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Joe is Ready to Go

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- You'd think that fitting into the roster of the defending Stanley Cup champions would be pretty difficult, even for a veteran NHLer.

That was the assumption posed to Joe Corvo after Wednesday morning's practice in TD Garden.

"I'm going to disagree," said the defenseman. "I think it's a little bit easier.

"Obviously, they've lost a couple of guys and I think I was brought in here to replace one. So just the atmosphere and the mood of all the guys is something that's made it a real easy transition.

"Coming off the victory, coming off the Cup, I've just been welcomed like I've been here for a while," he said.

Corvo, 34, drafted out of Western Michigan University by the Kings in 1997 (4th round, 83rd overall) has been around the league for a while and has made stops in Los Angeles, Ottawa, Carolina (twice) and Washington in eight NHL seasons.

However, despite that veteran status, the blueliner said he welcomes a few extra days of training camp.

"I need it," he said. "I mean, I've been off since April -- the beginning of April -- I haven't played a game.

"So, personally, I mean, I like to get into some games. If I was one of these guys who went and played til June, I probably wouldn't want to play in all the preseason games.

"But it's good to have them and kind of get my pace back and get the speed back," said Corvo.

Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, asked to explain what his new defenseman brings to his club, said, "Well, everything.

"I think Joe is one of those guys that I find has gotten better with experience...and knows his strengths and weaknesses.

"He plays within his strengths and one of the things that we like about him -- obviously, he skates well --  but 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.

"So there's a lot a lot of assets and there's not much for us to complain about this guy," continued Julien. "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."

Corvo said he's feeling pretty comfortable with his own game, too. He explained that joining the Bruins during the off season, as opposed to a mid-season trade, put him in a very good position to be ready for the new campaign.

"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.

"So, the adjustment period is so much easier."

And despite leaving the B's Black & White game in Providence early on Sept. 21, Corvo said he is healthy and his game is nearly where he wants it going into next week's season opener.

"Yeah, I'm good. I feel good," said Corvo. "I feel like I'm getting pretty close.

"I think the timing right now is perfect.

"We have a couple more games -- hopefully I get one or two of those in -- and I'll just be ready to go," he said.
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