September 29, 2011

Corvo making smooth transition with Bruins

by Jesse Connolly

Joe Corvo had 40 points in 82 games last year for the Hurricanes. (Getty)

BOSTON – When a player joins a new club, succeeding on the ice seems paramount, but it isn’t their only challenge. For Joe Corvo, acquired via trade in July from Carolina, being surrounded by roughly two dozen players he’s never been teammates with could have been a bit daunting, as fellow d-man Dennis Seidenberg was his only former colleague coming into camp.

Well, so much for that idea. Corvo has made a seamless transition both on and off the ice, as the defending champs have embraced him with open arms.

“I think it’s a little bit easier,” said Corvo. “Obviously they lost a couple guys and I think I was brought in here to replace one. Just the atmosphere and the mood of all the guys was something that made it a really easy transition. Just coming off that victory, coming off the Cup, I’ve been welcomed like I’ve been here for a while.”

This isn’t Corvo’s first experience with joining a new team, as the veteran defenseman has suited up for the Kings, Senators, Hurricanes and Capitals over the course of his career. The last time he had to just to a new squad came late in the 2009-10, as he was traded to the Capitals before returning to Carolina in the ensuing offseason.

This time around, Corvo believes it’s been considerably easier to get into the flow of things by being with his new team right from the get-go as opposed to after a midseason swap.

“Yeah it’s night and day,” he said. “Obviously I can sit down and watch video and I can make mistakes in preseason games and it really has no effect. The adjustment period is so much better.”

While most of the Bruins, understandably, are anxiously awaiting the start of the regular season, Corvo is appreciating the opportunities to hone his game that the preseason has provided.

“I need it,” Corvo said. “I’ve been off since the beginning of April. I haven’t played a game. Personally I like to get into some games. If I was one of these guys and played until June, I probably wouldn’t want to play all of the preseason, but it’s good to have them and just kind of get my pace back.”

He hopes to see some action on Thursday against the Senators or in Boston’s final preseason tilt against the Islanders on Saturday.

“I feel like I’m getting pretty close,” said Corvo. “I think the timing right now is perfect. We’ve got a couple more games. Hopefully I get one or two of those in and just get ready to go.”

Corvo was modest in his self-assessment, but coach Claude Julien has been extremely impressed by the veteran defenseman thus far.

“I think Joe is one of those guys that I find has gotten better with experience and from the day he first came in the league, where he might have been a little bit more high risk, he's really toned down his game a little bit and knows his strengths and weaknesses and stuff like that,” the coach said. “I think he plays within his strengths and one of the things that we like about him.

“Obviously he skates well, he moves the puck well, he'll carry it when he has to carry it, he competes hard, he's a battler, he's got a great shot, he'll help our power play. There's a lot of assets and there's not much for us to complain about this guy. He's got the right attitude and I think that with time he's going to fit in even better and right now I like the way he's blended in, not just on but also off the ice and we feel comfortable with him.”