Corvo makes presence felt in first preseason action

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Corvo makes presence felt in first preseason action

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
HALIFAX -- Joe Corvo didnt take long to make his presence felt with the Bruins.

The Bs newest defenseman opened up the Boston scoring Sunday night against the Montreal Canadiens with a bad angle shot that eluded Habs goaltender Peter Budaj, and set off a seven goal attack in the 7-3 win at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Corvo had missed the first two preseason games after coming down with some groin tightness following the Black and White scrimmage in Providence, but was back at full strength this weekend.

Corvos presence was noticeable and immediate. His quick first few steps skating-wise quickened the pace of the puck getting out of the Boston defensive zone, and he had stick raised and ready to fire shots from anywhere on the ice.

The veteran defenseman brings the skating and shooting skills to the table after Tomas Kaberle struggled in both areas last season and meshed nicely with Zdeno Chara when the two players were on the ice together.

Corvo admitted that getting down the defensive system of zone versus man-to-man will be an adjustment after playing something significantly different in Carolina, but the upside is clear once the learning curve is over.

Corvo was good. First of all I like the way he competes. He plays hard. He shoots the puck a lot and once we get all the players in place on the power play hell be a big asset as well, said Julien. He moved the puck well, and I think considering this was his first game of the year that I liked the way he handled himself.

Its probably no coincidence that the Bruins posted a couple more power play goals on Sunday night with Corvo in the lineup, and that might be a big more regular occurrence with the upgrade along the blueline.

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

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.