,” Paille said. “Maybe, at that point, he needed to spark his team. I don’t know if he’s going to change his style.”
Bruins pugilist Shawn Thornton was also asked if he saw Cooke’s hit on Tyutin.
“I did not. Nor do I give a [expletive],” Thornton said. “Whatever, man. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my team.”
Last Sunday, Cooke made knee-on-knee contact with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and was given only a two-minute penalty for tripping. Thornton said he did not see Cooke’s hit on one of the league’s top stars.
“I didn’t see that either,” Thornton said. “You’re talking to the wrong guy. I don’t watch too much hockey or highlights.
“Honestly, I don’t have a comment about that guy. I said enough about him last year. His incidents haven’t been against us this year, and I don’t watch, so I can’t give you an honest opinion either way.”
In the first meeting between the Bruins and Penguins last season following the Savard hit, Thornton dropped the gloves with Cooke at the Garden.
Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron, who has suffered a pair of severe concussions, has been outspoken on the subject. He also stayed away from talking about Cooke when asked.
“I didn’t see it, but obviously it’s happened quite a few times now [with Cooke], so we’ll see,” Bergeron said.