Corvo's style of play a welcomed addition to Bruins

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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.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.