Welcome to the club: Corvo drops the gloves

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Welcome to the club: Corvo drops the gloves

The points havent arrived fast and furiously for Joe Corvo on the power play this season like many people expected they would.

Corvo doesnt have a single goal on the season in 24 games despite the big shot from the point position in the power play formation, and there has been a healthy dose of frustration despite 10 assists and a plus-8 rating over that time.

Yeah, goal-wise. I'm getting chances . . . but I'm just, for some reason either missing the passes or shooting wide, Corvo admitted. I'm getting a lot of shots but I don't know. It is what it is.

So when Toronto energy forward Joey Crabb took a run at Corvo midway through the third period in Saturday nights 4-1 win for the Bruins over the Leafs, Corvo did something hes never done in his NHL career.

The Bs defenseman dropped the gloves in anger for the first time in 592 games and started throwing punches with Crabb.

It wasnt an extended bout and there werent exactly haymakers being tossed around, but his Bs teammates were impressed that Corvo stepped out of his comfort zone to defend himself at the proper time.

It's the right building to do it in front of, said Corvo. I think everybody likes to see that once in a while so, get a little fight out of one of the guys who don't normally do it.

I mean I'm not scoring goals so I got to do something to try to stand out or something positive so I'll just fight my way out of this I guess.

The Bruins defenseman is known much more for his puck-moving abilities and his offensive skills, but his first fight also stands as one of his first official moments of becoming a Bruin.

He wants to be part of this hockey club and he wants to be part of the identity and making sure he stands up for himself, said Claude Julien. I could be wrong but I heard this was probably his first NHL fight. It might be, and if it is, its nice to see him stand up for himself.

He could have easily walked away from that and let it be. But hes seen our team, how we handle ourselves and how we solve our issues on our own, we dont wait for anyone else to do it.

Corvo was also out on the ice for a monster shift by the David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton line where the group of five Bruins players pounded the Leafs with dominant possession in the offensive zone. The Bruins used their size and strength to dictate terms to the struggling Leafs defense, and dominated the third period of a one-goal game entering the final 20 minutes.

The Leafs were so rattled and exhausted by the tilting of the ice that they were forced into calling a timeout to rest their exhausted skaters that couldnt get off the ice for a changing of forwards or defensemen. Perhaps it was frustration at their inability to win battles against the Bruins that precipitated the fight, but whatever the reason Corvo and the Bs got the last laugh after his first round of NHL fisticuffs.

The long shift kind of seemed like a moment where we were kind of silently saying 'try and hang with us,' kind of like a challenge, said Corvo. We were out there, you notice they're tired and it's kind of like a shark seeing blood in the water and we tried to take advantage of it. We tried to help keep them pinned in the zone. And those are fun moments for me. It's fun to be involved in that stuff and be involved in offense.

Even more fun than dropping the gloves for the first time in a long and productive NHL career before he officially became a Big Bad Bruin.

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

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Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.