Corvo snaps cold streak

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Corvo snaps cold streak

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.

Talking Points from the Bruins OT winner

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Talking Points from the Bruins OT winner

GOLD STAR: Solid night’s work from Ryan Spooner, who finished with the OT game-winning strike and was solid throughout the game as the de facto No. 1 center. He had four shots on net, six generated shot attempts and won 12-of-19 face offs as he continues to improve in that area while training camp rolls along. Spooner is trying to hold onto the No. 3 center spot in the lineup despite the addition of David Backes via free agency, and Friday night’s big boy performance with speed, playmaking and skill showed exactly what his potential can be when he puts it all together. It was also a nice little bounce-back from an up-and-down game on Wednesday night against the same Detroit team when he struggled in the face off circle and was part of a team-wide malaise.

BLACK EYE: It wasn’t necessarily a bad night for Brian Ferlin, but it was more of the invisible variety with just a registered hit and one face-off taken in 13 minutes of ice time. The forward earned some NHL time with the Bruins a couple of years, has battled concussion woes over the last year plus and is trying to push his way back into the crowded forward picture during this training camp. While he certainly showed some toughness and skill around the net a couple of years and didn’t seem shy about going there on Friday night, the results just weren’t there and Ferlin didn’t have much of a presence in the game. In general it was a pretty decent performance for the Bruins, so Ferlin’s game was quiet more than problematic.

TURNING POINT: Credit the Bruins coaching staff for switching up the lines in the third period, and that sparked the offense a bit after zero goals through the first 40 minutes against Detroit. Zach Senyshyn was moved with Danton Heinen and Riley Nash, and they became a threat in the third period before Heinen broke through for the game-tying goal from his knees. That score allowed the B’s to push things into overtime, and then Spooner made it a quick extra session by snapping home a shot from the slot after a good effort from Joe Morrow down low. It all was made possible by the adjustment to the lines that took place between the second and the third periods.

HONORABLE MENTION: Joe Morrow is battling to hold onto his NHL roster spot with the Bruins, and that is absolutely underscored by the news that Christian Ehrhoff is being brought to Boston on a PTO. So it was expected that the young D-man would come out with something a little extra after a mediocre performance in his preseason debut, and the left shot D-man was an impact player in the win for the Black and Gold. Morrow dropped the gloves with young tough guy Givani Smith in the second period as part of a B’s group that played with a little bit of an edge on Friday night, and then he won a battle down low in overtime to set up the Ryan Spooner game-winner. Morrow had two hits, two shot attempts, the assist and the fight in 19:48 of ice time, and showed that he’s ready to battle in camp to hold onto his spot.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of goals in two preseason games thus far for Danton Heinen, who scored important game-tying goals in both instances in the shootout loss to the Blue Jackets and Friday night’s overtime win against the Wings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “The compete level, especially when he got down 4-0 [on Wednesday night], I don’t think it was high enough. So we talked about it, and we expect a better effort for sure.” –Ryan Spooner on Friday morning prior to going out and snatching the win away from the Red Wings in Detroit with an OT game-winner. 

Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

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Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.

The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.

Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.

The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.