Good morning from Pittsburgh

Greetings, blog dogs, from the brand spankin’ new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, right across the street from the old Igloo, former home to the Penguins.

The Bruins are about to take the ice for their morning workout.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma just said that Brent Johnson will get the start in net for the Flightless Birds. The Michigander (6-1-1) has been the choice of late in the Penguins net, while No. 1 stopper Marc-Andre Fleury (1-6-0) has struggled to right his game.

Tim Thomas is tonight’s starter for the Bruins, who face the Hated Habs tomorrow night on Causeway Street. Given that the Bruins have lost two in a row (0-1-1), Thomas, if he turns in another strong performance tonight, could get the call vs. Team CH.


No telling, based on the morning practice or coach Claude Julien’s comments, whether newcomer Jamie Arniel will make his NHL debut this evening.

”Not sure…we’ve got some game time decisions,” said Julien. ”He may be watching…we have to see who is ready to go.”

Arniel, picked 97th overall in the 2008 draft, was called up from the WannaBs Monday on an emergency basis, after Michael Ryder left practice early, reportedly because of injury. Ryder skated the full workout here this morning and looked fine.

When asked if Ryder pulled through today’s workout OK, Julien said, ”Yeah…yeah.” Clearly, he did not want to elaborate. The veteran winger skated on a trio with Danny Paille (LW) and rookie Tyler Seguin (C).

Ryder, of course, remains among the most likely trade candidates, with the likes of Marc Savard (post-concussion symptoms) and Marco Sturm (knee surgery) each making strides toward returning to the lineup. Removing Ryder’s cap number ($4 million) would aid greatly in making room for either of the two vets.

Julien played linesman during the morning workout, calling his four centers together for faceoff practice. Wheeler, who has spent his two-plus NHL seasons as a winger, looked rusty on the drops.


”Let’s just say,” said Julien, with a wide grin, ”that hopefully he’ll do better tonight.

Julien did not have an up-to-date report on David Krejci’s progress, other than to say, ”He’s on the right track.” The concussed Krejci will be sidelined at last a week, but given that he suffered a ”moderate” concussion, a more realistic minimum absence could be two weeks or more.

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