Corvo too honest?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Senators coach Bryan Murray and defenceman Joe Corvo are going to sit down and have a heart-to-heart chat.

Corvo, who was signed to a four-year, $10.5-million contract as an unrestricted free agent by the Senators, raised eyebrows Monday when he made comments to the media about lacking confidence.

Beaten by Atlanta's Slava Kozlov in a 3-2 OT loss at Scotiabank Place, Corvo is concerned about his defensive play and even jokingly declared yesterday perhaps he should be moved to forward.

GOOD DEFENSIVELY

"I'm just trying to get my complete game together. Defensively, it's always in the back of my mind," said Corvo, a minus-11. "I've never struggled this bad defensively. I've always looked at myself as a good defensive player. I'm disappointed. I might be getting moved to forward because I'm playing so bad defensively. But I have to move back to square one and just go from there."

Murray said he didn't like Corvo taking the loss so hard and blaming himself.

"He's down on himself and you're always a little surprised when a player admits to lacking confidence publicly," said Murray. "But, I think early on, he was put in a spot where he was in the top couple on our hockey team and he got burned a few times.

"It's obviously caught up to him. We will talk to him about it. Mistakes are part of hockey. You can be a good player and you make a brutal play and cost your team in a given situation, but you have to have the ability to bounce back and play. I've seen it happen to a number of players and you can't beat yourself up over it. You've got to recover and you've got to get back to playing the way you can play."

Corvo said he was just being honest with the media and isn't the type of person who can hide his feelings.

"Guys are kind of programmed to say robotic responses and kind of boring," said Corvo.

"I don't think I'm the first one that's been honest."

Murray said he just needs to make sure Corvo is focused so he can help the team win.

"You just want a story. I want a performer. That's the difference," added Murray. "Yes, that's a concern when a player beats himself up. I've had lots of players come into my office over the years and talk about their inability to play a certain way. But you can't beat yourself up to the world.

"You've got to handle that a little bit and try to put some stuff aside. Part of our job is to make sure that mentally they're prepared to play."

WORKING THE ZEBRAS: Murray said it's important for him to speak with the officials to make sure they're held accountable. He was incensed during games against Toronto and Atlanta because he felt there were questionable calls. "I'm looking for them to make calls that are there," said Murray. "For instance, the two obvious ones last night where Chris Kelly got high-sticked. He got cut both times. They tell me the four officials didn't see it. I think I'd be remiss if I didn't point out on behalf of our players that we're looking for them to be consistent." Murray said the officials need to know if they've missed a call. "We get judged all the time. Players get judged all the time," said Murray. "Officials are supposed to have the same accountability as us and that's all I was looking for from them. I want a response from them. I want the players to know I am going to bat for them and I want the officials to know we're paying attention."

HONOUR FOR EMERY: Senators G Ray Emery was named the NHL's first star of the week yesterday. Emery, who will start tonight against the Sabres, had a 0.66 GAA, a .997 save-percentage and led the club to three straight victories last week. "It's definitely something nice for myself and for the team," said Emery. He is a top candidate to be named to the East all-star team that will take on the West in Dallas on Jan. 23-24.


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