|Ottawa Senators defenceman Joe Corvo controls the puck in his first NHL playoff game on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Photo: A. Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators defenceman Joe Corvo couldn't believe the roar from the Scotiabank Place crowd last night. Sitting at his stall in the Senators dressing room moments before racing onto the ice for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup quarter-final series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he knew his first playoff game would be exciting, but the booming sound from the stands made the experience even better.
"It was nice. I tried to obviously block some of that out, to just relax and play and not get involved too much with what's going on around me, but it was fun," Corvo says. "(The fans) provided a good atmosphere to play in."
Corvo feels the Sens Army made it that much more difficult for the Penguins in their first playoff game since 2001.
"I think with the cheering and how loud it was, just the whole package might have put a little fear into them, and a little bit of nervousness."
Also playing his first playoff game as an Ottawa Senator last night, forward Mike Comrie says he embraces the opportunity to skate in the post-season for a Canadian team like he did earlier in his career with the Edmonton Oilers.
"You look around here," Comrie says while motioning to the opposite wall of the Senators dressing room. "I don't know who (a swarm of media) is talking to over there but I can't see him. It's just a great environment. You can't help but get excited about playing in a hockey city. It's a lot of fun."
The Senators know that in order to enjoy success in the playoffs, sacrifices will have to be made. Defenceman Andrej Meszaros, who scored seven goals during the regular season, potted the first tally in Ottawa's 6-3 Game 1win. He's not that concerned about making the scoresheet at this time of year though.
"To me, it doesn't matter who scores the goals, what is important is the win. We scored early and it set the tone for the game."
Chris Neil says hard work from the entire lineup is the most important thing.
"We just want to play and play solid. We want to take it one game at a time. We want to come and play hard. We came out with a full 60 minutes (in Game 1) and we have to build on that."
Comrie, a free agent at the end of this season, says he's not worried about what the future holds for him. Success in the playoffs is his focus.
"I've learned you've got to live your life in the moment, and, right now, this is a great opportunity to be playing on a great team. You look at the parity in the playoffs right now and any team can win. If you don't play as well as you can every game, you're not going to win. You can't look too far ahead and you can't worry about your future."