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pjax
10-20-2008, 05:48 PM
Found it on www.bostonbruins.com

Missing the Swede

P.J. Axelsson will miss Monday's home opener.

Having gathered all kinds of good quotes about the veteran forward on Friday, this morning I was hoping to write a feel good story about P.J. Axelsson.

You see, with all the attention paid to his sniper of a center (Marc Savard) and his playmaking linemate (Michael Ryder), Axelsson’s contributions have been overshadowed. And even though both Ryder and Savard have both noted his importance to their early success, not much is said about Axelsson.

And by the way, that’s exactly the way Axelsson would want it.

However, it’s very noticeable when P.J. is not in the lineup and the affable winger was conspicuously absent from Saturday night’s game, scratched because of an undisclosed injury.

Thankfully, the issue is said not to be serious and most writers covering tonight’s game expect “Axie” to be back at his post.

There’s no doubt that “The Swede” returning to the ice will bring smiles to the faces of his teammates – and not just because of the notoriously colorful clothing employed by Axelsson off the ice.

Game Notes: Printable Version
View or download a printable version of this release. (PDF)
“I’ve been watching Axie quite a bit, especially on the (penalty kill),” said B’s forward Petteri Nokelainen. “He’s one of the best in the league…reading those passes.

“It’s his positioning – how he makes those (stops).

“His hockey sense is unbelievable, in that way, how he can see those plays and he can be at the right place at the right time,” he said.

Bruins blueliner Dennis Wideman marvels at Axelsson’s prowess on the defensive side of the puck.

“He is so smart,” said Wideman. “He’s probably as smart as our defensemen.

“He’s not a typical forward.”

Wideman explained why Axelsson stands out.

“Anytime he is out on the ice, you know (as a defenseman) that if you are coming back on a three-on-two or something like that, and you see Axie coming back on a guy, you know that player is going to be picked off,” he said.

“On top of it, he pitched in some huge goals for us last year. He’s not just a defensive player, although I guess that’s what he is most comfortable with. But if you don’t have guys like that on your team, you are not going to win anything,” continued Wideman. “It’s the little things that a lot of people won’t see.

“Axie has been around for a long time and he reads plays really well, he knows how plays develop and at times he can be our best forechecker.

“He knows what a guy is going to do, and he can jump that guy a lot faster. He gets there a lot quicker...his mind makes him faster,” he said.

Whether it’s his mind, his skates or his stick that makes him faster on the puck, Bruins head coach Claude Julien is happy every time the Swedish winger hits the ice and surely hopes that Axelsson's body allows him to play on Monday night.

“You can never say enough about P.J.,” said Julien. “Talk about a player who is underrated and under appreciated.

“When you have a player like that and you see what he does, you just see that he is extremely smart.

“Defensively, he’s as reliable as you can get and offensively, he does things that you don’t always notice, but gives freedom to his linemates and makes the big play,” he said.

Julien said that oftentimes Axelsson will start a play or make a stop in the defensive or neutral zone and when the Bruins bring the puck into the offensive zone, a goal develops.

“When you see that everyday, you realize that he is very underrated,” he said.

Bruins37
10-21-2008, 08:50 AM
what I always been saying, Axelsson is an asset to this team.

The Intimidator
10-21-2008, 11:34 AM
what I always been saying, Axelsson is an asset to this team.

:cheers:

Hockeyras
10-21-2008, 11:42 AM
There is no doubt that P.J. is an asset on any team...but I don't think he is a first or second line winger. He has never really showed great scoring touch and he is more known for his defense and PK play than his offense. He has only scored more than 15 goals once and that was the '02-'03 season where he had 17 and he has never had a 40 point season. I love him on the checking line and I think he should play with Yelle and Kobasew and just shut down the other teams #1 line. But is he the difference maker that will win you a stanley cup? IMO, I don't think so...unless he gets you a defenceman who can rush the puck up and be a solid #2...because Wideman just isn't there.

The Intimidator
10-21-2008, 01:25 PM
There is no doubt that P.J. is an asset on any team...but I don't think he is a first or second line winger. He has never really showed great scoring touch and he is more known for his defense and PK play than his offense. He has only scored more than 15 goals once and that was the '02-'03 season where he had 17 and he has never had a 40 point season. I love him on the checking line and I think he should play with Yelle and Kobasew and just shut down the other teams #1 line. But is he the difference maker that will win you a stanley cup? IMO, I don't think so...unless he gets you a defenceman who can rush the puck up and be a solid #2...because Wideman just isn't there.

Wideman is +5 this season, which ties him with Ference for tops among our defensemen. That leads me to think that more good things are happening when he's out there than bad things.

Hockeyras
10-21-2008, 04:09 PM
Point taken...but I always heard how amazing he was on the Powerplay and rushing the puck up...I haven't seen that from him and I think we gave too much away for him in Boyes...my opinion though...I just see Wideman being overrated

The Intimidator
10-21-2008, 04:49 PM
Point taken...but I always heard how amazing he was on the Powerplay and rushing the puck up...I haven't seen that from him and I think we gave too much away for him in Boyes...my opinion though...I just see Wideman being overrated

There's no doubt that the Boyes trade sucked, but you have to consider how Boyes was playing at the time, and how Wideman was playing at the time.

In the 55 games before the Blues traded him to the Bruins, Wideman had 5 goals and 17 assists, and was considered one of the best young puck-moving defensemen.

In the 62 games before the Bruins traded him the the Blues, Boyes had only 13 goals and 21 assists, which was a far cry from the 26 goals and 43 assists he recorded in his rookie season the year before.

As you can see, the Bruins felt that Boyes' struggles, combined with their glaring need for a puck moving defenseman warranted a trade. Now, I was opposed to this specific trade at the time because it was apparent that Dave Lewis was terrible at incorporating young players into his system, but there is nothing we can do about it now except root for the guys we still have. The trade looks worse because Boyes scored 43 goals last season, but you must also look at what Wideman did at his position. He scored 13 goals, recorded 23 assists, and was +11 last year. Wideman is extremely involved in the offense, much more than you think in fact.

The Intimidator
10-21-2008, 07:52 PM
What do you know, Wideman scores in the first period tonight against Buffalo. He must have seen this thread...

i am bob
10-21-2008, 09:50 PM
Never trade PJ.

pjax
10-22-2008, 09:10 AM
ya I would love P.J to re-sign at the end of the year.

Hockeyras
10-22-2008, 02:02 PM
What do you know, Wideman scores in the first period tonight against Buffalo. He must have seen this thread...


Then he lets the Buffalo guy walk right around him and score...

The Intimidator
10-22-2008, 02:09 PM
Then he lets the Buffalo guy walk right around him and score...

To be fair, there are 2 defensemen on the ice. Look, I know that you would rather have Boyes here than Wideman, and I agree with you there. But you must admit that the good FAR outweighs the bad with Wideman. He is a far better defenseman, both in his offensive capabilities and his defensive work, than you're giving him credit for, and I think that you are alone on this topic.

BleedGold08
10-24-2008, 07:33 AM
I am still not convinced on Wideman...he is not consistant...some plays it seems like he gives it his all and others he "takes off".

The Intimidator
10-24-2008, 12:02 PM
I am still not convinced on Wideman...he is not consistant...some plays it seems like he gives it his all and others he "takes off".

What do you base that on? His stellar +/- ratio?

BleedGold08
10-24-2008, 01:54 PM
I base it on watchin him play...like i said before sometimes it seems like it gives it his all which is why he has a good +/-...But like i also said sometimes it seems like he is giving up on plays and i will add that he is not aggressive enough on defense (Buffalo game)..by the way he had a -1 last night (and -2 in the past 3 games).. Just for the record i do not dislike Wideman...i am still on the fence which is just my opinion

bouchard107
10-28-2008, 01:11 PM
If you look past the Boyes trade...Dennis Wideman is a solid player that would be an asset on any team. He is only 25 so I feel like he has a MONSTER upside. He had a career year last season with 36 points, played in more games than he had, and shows that he knows how to play his defensive position. I like him

The Intimidator
10-28-2008, 05:23 PM
If you look past the Boyes trade...Dennis Wideman is a solid player that would be an asset on any team. He is only 25 so I feel like he has a MONSTER upside. He had a career year last season with 36 points, played in more games than he had, and shows that he knows how to play his defensive position. I like him

Didn't you just criticize the Boyes trade in the Milan Lucic thread? :confused:

bouchard107
10-28-2008, 09:42 PM
Didn't you just criticize the Boyes trade in the Milan Lucic thread? :confused:

hence the Look past it... I'm trying to even though it still hurts