Boston Bruins

Corvo's style of play a welcomed addition to Bruins

191545.jpg

Corvo's style of play a welcomed addition to Bruins

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON -- Its pretty easy to gloss over the newcomers to this years Bruins team when there are so few of them.

Nearly an entire roster of Bs players are returning this year after winning the Stanley Cup last season, and there has been a great deal of stress placed on the rare continuity enjoyed by the Black and Gold heading into this year.

But there are some new guys, and they are potential difference-makers.

There are plenty of Boston wise guys who would argue anybody with a strong pulse and the ability to breathe without medical assistance would be an upgrade over Tomas Kaberle, but Joe Corvo truly looks like hes going to be quite an improvement over the status quo.

Corvo arrives in Boston with the reputation as a willing shooter with a heavy, dangerous howitzer from the point, and is expected to help make a difference on a Bs power play that bounced between moribund and impotent last season. The 16.2 percent success rate for the power play during the regular season landed them in the bottom third of the league, and it only got worse during the postseason.

In many ways Corvo is actually the polar opposite of Kaberle: A frequent and dangerous shooter with a quick skating stride and the willingness to speed the puck into the offensive zone with his quick bursts of speed.

Hes a good heads up player, said coach Claude Julien. When he does shoot, he doesnt always just aim for the net. He aims for sticks and hes got pretty good vision on the power play. When he gets an opportunity to shoot he doesnt hesitate at all, and I think he will certainly help our power play.

Corvo also has a willingness to mix things up a bit physically in the defensive end a quality that the doughy Kaberle was also a little short on during his time in Boston last season. Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli were quick to point that Corvo isnt a power play savior and the defensemen himself admits that Juliens zone defense system will take some getting used to this season but watching the newest Bs defenseman zip around with the puck has been a welcomed sight during training camp.

Hes got good skating and a right-handed shot, said Chiarelli. Hes had significant experience on the power play. I preface this by the same comment I used before Kaberle arrived . . . the positives and the negatives of the power play dont rest with one player. That applies here to Joe. It gives us different options with his right shot, and hes got a big shot and there might be a little more speed there. Thats going to help our entries and its a different look.

The Bruins GM thinks team speed has picked up this preseason from where it was last year, and some of that is certainly trading out Kaberle for a nifty skater like Corvo. The retirement of Mark Recchi, who had endless amounts of guts, courage and experience while lacking in the skating speed department, and replacement with Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley on a permanent basis has also certainly upgraded Boston in the speed department.

"I generally think this year that our team is faster," Chiarelli said. "Ive just seen that from the start to the finish of camp. It may be because of Joe and how he plays the game, it may be more of a contribution from Seguin or it just may be a collective mindset that is carried over. I think youll see that in the power play also.

The proof will be in the pudding, of course. But theres every change that Corvos arrival, Seguins emergence and Peverleys presence will make the Bruins both a more dangerous power play squad and a faster attack.

As we all know speed kills in the NHL, and Corvo and the Bruins seem to have a lot more of it.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Morning Skate: Blackhawks looking for right mix on fourth line

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Morning Skate: Blackhawks looking for right mix on fourth line

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading. while readying for the last home game of the preseason tonight. Boy that went by quickly.

*Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is looking for the right mix on the fourth line for the Hawks.

*The NHL is coming late to the China party and it makes one wonder what will happen for the Winter Olympic Games set to be played there in 2022.

*PHT writer Adam Gretz has the Arizona Coyotes wanting to retire the freshly-retired Shane Doan’s number in the future.

*Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says that the decision to accept the White House’s invitation was independent of politics. Certainly, it was, but the timing of it and the feeble statement to go along with it left a lot to be desired.

*Pierre Lebrun goes 1-on-1 with Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien to talk about his past, his present and his future behind the bench with the Habs. I had always intended to subscribe to the Athletic, and this is the article that finally got me to do it as I get to read a few moments with one of the classiest individuals in the NHL in Julien. It certainly had a few rocky moments toward the end here in Boston for Julien, but I will always respect that guy as a coach and, more importantly, as a person.  

*For something completely different: an interesting look at Alejandro Villanueva, the only Pittsburgh Steelers player, and a proud veteran, to stand outside the tunnel and on the field for the national anthem prior to the Steelers game on Sunday.


 

'Under the weather' Chara won't play tonight after missing two days of camp

bruins_zdeno_chara_022816.jpg

'Under the weather' Chara won't play tonight after missing two days of camp

BRIGHTON, Mass – Zdeno Chara is one of the oldest players in the NHL at 40 and sometimes those players need a little more time to rest and recharge than the up-and-coming skaters half their age in training camp. That’s the case with Chara as he sat out practice on Monday feeling “under the weather” according to the Bruins. He didn’t skate on Sunday either and won’t play against the Chicago Blackhawks in Boston’s final home game of the preseason tonight.

Similarly, Kenny Agostino won’t be playing tonight after he suffered an upper-body injury in a victory last week over the Flyers, where the winger also scored the winning goal in overtime. Instead, a couple of young players will get further looks as Matt Grzelcyk is expected to be paired with Brandon Carlo and young Ryan Fitzgerald will get another look in the spot where a healthy Agostino might have drawn back into the lineup on Monday.

“We’re looking for [the young guys] to keep pushing, consistency and be strong on pucks as the lineups get stronger,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’re getting closer to NHL lineups with most teams like us and paring down, in general. The expectation is that they’ll see that 82 times. Fitzy has been a nice surprise. I shouldn’t say surprise because I didn’t know a lot about him. But he’s done what we’ve asked, so we’ll give him another game. The Agostino injury has opened up a door as he was probably a guy that would have gone back in after [Thursday] night, has played well and is another guy we don’t know a lot about. So it’s a good opportunity for [Fitzgerald]. I thought he was ahead of some of the other [young] guys, so that’s why we put him back in.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings tonight with just two more exhibition games to go before the regular season gets started:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork

Beleskey-Spooner-Pastrnak

Schaller-Kuraly-Backes

Fitzgerald-Nash-Acciari

 
O’Gara-McAvoy

Grzelcyk-Carlo

Lauzon-Postma


Subban