Joe will give it a go vs. Avs

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Joe Corvo is ready to go.

The Senators defenceman hasn't fully healed from the broken foot he suffered in the pre-season, but he's strong enough to make his debut tonight against Colorado at Scotiabank Place.

Corvo, signed as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, broke his foot blocking a shot by Buffalo's Ales Kotalik on Sept. 22 against the Sabres.

Corvo, who will earn $2.62 million US this season, started skating with the club last Saturday in Montreal and informed coach Bryan Murray before practice yesterday that he would be ready to play against the Avalanche.

"I feel better," said Corvo following Ottawa's one-hour workout. "I'm not 100%, but I spoke with (athletic therapist Gerry Townend) and he told me things like this can take a while to get to back to 100%. I'm not going to be at any more risk by returning to the lineup.

"It feels good. I was hoping I would be a fast healer. I made sure I did everything they told me I had to do. I never missed an icing session or a workout during this whole time. I wanted to get back as quickly as possible, so I knew I wasn't going to be able to cut any corners. I feel good that I'm able to get back in four weeks (after the injury) because it could have been longer."

Corvo isn't going to be given a limited role by Murray, either. He will be paired with Chris Phillips for most of the game, but will also have a key role on the club's struggling power play.

He was used on the No. 1 unit with Wade Redden, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley during practice yesterday. That's good news with the club just 1-for-30 in the first five games of the regular season.

"You would think he's going to help," said Spezza. "The big thing for him is he's going to be able to get that big shot from the point and what we've got to make sure we do is get traffic in front (of the net) for the rebound. We just need to get some goals to get some confidence. I don't think we're going to be 4% on the power play all year. I know we have more talent than that. We just need to get it rolling."

Corvo shares Spezza's opinion.

"I really think we just need to get a goal," said Corvo. "Once we get a goal, the puck is going to start going in for us. When you aren't scoring, you start pressing a bit and that's a lot of what I've seen when I've been watching. When you press, you start trying to do too much and we've just got to try to make the simple play to get a goal."

MOVE COMING: With Corvo returning to the lineup, the Senators will likely make a roster move in the next couple of days. "That's something I haven't had a chance to discuss with (GM) John Muckler," said Senators Murray. "As a coach, with a couple of guys hurt, you would like to keep a couple of extra players around so you have somebody here in case you need them to step in. But I completely understand (with the salary cap) and I'm going to have to discuss with (Muckler) what kind of approach we're going to take." Usually, keeping 22 players around isn't an issue, but with the salary cap in place that's not the case anymore. Rugged RW Brian McGrattan and D Christoph Schubert will both be healthy scratches against the Avs, but neither is a candidate to be sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton. The club has three options with LW Denis Hamel, C Alexei Kaigorodov and RW Patrick Eaves all on two-way contracts. Since Eaves scored 20 goals last season, he's not going anywhere. The Senators have been keeping Kaigorodov, 23, the Russian rookie, around because they want him to get a true feel of life in the NHL, which means Hamel is the No. 1 candidate to be demoted. He has one goal in five games and will have to continue scoring if he's going to stay -- especially since he's being used on the third line with Dean McAmmond and Chris Neil.


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