Bruins

A weird night for Corvo

553240.jpg

A weird night for Corvo

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- It had to be a little weird for Joe Corvo.Okay, it had to be a lot weird for Joe Corvo.

The newest member of the Bruins was the only skater in the season openerwho hadnt played for last years Stanley Cup winner, and wasnt part of the emotionalbanner-raising ceremony that took place prior to Thursday nights opening 2-1 loss to the Flyers. The puck-moving defenseman admitted he was sitting in the Bs dressing room alone for a long stretch with nothing to do while the 30plus minute banner processional took placejust minutes before game time.It was akin to a Bruins man without a country.Coach Claude Julien said thatCorvo's teammates made sure to acknowledge their new defenseman before heading onto the ice for their Cup celebration, and there aresimply some things that are unavoidable as the Black and Gold'snew guy.

Corvo is so respected and accepted by his teammates that he understood the situation, said Julien. Everybody went by him on the way out to the banner-raising and gave him a tap and made sure he felt that this was just last years stuff.

"He was good. I mean, for him tosit in the dressing room alone couldnt have been easy either, but he came back. I thought he didnt play any worse . . . than anyone else against the Flyers.

Corvo eventually walked out into the hall and viewed the banner-raising on a television in thecorridor before his Bruins debut, but it wasnt exactly taking achapter out of the hockey player handbook. Nobody can really tell you what to do as a hockey player at game time when the rest of the team is out on the ice taking one last hoist at Lord Stanley's Cup.It really just spoke to the established hockey situation that Corvo is entering into in Boston with both eyes wide open and perhaps the kind of offensive production from the defensemen spot that Corvowill be expected togenerate on the power play. That is, after all, why Corvo is the B's new guy.

The game itself was kind of a rude awakening, said Corvo, who finished with his first assist as a member of the Bruins in 23:01 of ice time. There were normal butterflies before the game.

So how weird or foreignwas it sitting by himself in the dressing room while each one of his new teammates paraded the Stanley Cup around the TD Gardenice before eventuallyraising the banner to the rafters?

It was weird, said Corvo. I was just sitting here. I was about to go get my phone and turn the camera on and say, This is me sitting here in the dressing room all by myself before the game. It was weird sitting in here all alone knowing that youve got to play in another 10 or 15 minutes.

I just couldnt it stand it anymore, so I just got all my stuff on and then watched it on TV out in the hallway. It would be awesome if I could have a Cup celebration, but its a long road.

Corvo, more than anybody, has to be happy that the Bruins have closed the chapter on this past year, and he can stop trying to live up to the ghostsof last years team. Hell be the new guy for the foreseeable future, but at least it wont be all about what happened last season and what he wasn't a part of.

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

Only five games into season, Bruins already sending off bad vibes

cp-spark-bruins-knights-kuraly-sbias-1-101617.jpg

Only five games into season, Bruins already sending off bad vibes

LAS VEGAS -- Even though it's only five games into a new regular season, it feels like the Bruins are in danger of going off the tracks.

They finished their three-game Western road swing Sunday with an aimless 3-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, which came on the heels of a wretched defeat in Colorado and a victory over the winless Coyotes. Sunday was particularly disheartening, as they never tested their ex-goalie, Malcolm Subban, putting only 21 mostly harmless shots on net against a player they gave away on waivers just a few weeks ago,

They may only have three losses in five games, but it sure feels like there's trouble starting to brew in Bruins land.

“It could be a lot of different things,” said Brad Marchand about the loss to Las Vegas. "We may not have been as mentally prepared for that game as we thought we were. They wanted it more than we did. They out-battled us in a lot of areas and they were the better team. We were making it hard on ourselves. We were trying to do too much with the puck, and not directing enough of the pucks toward the net. You can’t get rebound and you can’t get bodies there if the puck isn’t going there.”

That is a lot of different things. A lot of different problems:

-- They couldn’t fight to get to the front of the net against a rugged Vegas defensive group that was going to make them battle to get there.

-- Once again they had too many passengers along for the ride, with both Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano failing to even be a blip on the game’s radar screen. Spooner suffered a lower body injury midway through the game, but while he was out there he was a non-factor once again. 

-- It felt like there was no flow at all to Boston’s game, with breakouts dogged by sloppy passing and players who weren’t hard enough on the puck.

-- When they did get a chance to create something they either missed the net with their shot, or opted not to even take the shot in the first place. 

-- They lost 67 percent of the 57 draws taken during the game, and saw Spooner, Riley Nash and David Krejci and Ryan Spooner go a combined 8-for-29 in the face-off circle.

-- They chased the puck for long stretches and certainly didn’t ever put together anything approaching a consistent, driving pressure in the offensive zone.

Missing stalwart veterans like Patrice Bergeron and David Backes certainly isn’t helping. It makes the Bruins a much smaller group up front that can be pushed around by bigger, stronger defensive units.

But even so, there’s a sense the Bruins can’t consistently bring their 'A' game to the rink with them and don’t seem to have much fight when they fall down by a couple of goals. Trailing by just two goals going into the third period, the Bruins had four shots on net for most of the final period until a late flurry produced a score by David Pastrnak.

Perhaps of more concern, though, is the growing feeling that the Bruins aren’t all on the same page.

Marchand vaguely referenced that the Bruins weren’t prepared to play Sunday, and Tuukka Rask said he’ll no longer comment on anything except his own goaltending. Rask has always been candid and willing to be frank about any shortcomings after Bruins losses, but it appears that’s not something that is any longer welcome inside the B’s dressing room.

“I just try to go out there and give us a chance to win every night. That’s what I’m focused on,” said Rask. “I’m not going to comment anymore on team play that much. We can just talk about goaltending. That’s just the way it is. Sorry.”

Meanwhile, Krejci was similarly short in his postgame thoughts and started talking about avoiding pointing fingers after a frustrating loss.

“There’s no reason to point fingers," he said. "Yeah, we lost a game and it was a frustrating loss. But it’s just the fifth game of the season, so we don’t need to make a big deal out of it. We’re going to back to Boston, we’re going to work hard in practices and we’re going to get ready for the next game.”

Clearly, the fact this stuff is coming to the surface just five games into the season is a cause for concern. But it makes sense, given the way the Bruins are letting an easy portion of the season slip through their fingers.

In their first 10 games of the year, they're facing only one team that made the playoffs last season and they've got plenty of spaced-out stretches in the schedule to get off to a strong, healthy start. Instead they’re losing to subpar teams and highly unproven goalies, and doing so with a real lack of energy or purpose on the ice.

Certainly management would be smart to think about shipping underperforming players like Vatrano back to the AHL in place of Peter Cehlarik or Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. And a few more games like Sunday’s snooze-fest could advance trade talks for a player like Matt Duchene.

But there aren’t going to be any easy answers. It comes down to hard work and hunkering down together as a team, and Sunday’s pitifully inept loss in a very winnable situation was yet another sign the Bruins aren't even close to being there yet.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Spooner, McQuaid injured in Bruins' loss to Golden Knights

cp-bruins-mcquaid-spooner-101617x.jpg

Spooner, McQuaid injured in Bruins' loss to Golden Knights

LAS VEGAS -- The Bruins are already missing a handful of players to injuries, and they may have lost a couple more in Sunday’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Ryan Spooner was knocked out in the second period with a lower body injury, and Adam McQuaid was lost in the closing seconds of the third period when he was hit by a Colin Miller rocket from the point in his leg. McQuaid had to be helped to the dressing room after staying down on the ice for a few long moments, and the hope is that it’s the same kind of mostly harmless “dead leg” hit that allowed Kevan Miller to bounce back immediately from his Friday incident in practice.

McQuaid was spotted up and walking around in the visiting dressing room area postgame, so hopefully it’s nothing serious with one of the few Bruins giving everything he has on the ice each and every night.

Spooner finished with just eight shifts and 6:42 of ice time while failing to generate much offense, and went 1-for-4 in the face-off circle before getting shelved for the rest of the game. He just has a single point and is a minus-3 in four games this season and is once again has been pretty hard to notice on the ice during 5-on-5 play. It perhaps wasn’t a huge loss for the Bruins, given how much Spooner has been struggling to find baseline consistency, but the Bruins can’t continue to sustain injuries to their center men without those missing bodies beginning to take a toll.

The Bruins already have Paul Postma on hand if they take any injuries on the back end, but any more losses up front could mean the B’s dip into Providence where Peter Cehlarik, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Kenny Agostino are all off to hot offensive starts.