Joe Corvo's goal last night
was a thing of beauty. Not only did it win the game in overtime for the Hurricanes, their sixth straight game with at least one point earned in the standings, but ESPN even called it the best individual play in the world of sports last night.
(Technically, Tyler Hansbrough breaking the UNC scoring record was number one, but that was picked for its significance rather than for the basket itself. Either way, nice night for Triangle sports).
No disrespect to Psycho-T, but Corvo’s goal had some historical meaning of its own. Coupled with his goal against Montreal two nights earlier, it was the first time in franchise history that a defenseman scored back-to-back game-winning goals.
In addition to that goal, his fourth in his last four games, he also played a big part in holding the fort defensively when he and Joni Pitkanen were the only NHL regulars on an injury-decimated Hurricanes blueline last week.
“Wow,” was the first thing Paul Maurice said when asked about Corvo’s contributions lately. “Thirty minutes a night and looks good doing it. Joe is one of those players that when you go back and look at the videotape, he played a lot better even than you think he did.”
As for his goal, it seemed strange at first for someone with the best slap shot on the team to pass up a chance on net with time winding down. Three Panthers sprawled on the ice later, and the game was over.
“That was something that you don’t see very often – a defenseman having the confidence to pull that off,” said Maurice. “Good for him, and it’s good for a defenseman. Everyone enjoys it when a defenseman scores in overtime.”
The Canes will take that momentum with them to Boston tomorrow afternoon, where they’ll encounter a team as dominant as any in the league this year.
The Bruins are 22-5-4 on the season and have scored more and allowed fewer goals than any other team in the league to post a staggering +42 goal differential. They’ve also won 12 straight at home since starting the season 0-1-1 at TD Banknorth Garden.
“They’ve got the whole package going right now, but most importantly they’ve got some confidence,” said Maurice. “Our ability to break the puck out again is going to be critical against this team.”
The Canes had to hurry out to Beantown this morning to start their three-game pre-Christmas trip, as a nasty snowstorm kept pushing their departure earlier and earlier. This is saying something because they’ve been playing very well lately, but between the 20-minute practice and the hasty packing session afterwards, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guys move so fast.
Anton Babchuk skated full-contact for the first time since his elbow injury and is expected to play tomorrow after Brett Carson was reassigned to Albany. Niclas Wallin also skated, but is probably still a week away.