February 5, 2012

Another day of highs and lows for Bruins' Corvo

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON – Throughout a rough stretch that’s seen him get singled out by many as the weak link on the Bruins’ back-end, Joe Corvo has anxiously awaited a much-needed, positive moment he can build off of. 

That seemed to come in the third period of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh at TD Ga rden, as the veteran defenseman buried his third goal of the season – his first since striking twice way back on Dec. 10 in Columbus.

“Yeah, I’m taking it that way,” Corvo said when asked if his goal’s a confidence booster. “Anything positive I’m going to take and run with it and try to carry it into the next game and make me feel good out there and play well. I will definitely try to carry that on.”

Unfortunately Corvo’s shining moment was sandwiched by two bad breaks.

Earlier in the final frame, No. 14 couldn’t help clear out attackers closing in on Thomas. Loathed Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke came crashing in to score what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Then, in the final minutes with Boston pressing to score the tying marker, Corvo collided with teammate Andrew Ference near his own blueline. It was his final shift of the contest.

“I just collided with (Ference) and got stunned a little bit,” Corvo said of the play. “When collisions like that happen, we’re both going fast in opposite directions, we don’t mean to hit each other and I just got stunned a little bit.”

The day was such an accurate reflection of the way Corvo’s first season in Boston has gone. Every time there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, every time a turnaround seems imminent, the defenseman gets beset by struggles.

Fighting through it hasn’t been easy for Corvo, who’s currently on pace to fall short of his typical double-digit goal totals. He hopes taking the same attitude as the one he brought into Saturday’s contest will lead to further success heading down the stretch.

“I just don’t feel like I get involved enough offensively, which is something I kind of critique myself on in games, how offensively involved I get,” Corvo said of assessing his play with the Black and Gold. “So when that’s not really working for me I tend to try and do more than I should. My game plan going into tonight was to kind of relax and stay at the point and try and stay open. That way (I could) give myself some room to stay open and get some shots on net.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien believes Corvo is perhaps a bit too prone to dwelling on the negatives when things don’t go his way, but Boston’s bench boss has hope that the oft-critiqued rearguard can build off today’s showing and solidify his game as the B’s look to fight their way out of their current slump.

“Well you know with Joe, it is all about confidence,” said Julien. “With Joe, sometimes he makes a mistake and carries that on for too long. He’s got to let go of those things and build on what he does well.

“He had some great opportunities tonight. The goal against, he’s standing in front of the net and you hope that he had better battle on that. But, you know, he’s no different than everybody else that’s going through this. We have to improve ourselves as individuals if we want to be a better hockey club.”