Corvo gets confidence booster

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Corvo gets confidence booster

BOSTON -- Joe Corvo runs off of confidence.

You can see it in his play. You can hear it in his voice. And after Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the TD Garden, you could hear it from his coach.

"With Joe, it is all about confidence," said Claude Julien after the loss. "With Joe, sometimes he makes a mistake, and he carries that on for too long. He's got to let go of those things and build on what he does well. He had some great opportunities tonight again."

With that said, it didn't look like Corvo's confidence level would be too high by the time Penguins forward Matt Cooke grinded home a rebound out front in the opening minutes of the third period.

Cooke's goal put Pittsburgh up 2-0, and was the result of Corvo getting out-worked in front of the net. Penguins forward Dustin Jeffrey put a soft pass out front, and Corvo tried to knock it out of the crease, but his attempt wasn't good enough, and as the puck sat in front of him, Cooke looked like he wanted it more, and beat Corvo to the loose rubber.

"The goal against, Corvo's standing in front of the net and you hoped that he had a better battle on that," said Julien. "But he's no different than everybody else that's going through this. We've got to improve ourselves as individuals, if we want to be a better hockey club."

As an individual, Corvo's confidence may have also taken a hit in the second period, when he crept up for a one-timer at the lower-right circle during a four-minute Bruins power play.

Corvo received a nice pass through the slot, but his right-handed shot made it difficult for him to lift it over Marc-Andre Fleury's left pad.

"It was a tough cross-body, one-timer redirection," said Corvo. "Just a tough play for me to make. It was a great pass, but it's a lot easier if the pass is coming from low to high."

If Corvo had put that one-timer in, he would have snapped a 21-game goal drought. That missed opportunity combined with the Cooke goal, certainly wasn't a confidence booster for the defenseman who runs off confidence.

But 6:45 into the third period, trailing 2-0, Corvo did what Julien and the rest of the Bruins would like him to do more often -- quickly put the negative stuff behind him.

Corvo took a pass at the left point, and let go a high wrist shot that found the top-right corner of the net, thanks in part to a Brad Marchand screen out front.

It cut the Penguins' lead to 2-1, with plenty of time left to get another.

That never happened, and the Bruins lost their second-straight game on Saturday afternoon.

But as Julien noted after the loss, these B's need to improve themselves as individuals. And Corvo is no exception. That's why his goal on Saturday was a big one.

It boosted his confidence. At least, that's what he hopes.

"I'm taking it that way," said Corvo. "Anything positive, I'm going to take and run with it, and try to carry it into the next game and make me feel good out there and play well. I'll definitely try and carry that on."

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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