Corvo wants to stay out of the press box

609620.jpg

Corvo wants to stay out of the press box

BOSTON -- Joe Corvo doesn't like the press box.

Why would he? He's not a reporter. He's a defenseman.

Problem for him is, he's a defenseman on a Boston Bruins team that added two more defensemen at the trade deadline. So now, there's competition.

Before Thursday, Corvo had been on the losing end of that competition for six straight games. He watched from the exact place where no hockey player wants to be: the press box.

But Corvo returned to the Bruins lineup on Thursday night against a desperate Washington Capitals team, mainly because Dennis Seidenberg was scratched with an infected wound.

"It felt good," said Corvo after Thursday night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Capitals. "Nobody likes to not contribute to the team.

"It felt good to be a part of the team again, in a game situation."

Corvo played 20 minutes in his first game back, and was not on the ice for any goal. Offensively, it's not great, but it's not the worst thing. But defensively, it's something that he's been trying to do more of. He's trying to become a more defensive player.

"I'm just trying to battler harder, just boxing guys out," said Corvo. "Just, battles in the corner, one-on-one. I'm just trying to get better at that."

Corvo is what you'd like to call a "puck-moving" defenseman, otherwise known as an offensive defenseman. Defense isn't his best quality, which is why he watched the previous six games on the same floor as the reporters.

But it was up in that press box, where Corvo believes his mindset changed.

"I think the game shrinks down for ya," he said. "You tend to focus a lot more on each shift, and actually, I guess end up playing a little better, a little tighter.

"That's what I felt on Thursday night. I felt like my head was in the game the whole time, because you don't want to give anybody a reason to take you out of the lineup, when you get a chance."

And you could tell. Corvo was bearing down on one-on-one battles as wingers attempted to go wide on him. His focus was to stay with the play. Don't get beat. Keep it simple.

"I didn't see any glaring mistakes that would point the finger in his direction," said Bruins coach Claude Julien after the loss. "To me, he's still a decent puck-moving defenseman. So I certainly wouldn't qualify him as a bad player tonight."

Maybe it was execution. Or maybe it was just hunger. Either way, with Adam McQuaid's injury status uncertain as of Thursday night, it seems that Corvo could get several more shots to prove he belongs on the ice, not in the press box.

"You just show up and do your job every day," said Corvo. "I don't know what else I can say. You prepare to be in the lineup every day. I don't come to the rink, warm up, and think that I'm not playing. You have to prepare yourself, in case something happens last-minute. So, just keep doing the same things, and see what happens."

Bruins add a little speed and offense with Swedish pick Steen

boston-bruins-oskar-steen-draft-pick.jpg

Bruins add a little speed and offense with Swedish pick Steen

The Bruins skipped out on a chance to draft a speedy, small forward with skill at the end of the first round last weekend in Buffalo when they selected big, bruising center Trent Frederic over 5-foot-7 Alex DeBrincat with the 29th overall pick. 

Still, the Bruins eventually got around to some pint-sized hockey talent with their final pick of the draft when they tapped 5-foot-9 Swedish forward Oskar Steen in the sixth round with the 165th overall pick.

Steen had 16 goals and 52 points playing for four teams last season as a winger/center in the Swedish junior hockey ranks.  He showed the kind of speed and natural ability making plays that can compensate for being small in stature. 

The 18-year-old said he hadn’t spoken with Bruins scouts prior to hearing his name called on Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t dampen his clear enthusiasm about becoming one of the newest members of an Original Six organization.

“I was a little bit surprised that I was taken by a team I haven’t spoken with. So it was, yeah. I wasn’t really expecting that but it was fun and nice team, so I’m happy to be drafted by Boston,” said Steen. “[I’m a] very good team player, who can play an offensive game and a defensive game. So I’m a two-way player who can play both winger and center.

“I think that’s my strength, I can play sort of much rules, yeah. So yeah and I have really good passing, and my shot is okay. I think my playmaking, yeah, my playmaking is my biggest positive.”

After going for grit, size and character with Frederic and Ryan Lindgren in the first couple of rounds, the Bruins came full circle while landing on the skilled, “underrated” ability to make plays with their final pick of the weekend. Bruins scout P.J. Axelsson has had some level of say in the Swedish players selected over the past couple of years, so perhaps it’s not that surprising that the speedy, versatile Steen sounds a little like a smaller, slightly more productive version of the beloved, retired Bruins forward.

“He’s got underrated skill. He can score goals and move the puck,” said Bruins Director of Scouting Keith Gretzky. “He’s not the biggest guy, but we’ve seen him and we were excited to be able to draft him.”

The diminutive Steen joins a number of young Swedish players in the Black and Gold system that the Bruins have selected the past couple of years and it remains to be seen where he’ll stack up against his fellow Swedes once B’s development camp opens in a couple of weeks. 

 

A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

podcast-gahs-ep18.png

A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

CSNNE.com Insider Joe Haggerty is joined by NHL Draft expert Kirk Luedeke to discuss the 2016 NHL Draft class of the Boston Bruins. How soon will first pick Charlie McAvoy be ready? Was Trent Federic a reach with pick #29?