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Boston @ Atlanta

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
8:07 a.m.

It's very early and I haven't yet gotten any update on P.J. Axelsson, never mind any other lineup changes for tonight's now pivotal match with Atlanta.

However, according to The Boston Globe, Axelsson suffered a throat injury and it was not considered serious.

Speaking to Claude Julien postgame, NESN's Rob Simpson asked the Bruins head coach about the loss and whether the second of back-to-back games presented a problem for his club.

"We've had three days off (previous to Friday) and we should be rested enough to handle that," said Julien. "And we don't play for a (day) after (Saturday) so I think we'll be able to handle that."

Nice job Stu
It was good to see that Coach Julien felt that Mark Stuart had done the right thing by coming to P.J.'s aid and did not count his penalties amongst the ones that hurt the B's last night.

"One thing we're doing is we're defending teammates," Julien said to The Globe. "If you look at the replay, the guy takes a run at Axy. If they're not going to call it, you stand up for your players. That's one of those penalties that doesn't really end up costing you."

“I saw him get hit pretty good,” said Stuart to The Boston Herald. “Anytime that happens you want to respond. You don’t want to put us down a man there. That’s something I thought about afterward. But I feel I did the right thing.”

For those of you who are new to the Stuart show, his teammates at Providence saw his intensity last season and called him "A Monster."

I would say that it was Mark's absence from the lineup that curtailed the P-Bruins march to the AHL Finals in Spring 2007, and would add that I am not at all surprised that the young man is now a key member of the Boston blue line corps.

I would imagine that Boston will make game day skate an optional, so I don't expect too many updates from Atlanta until fairly close to game time, but I will certainly try. So keep it here at JB

2:36 p.m.
The Atlanta contingent tells me that this morning was optional and 10 guys hit the ice -- Bochenksi, Kessel, Thorton, Sobotka, Reich, Lucic, Auld, Thomas, Hunwick and Lashoff.

No word as of yet on the starter as both guys came off the ice at the same time.

And P.J. Axelsson will be a game time decision...

3:04 p.m.
Just got a nice note from Don Sweeney, he's on assignment in Europe watching the World Junior Championship for the Bruins.

"Thought I'd share my thoughts after first couple of games," writes Don. "Canada hasn't surrendered a goal as of yet, but they also haven't really gotten on track yet offensively...The Canadians will get bigger test from Sweden today as they beat Denmark last night 9-1!

"(Bruins prospect), Russia's Alexandrov, scored the game-winner vs. Kazakhstan with a nice shot from the blueline with about 3 min left. The talented Russian team could be a spoiler, but it's unlikely because of goaltending."

Thanks, Don!

Checking in with I see that Brad Marchand has scored to put Canada up, 1-0, over Sweden. Mr. Sweeney said he would check in again following the Sweden vs. Canada contest.

6:01 p.m.
The latest from Don Sweeney:


The tourney was blown wide open today as Sweden came back from down 2-0 to beat Canada 4-3 with just :07 left.

The Bruins Marchand scored their Canada's first goal. On top of that the US beat Russia, 3-2."

6:34 p.m.
It looks like Auld is the man between the pipes tonight.

NESN confirms that.

NESN is also saying that P.J. Axelsson is on the ice and should play.

Still working on lines...

6:52 p.m.
The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa says that lines look like this:

Chara-Wideman (sg) Auldl
Stuart-Ference (bg) Thomas
Lashoff-Hunwick Go Bruins!

If I notice anything amiss, I will post it here, otherwise I'll catch you on the Running Recap. JB
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