Bruins

Corvo needs consistency, short memory

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Corvo needs consistency, short memory

Joe Corvo has experienced high and low moments already for the Bruins this season.

Hes watched a team win 14 out of 15 games in a bulletproof stretch and he dropped the gloves for the first time in his NHL career. Hes shown off some of the attributes most closely associated with his game: the velvet touch with the puck around the blue line that keeps possession in the offensive zone and the ability to move the puck up the ice quickly.

But the veteran blueliner was also billed as a player that would shoot the puck and get results on the power play with the aforementioned heavy point shot. Corvo has fired off 58 shots in 27 games, and doesnt have a single goal to go along with his 10 assists this season. Hes also run hot and cold with his play in the defensive zone, and thats something everyone expected given his strengths and weaknesses as a player.

But hes been on the ice for each of the last four goals scored against the Bruins, and was a big part of defensive breakdowns in the losses to the Jets and Panthers in the last two games. Corvo mentioned his offensive struggles when he spoke about his fight earlier this season, so thats been on his mind.

In fact Bs coach Claude Julien said that if anything Corvo is too tough on himself, and he needs to have a shorter memory when it comes to mistakes on the ice. Instead those turnovers and defensive miscues can linger, and a play like Tomas Kopeckys game-winning goal for the Panthers could linger with him after he failed to clear the puck from the front of the net.

I think he is, said Claude Julien when asked if Corvo is battling consistency. The one thing I like about him is that hes a really committed guy and the one flaw I see in him is that hes really hard on himself. Id say its hurting him more than its helping him.

Like a lot of guys he needs to take a step back and understand hes got the skill: he can skate, he can shoot and he can pass. But right now the minute he makes a mistake and carries it through the whole game. That just makes it worse.

According to his coach, Corvo needs to simply leave a shift behind whether its a bad one or a good one. Then simply carry on with the job of carrying the puck and giving Boston a solid middle defensemen pairing with Dennis Seidenberg but both blueliners have battled with consistency this season.

He needs to support himself and needs our support, said Julien. Thats his biggest flaw right now.

Thats the kind of flaw Corvo could turn around rather quickly, and all it might take is a single goal to drop for him while skating in a Black and Gold uniform.

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.