COLUMBUS Joe Corvo admitted that the pressure had gotten to him a little bit.
Hockey players are usually a little nervous starting with a new team, and making a good impression is something Corvo clearly wanted to do in Boston.
So when the sharp-shooting defenseman went the first 27 games without a goal and smoked a post in the teams loss to the Florida Panthers Thursday night, one couldnt be blamed if he started mumbling questions to himself.
It was a long time coming. I cant remember the last time I went 20-odd games without scoring, said Corvo. Especially on a new team its nice to get that one, and then add another one late because it was pretty important.
I guess I was putting a little pressure on myself because you start wondering why it wasnt happening. What am I doing different than Ive done in the past? It was just a matter of working through it, I guess.
Instead he had a healthy chat with head coach Claude Julien, chatted with agent Justin Duberman while he was in Columbus on a visit and then potted his first two goals of the season including the third period game-winner in a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Maybe Duberman will just have to follow me around the U.S. in every city that we play in, said Corvo. Ive got an extra bedroom so maybe he can just live with me. But hes got five kids, so that probably wouldnt work out so well.
Corvo finished the victory as the games No. 1 star, but was just happy to finally see some results after working diligently this season. Hell always have his defensive challenges in Boston, but much of that will be glossed over provided he can get the job done offensively for the Bruins.
The first goal for the Bs arrived on his 59th shot attempted of the season, and it arrived via a little help from the hockey gods. The Bruins were down by a 2-0 score after a sloppy first 15 minutes, but had started to build a little momentum of their own. Corvo finally broke through for the Bs when he snapped off a heavy bomb from the right point that headed into a thicket of bodies in front of the net. Nathan Horton shoved Columbus defenseman Mark Methot just as Corvo released the shot, and the puck bounced off Methots skate blade before shooting past goaltender Curtis Sanford.
Sometimes those are the breaks that you need, said Corvo with a laugh. To be honest with you I thought we were in trouble when they scored those first two goals. I thought we were in for a long night. It seemed like every rebound was going to them even though Timmy was making some pretty good rebound saves. I think just getting that goal and taking some of the momentum was the turning point in that period.
That was the exact break Corvo needed, and it built up to a team-high five shots on net for the game including another goal from the right face-off circle with Patrice Bergeron and Benoit Pouliot screening in front of Sanford.
Corvos third period goal was a quick shot from Dennis Seidenberg on a point-to-point feed, and it proved to be the game-winner when it snapped a 3-3 deadlock and busted up Bostons two-game losing streak.
Timing is always such a funny thing in the NHL. Claude Julien had just opted to open a dialogue with Corvo on Saturday morning about relaxing and taking some of the pressure off himself, and that was part of the recipe for unlocking Corvos game.
Joe was just having a tough week and we had a chat to get him refocused, said Claude Julien. It was nothing about his game because he can skate, he can shoot and he can pass and he can be really effective when hes got the right approach. He certainly had the right approach tonightno doubt.
The Bruins scored three power play goals for the first time since an October win over the Washington Capitals last season, and its no coincidence the man advantage windfall arrived hand-in-hand with a Corvo scoring streak. The challenge now is for the player, special teams unit and the hockey club to keep things locked in for a steady steam of future games.