Simple things that most take for granted, like being able to breathe through his nose again.
That's the same nose that the Bruins forward had shattered by a Steve Staios slap shot in last Monday's win over the Islanders. Paille had surgery on Wednesday and continues to progress in his recovery, joining the team for its morning skate on Tuesday before the club's clash with New Jersey.
"It's improving a lot," Paille said. "I'm able to breathe through my nostrils now, so it's a lot easier to skate. [Wednesday] it should be completely clear and hopefully I'll get a quick recovery after that."
Paille won't be playing Tuesday against the Devils, but he hasn't ruled out a return Thursday when Columbus comes to town.
"I think it's a possibility," Paille said of playing Thursday. "It also depends on the coaches, too. I know I'm able to play. I'm not quite 100 percent yet, but hopefully in a couple of days I am."
For now, Paille is breathing a bit easier with the packing in his nose finally out and is working on getting used to the protective cage he will be wearing for the foreseeable future.
"I've gotten used to it," Paille said. "The swelling's gone down a lot, which is really helpful. I've pretty much gotten my facial features back. The cage eventually will just become a habit and I won't even notice it anymore. The first couple skates with it was a little awkward, you kind of see the lines in between. Today I felt a lot better with it on and hopefully tomorrow will be even better."
Paille never doubted he'd make a quick return. Like most hockey players, the pain of missing games is worse than the agony of even the most gruesome injury.
"It's one of our major instincts," Paille said. "We want to just get back out there and help as much as we can. Once we get the results where we've got 100 percent certainty that we can play, that's our main goal to get back as soon as we can."
Paille also admitted that he was lucky. His visor blunted a lot of the force of the shot, and he did not suffer any damage to his eyes, teeth or jaw. The rest of his face was sore and sensitive, but there were no other breaks besides his nose. Now, the injury is more annoying than painful.
"It's itchy so I try to pick at it a few more times," Paille said. "It's something that's irritating, but you kind of get through over time."
Through it all, Paille has maintained his sense of humor about the injury, noting that it was the first broken nose he has suffered.
"And hopefully the last, but probably not," Paille said.
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