So far so good for Bruins winger Jordan Caron as he remains prepared for the end of the NHL lockout by starring in the highest quality AHL competition since the last lockout eight years ago.
Caron potted his fourth goal of the season last weekend in Providences 6-3 loss to the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center, and leads the P-Bruins in goal-scoring with his four tallies. Caron has been particularly dangerous working with Chris Bourque on the power play, and that was the case for Saturday nights show of offense. The 21-year-old winger went straight to the net while Bourque dusted the puck at the right point, and then a brilliant cross-ice pass found Caron wide open on the backdoor.
I want to keep playing the same way. It was a good second-half of the NHL season for me last year and I want to build on that, said Caron. When the NHL starts I want to be ready. I dont want to take anything for granted and I want to be a part of that team.
It was a simple tap-in past Connecticut goaltender Cam Talbot, but it showed the kind of offense Caron is capable of at the minor league level. He clearly turned a corner in the final six weeks of last years NHL regular season when injuries created an opening for him in Boston, and the organization wants to continue to see that consistency in Providence.
They want to see the power forward-type that finished the final 20 games with 4 goals, 10 points and a plus-3 while breathing life into Boston's sputtering offense.
Hes getting his chances. On Friday night he could have had another hat trick when he got robbed on a couple of chances and hit a pipe, said P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. Hes got to play with pace to his game. When he doesnt play with pace and doesnt have his feet moving then he just looks slow.
But when hes moving his feet and it doesnt have to be 100-mph - then hes a good hockey player. He protects the puck low and gets his chances off the wing. I thought Opening Night he looked a little sluggish and Saturday night early he looked a little sluggish. But hes around the net and he gets his chances. He could have six goals right now instead of four. Its just our job to make sure hes playing with that pace.
The 6-foot-3, 204-pounder is tied with Max Sauve for fourth on Providence with 13 shots on goal in the teams first six games, and sits at a minus-3 as the P-Bruins attempt to grind their way back to the .500 level. So there are both flashes or brilliance and tasks for Caron to improve on while hes refining his game at the AHL level.
Its a key piece of his development and something that was missing over the last two years as he bounced between the AHL and NHL, and sometimes sat for weeks at a time in Boston playing behind a Stanley Cup-worthy roster.
Right now Im in Providence and thats where my focus is. Its a little bit different from the last couple of years where I was getting sent down to the AHL and stuff. Thats more difficult, said Caron. Right now I have to be here and Im just focused on that. I want to be more consistent offensively and do what I can every night.
I have a pretty simple style. I just want to continue to play that style and play good defense every night as well.
Caron is off to a good start in Providence, and that third line spot alongside Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly should be his if he keeps pushing the pace with the P-Bruins.