He was the last Bruins forward to make the team out of training camp and is only in the lineup because of an injury to Carl Soderberg, but after two games, Jordan Caron has arguably been one of the best Bruins thus far.
After an impressive showing in the Bruins 3-1 opening night win over the Tampa Bay Lightning where he was all over the ice using his body to create scoring chances and playing well in his own zone, Caron followed it up with another good game in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
“Yeah, he played well tonight” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien after the teams’ win on Saturday.
“Again, that’s two games in a row where he’s played well and with a little bit of a break he’d be leading us with a couple of goals by now.”
Caron scored his first of the season Saturday night after burying home a beautiful feed from line mate Riley Smith.
“It was a great pass” said Caron. “He really took his time in there and he could have shot it himself and he made a really smart play just to slide it back door. It was great pass.”
The goal should have been Caron’s second in as many games, but his goal Thursday night was waved off due to an early whistle.
Caron and line mate Chris Kelly have played with each other in the past as Caron has bounced between the AHL and NHL during his four-year professional career, but the addition of Smith—a gritty hardworking forward—has seemed to help Caron and Kelly as the chemistry between the three continues to grow.
Caron’s NHL career has been a tough one, there’s no secret about that, but last year was especially tough for the 22-year old Caron as injuries slowed down his season. Caron got his first taste of NHL playoff action, but he failed to register a point in two games.
“Last year yeah I think I had some playoff action in the NHL. I hate talking about last year, I think that was a tough season for me. But this summer I really wanted to turn the page and just work hard and forget about the injuries and everything that happened last year. I was just looking forward to a good season.”
One big issue Caron has had in his career has been his confidence. Caron has shown promise at times, but has never been able to build off a handful of good games. To Caron’s credit, he kept his confidence high during the summer and through camp, and that is something that has shown through two games.
“I talked to Don Sweeny at the end of last year and he told me to take the positive out of it even though it was a tough season. I went in to the summer with positive thinking and just worked on little things. Made sure I got in to camp in good shape and right now I think my skating is really good. I feel pretty good out there and that’s a good thing.”
Kelly talked about the confidence of Caron, and how he sees it through his eyes.
“I think he’s a little more confident which is great to see. I think last game, I thought it was a goal, but, you know, those things happen, but just the fact that he took the puck to the net and drove hard to the net and hit a couple chances tonight; it was good to see him score.”
The Bruins drafted Caron in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft where they liked Caron because he was a big guy who was good at getting his body, and the puck to the net, something Caron has shied away from throughout his career. But it seems like Caron has gotten back to what made him valuable to the Bruins, and so far, his change of style has worked very well.
“Well that’s what I like about him. We used to like his game; he was strong along the walls and he was very reliable at getting pucks out and being in good position but what we wanted him to do is what I talked about earlier. He does take pucks to the net now and he scores some goals because of that and I think that’s the biggest thing that we wanted him to do to bring a little bit more to the table.”
Two good games certainly doesn’t make a career, but it’s without a doubt a step in the right direction.