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Monday, December 29, 2008

Today's Practice

From Fluto's daily blog

The Bruins have started their noon practice. The only lineup change is P.J. Axelsson skating on the top line with Marc Savard and Phil Kessel. Milan Lucic has been dropped to the third line with Stephane Yelle and Chuck Kobasew.

Petteri Nokelainen is skating with the fourth line.

ANALYSIS: Putting Ward back with Chara means the Bruins will have their top shutdown pair intact again. The other move Claude Julien made today was to switch Milan Lucic and P.J. Axelsson. For the last two games, Lucic has not performed like a first-line player. This is most likely a temporary move, with the aim to get Lucic back on his game with the third line, then reclaim his spot with Marc Savard and Phil Kessel. Julien did the same thing at the start of the season after Lucic had a poor training camp


Interesting move putting Axelsson back on the top line. I noticed in last night's game Lucic only had one shift on the powerplay while Axelsson and St. Pierre logged over two minutes a piece on the man advantage. Does Julien think that this will light a fire under Milan Lucic, a la Phil Kessel? Or does he think Axelsson will suddenly find a scoring touch? Either way, while I believe switching up lines and mixing is matching is always a good thing, especially to keep players fresh and interested throughout the course of an 82 game schedule, this is a move I hate to see. I love what Lucic brings to the first line. Putting Axelsson up there will only hurt Savard and Kessel offensively, something we have seen happen over the previous three season. The first line has been great during 5 on 5 action (Savard + 23 Lucic and Kessel +17), and with the addition of Axelsson this will hurt their overall production. They do not need a "defensive specialist" on this line since all three have played solid in the three zones so far this year.

28 Comments:

Blogger Mook said...

julien seems to know what he is doing...
i bet it is to jumpstart the pp.

most teams don't have a good pk2 or even good #3 & 4 defensemen (nevermind 5 and 6). if you look at the b's next opponent the pens, they're pretty thin on the blueline. moving lucic to the third unit spreads the offensive threat around. also, having axelsson on the first line takes-care of michel therrien's strategy of pairing his #1 line against other teams #1 line (axe can shadow sid the kid).

seems pretty solid to me.

bruins 5, pens 2

3:09 PM  
Anonymous bruinsfanupnorth said...

i actually think hes trying to get lucic going. If you watch Julien in past games he shakes things up for a shift or two and then switches them back. My bet is he reverts back to his original lines within the first ten minutes of the period. I like the B's chances as well. Boston 4 Pens 2.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

I have always hated Axelsson playing on the 1st line. I don't know what the obsession is, first Lewis, now Claude. This guy has no business near a 1st line - on any team. I've said that Axelsson's best years are behind him and his past reputation precedes his actual production in the eyes of his coaches. This "defensive specialist" is the only regular with a minus rating and has 1 goal. How could you possibly justify putting Axelsson on the top line. Shouldn't even be on the PP, or anywhere near that, either. Hopefully Julien will realize that he only has 2/3rds of a line out there and puts Lucic in his rightful place the next game or two..

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bullshit PJ does not deserve to be on the first line, the only goal he has is an empty netter and hes only missed 300 other chances to score. This guy killed Bergeron line and his no talent to play offence does not help our top scoring line. Even YELLE, THORNTON have scored more with less ice time. PS MOOKyour a joke why dont you go suck PJ off and get it over with. What a loser. Eric

4:02 PM  
Anonymous da wreck said...

I think if Julien wants to move Lucic to light a fire under his ass a better fit for the top line would be Kobasew. He's in a slump, and playing with some creative players like Kessel and Savard would give him a little more space, and give him some real scoring chances to get his confidence back up.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

Mook, I understand you argument, but I feel the Bruins play their best hockey the way they play right now. That is they do not match lines(not including the defense) but simply roll out the lines as they come. They only match lines on faceoffs mostly in the defensive zone, which often results in quick changes anyways. Having the balance and strong 5 on 5 play like they have had all season is how this team will win games. Altering it to match lines could hurt, but we will see come Tuesday.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the coaching staff think P.J. is sooo goood. He is god awful and should never be on the first line. He brought Bergerons scoring down and now will hurt kessels production. We should trade him or just drop him he sucks

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Habhater said...

As a TEMPORARY move, I have no problem with Ax playing on the 1st line tonight. It should light a fire under Lucic paving the way for future success. I think Ax should shadow Malkin rather than Crosby. Sid can be handled rather easily by Chara and Ward.

Mind you, da wreck makes an excellent point that a better fit may be promoting Kobasew rather than Ax.

As long as the B's play it tight and do not engage in a wide open affair, I see B's 4, Pens 2.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

youre all overreacting...hes doing it to jump start luc...its not like pj is gonna be on the first line for the rest of the year...typical bandwagoners worrying that everyone is gonna start sucking just because pj is on the first line...get over yourselves you bunch of pussies theres a reason you arent GM or coach...fuck off

8:47 AM  
Anonymous PenPal said...

What the !@#$% is all this B/S about the dirty old bruins beating the Penguins.

I realize this is a "BRUINS" site, but holy crap guys - get realistic. Your Bruins are playing well but are due for a loss.

5-2 and 4-2 Boston. Hang on to that dream pal. Tonight & Thursday they will be taught a lesson on what it takes to be conference champs. Pens 5, Bruins 1.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Habhater said...

Hey Anonymous - I did say that the move should be TEMPORARY. I am not over-reacting, just offering my viewpoint. Moreover, I have been faithfully supporting the Bruins since 1966 and as such, I am no bandwagoner.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Mook said...

i stand by my argument.

last time we played the pens axelsson was a scratch. (and we lost).

if you have ever played hockey, being bumbed from #1 down to #3 is not going to light a fire, it is demoralizing. the next step is providence. this is just so crosby has a shadow...everyone understands that. lucic hasn't scored in two games...not the end of the world.

how can you doubt what julien is doing? BY NOW haven't you come to terms with the fact that you (anonymous) are a moron who knows nothing? stick to baseball. pop-flies and such.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mook just cause you make a faget name doesnt mean you know shit about hockey. Savard has been the one slumping making blind passes trying to be to cute with the puck atleast Lucic goes in the corners and hits and creates turnovers. My own opinion I would move Krejci line up and put Savards line down to the second line and tell them there's no nights off. Eric

12:44 PM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

Hey Penpal,

Join the ranks of all the Habs, Red Wings and Florida (yes, even a numbnut Panther fan), who comes on this board to tell us how and why the Bruins will lose.

Guess what? The Bruins have won every time some tool comes on here to speak his nonsense about how his team will win.

Bring it on, hope you got someone who can drop the gloves...cause were going to beat your ass up and down the ice.

Bruins rule.

Crosby the "nutcracker" and the Pens suuuuuuuuuuuuck.....

12:54 PM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

My guess is that Lucic will be back on the first line before the start of the 3rd period.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Mook said...

Jefe, that's a good guess...depends on the score.

Remember that dickhead Panther fan who came on here talking smack suggesting their one cup APPEARANCE makes them a better franchise? B's whipped them that night too.

i said 5-2 earlier...but i was just being nice. prepare for a pepperfest.

if savard is slumping then i wish every other player in my hockey pool was slumping too.

Eric - the reason krejci's line scores so much is because who do you think the opposition matches their #1 line with? not krejci's line! for the tenth time, the b's success is because of their balanced attack and defense...not one player (which should be obvious with this revolving-door injury list). no point in arguing i guess.

be sure to catch canada vs. us on dec 31!

3:48 PM  
Anonymous PenPal said...

I'm Baaack!

I see the dirty old bruins are #1 in TSN's power rankings & the defending eastern conference champs are 9th.

I stand by my previous blog - the Bruins are ripe for the picking and will suffer a loss tonight as predicted - 5-1 Pens. From what I have seen of the Bruins, they have been beating non-playoff teams the last couple of weeks and looking bad in doing so. Ripe for loss tonight against a far superior and playoff bound team.

Malkin 2, Crosby 1, Satan 2.
Sobotka - 1 (fluke).

Thomas - chased in 1st period - 3 goals against.

Goddard & Cooke will handle any Lucic-Thornton-Chara crap.

Should be an interesting rematch on Thursday. The B's will be licking their wounds from tonight & the Pens will be licking their chops - 2 in row for the Pens.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I FUCKING HATE AXELSSON. I LIKE HOW HIS SLOW ASS IS THE "THIRD MAN HIGH" AND SITS AT THE BLUELINE, BUT BOTH SAVARD AND KESSEL BEAT HIM BACK TO THE DEFENSIVE ZONE. HE COST US THE FIRST GOAL.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Mook said...

i called 5-2!

sweet assist by axelsson on the pp.

;)

10:02 PM  
Anonymous bruinsfanupnorth said...

where is that mouthy penguin fan now lol.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now axelsson will never be taken off the first line or pp. look for the bruins to start losing some games.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

Hello?????? Penpal??? Are you there, or are you crying yourself to sleep tonight?

Ha ha fuckin' HA.

Mook, I do remember that tard Panther fan,...he really needs to realize how many teams made that "one time" finals appearance. There are some opportunistic years for some teams as others disappear and you are left with this golden road to the cup. Unfortunately for them, they usually are exposed in the finals.

Nice call Mook! Hope all is well in Ontario, and your enjoying the holidays. That goes for everyone, except dirty, stupid and pre-emptive Pens fans like our new buddy; Penpal!

Penpal??? Are you there? We want your take on Lucic dismantling your rookies face, oh and the 5 goals we took you for.

Huh?

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry this is going to be off topic for a Bruins blog but I promise I am a Bruins fan just looking to get a question answered: Wade Belak was drafted in the first round, I was wondering why. For a guy who is known as a "toughguy" why would Quebec pick him up that early? I looked at the guys picked in the first round and it wasn't a great draft looking at the actual NHL experience out there. My question is to anyone that has seen him play, I have not payed much attention to him, but does he skate well, is he solid defensively?

I know there is so much Bruins news to talk about but I was curious about this?

Nick

11:56 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

thats how all Pittsburgh "fans" act. i live in erie pa so i have to deal with this crap all the time. they love the teams in that city when they win but as soon as they suck they jump ship so fast its pathetic. if you all remember that city shouldnt even have a baseball OR hockey team. pirates have been garbage for so long and the pens have been bankrupt i believe 3 times. its just so sad that bettman is a retard and loves mario so he sucks his balls whenever he gets the chance. sad that he could not save all those canadian teams that had to relocate to the US. most "pens fans" dont realize they blew like 4 or 5 years in a row to get the team they have. we built ours. kessel is our only high draft pick in recent years except for thornton but that was back in 97. regardless i am going to be able to go into work today with my head held high like i normally do when we play the pens. they havent owned us in a season series in a long long time.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Mook said...

i'm in toronto so i got to watch wade belak play a lot.
he is very much like a jeremy reich, but a little more responsible defensively and not as good a fighter...that doesn't mean he belongs on the pk or anything. he should not of been trades from the leafs in my opinion, but that team is a mess. thanks for tuukka! pogge sucks.

big game tonight! sorry guys...
canada 6
usa 1

8:43 AM  
Blogger Mook said...

And for the record...

"There's not much separating each team, they're disciplined in the way they play and capitalized on the chances they got, and that's what good teams do," Crosby said. "But it's not a matter of them being way ahead of us."

No chance you pussy. Bruins are WAY AHEAD of the pens...even the standings say so (18 pts). I watched the game on the penguins feed and all those asshole announcers could talk about is how they don't see what all they hype is about boston, and they were suggesting the bruins are cheating because chara's stick is so long (65") and how st. pierre's stick is long (63") but he's only 5'9". Go fuck your mothers you cocksmokers...I'm sure Hal Gill uses a long stick. If the Bruins tanked for 5 years, we'd have some pretty sweet 1st rounders too (we still do).

There's a reason why Ovechkin won the Calder!

Pens and Sabres announcers are the WORST.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

i have a man crush on you Mook:) thank god i have Center Ice so i can watch the B's on NESN. i can also watch in on FoxPitts but they are idiots like you said.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

Close one today Mook! US looked good...for 30 minutes. That 3rd period was hard to watch.

Hope they meet in the finals again, and the US is so fricken tired by the middle of the 2nd.

Happy New Year all.

10:51 PM  

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