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.

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

The Bruins should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. They really shouldn’t. 

Yet they might. Pierre McGuire said on TSN Radio Tuesday that his guess is that Shattenkirk, arguably the best free agent defenseman on the market, will end up in Boston.

It is remarkable how universally against a Shattenkirk megadeal B’s fans have seemingly been. A Twitter poll with over 3,600 votes this month had Bruins fans preferring Boston sign 40-year-old Zdeno Chara to a two-year, $8 million extension than the 28-year-old  Shattenkirk to a seven-year, $45.5 million deal. 

That is obviously the correct conclusion, but considering how hard the false “Chara is old and bad” garbage is pushed in this town, it’s telling that 64 percent would rather he stick around than the team build the defense around Shattenkirk. 

Of course, Shattenkirk is not a bad player just because he’s been overrated in recent seasons. He’s a decent second-pairing defender and strong power play asset who can be penciled in for 40 points a year. The Bruins already have that in Torey Krug, and he makes less than Shattenkirk figures to command. Shattenkirk is also a righty who plays on the right, which is not a need for the Bruins, whereas Krug is a left shot who plays both sides. 

Add in the Bruins’ cap situation due to some bad contracts and they why of Shattenkirk would be a bad signing doesn’t need to be re-hashed. By this point, the explanation’s been given a few times in a few different places. 

So what would the Bruins’ actual case for signing Shattenkirk be? 

TO KEEP IT MOVING 

Last season was encouraging for Bruins fans because it saw them reach the playoffs for the first time in three years while also seeing young talent emerge. Yet they still only made the playoffs by two points, something of which Don Sweeney and Cam Neely are undoubtedly aware. 

So for all the good signs, this could be a fringe playoff team again if more improvements aren’t made, and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years would mark a step back in the eyes of ownership, perhaps putting jobs in danger. It would be a shame if money were spent irresponsibly for the sake of saving jobs, but Shattenkirk would definitely make the Bruins better next season, even if it crippled them financially down the road. 

TO PULL A CHIARELLIAN FREE AGENT SWITCHEROO

With McAvoy set to be a top-pairing player and Brandon Carlo a good second-pairing option, the Bruins do not have a need for a highly paid right-shot defender. That doesn’t mean they don’t have needs elsewhere. 

Last offseason, Peter Chiarelli made the controversial move of trading Taylor Hall, one of the best left wings on the planet. He did it to get Adam Larsson to help build Edmonton’s blue line up, then he went out and signed Milan Lucic in free agency to replace Hall. 

If the Bruins truly have designs on adding Shattenkirk, perhaps they could have something similar in mind: Trade someone like Carlo for either a left-shot defenseman or a left wing, then replace Carlo with Shattenkirk. 

This would still not be financially palatable, however. When the Oilers traded Hall for Larsson, they swapped a player with a $6 million cap hit for a player with a $4.16 million cap hit and replaced the original player (Hall) with a player in Lucic who carried a $6 million cap hit. So essentially they netted one player for an additional $4.16 million. 

Carlo is on his entry level contract, so unless the Bruins traded him for a player on an entry-level deal, they’d be spending a lot of money in any maneuver that involved replacing him with Shattenkirk. 

TO GO ALL-IN ON POST-CLAUDE LIFE

Claude Julien’s detractors lamented his affinity for responsibility. They loved it when Bruce Cassidy was more open to trading chances. 

Well, you like trading chances? Shattenkirk’s your guy. He’s a good skater, a good offensive player and a sub-par defender. You put Krug, Shattenkirk and McAvoy as three of your four top-four defenseman and you’ll be a long way from the days of Chara, Seidenberg and Boychuk, for better or worse. 

BUT, KEEP IN MIND . . . 

They for sure should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. 

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.

*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.

*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.

*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.  

*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.

*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.

*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.

*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.