[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the first round playoff series between the Capitals and the Bruins, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Bruins and how they might impact the series.]
#14 / Defenseman/ Boston Bruins
June 20, 1977
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois
Drafted: 83rd overall, 1997 by Los Anglees
|2002-03 (Los Angeles)||50||5||7||12||2||14||2||3||0||84||6.0||18:37|
|2003-04 (Los Angeles)||72||8||17||25||7||36||0||4||3||150||5.3||21:09|
|2005-06 (Los Angeles)||80||14||26||40||16||38||7||14||3||190||7.4||19:59|
Why you should know who he is - Caps fans already got a good look at Joe Corvo when he was doing his all-in-one Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion impression (you know - no brain, no heart and no courage) down the stretch and in the playoffs in 2010, but Corvo is once again important to the success of the Caps, albeit for a different reason. It's no understatement to say that Joe Corvo is the best chance the Caps have to score easy goals this series; catching him on the ice at even strength will be a huge advantage for the Caps. Claude Julien no doubt realized this when he cut Corvo's ice from second-pairing time to nearly non-existent during the latter stages of the season. Corvo was brought in to fill the child-sized shoes left by Tomas Kaberle's departure, and even with low expectations Corvo has made those shoes look like, well, clown shoes.
How the Caps can stop him - The key to exploiting Corvo is to take advantage when he's on the ice at even strength (or the penalty kill, but Julien isn't crazy enough to play him there). For all his flaws, if you let Corvo have time and space he can still pass and shoot the puck. But under pressure he's prone to coughing the puck up and making poor decisions. If recent trends hold, he'll play third pair minutes and start in the offensive zone. The Caps will need to take away his shot at the point and move the puck to the other end of the ice, where he's extremely vulnerable. When Corvo is on the ice at even strength, put the puck in his corner, punish him physically, and keep your stick on the ice. Something like this will happen. Or this.