Many fans were skeptical about Joe Corvo returning to play for the Carolina Hurricanes, myself included. His start to the season did not help matters as he was regularly a healthy scratch. The veteran offensive defenseman has turned everything around since being scratched and has been a strong leader on the Canes blue line.
When half of the team’s defense went down with injury, Corvo stepped up to play huge minutes with Justin Faulk. After his slow start, Corvo still has 10 points in 21 games, ranked second among Hurricanes defensemen. With the team’s relatively young defensive core, Corvo provides excellent veteran leadership the Canes will need if they make the playoffs.
Corvo had one of his best games of the season in the team’s 4-0 win over the Washington Capitals. He scored the first goal of the game joining the offensive rush at the perfect time. Although he is not known for his physicality, Corvo delivered an open ice hip check that would stun any player.
Kirk Muller has combined Corvo with his old defensive partner Tim Gleason. Their recent play together resembles the old chemistry they once had. With a plus-7, Corvo is also getting it done defensively and looks to be another outstanding offseason pick up by Jim Rutherford.
With Cam Ward out for a long time, the team needs their defense more than ever. If Corvo can continue his strong play and the other defenseman follow, they might just win the South East Division. It also doesn’t hurt to have Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin tearing it up on the first line.