COLUMBUS Jordan Caron is ready for another NHL close-up.
With Daniel Paille on the shelf due to a concussion, the 21-year-old Caron gets another extended look with the Bruins fourth line after stepping in for Paille when his nose was smashed up last month.
Caron managed to get warmed up with a spot start against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night when Tyler Seguin got served with a healthy scratch, and pointed to a pair of games with the Providence Bruins last week as a key to keeping him sharp. Both Caron and Steve Kampfer were shipped out to Providence last weekend to get in a couple of games after long stints as healthy scratches in Boston, and knocked the rust off.
The 6-foot-3, 204-pounder will man the left wing alongside Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, and will add a size and strength element that will give the Bs fourth line a different look. As always Caron is looking to make an impression and find a way into more playing time with a Bs team that appears locked within their day-to-day lineup and has been a beneficiary of good health Paille notwithstanding.
Every chance for me is huge. Ive got to make a statement out there and the games are very important to me, said Caron, who has three points in 12 games. Ive just got to make sure Im ready when I get the call.
With Paille in the fold, that line uses his speed as an effective weapon, but Carons ability to shoot and carry the puck to the net could provide a little more finish around the net.
I felt pretty good when I had to play here in Winnipeg, said Caron. Im just going to play my game and keep things simple. I throw pucks to the net. Thats what I do when Im in there. I played with Campbell and Thornton a few times before I got scratched and I thought I played pretty good."
Im trying to do the same thing tonight. You cant really get used to erratic playing time, but youve just got to make sure youre ready when you get the call. Those two games in Providence a week ago were pretty good for me. Because of them I didnt lose too much rhythm. The speed of the game and my reactions were there when I played.
Claude Julien said he didnt mind Carons game in Winnipeg and thats the Bs coachs way of saying he thought the young winger played a solid game. He was skating with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in Seguins place that evening, but his style of play meshes well up and down the forward lines.
Hes got a pretty strong, heavy game. He certainly doesnt have the speed that Dan has, but he has some really good puck skills, said Julien. Hes strong along the boards and things like that. I think hell be really good on that line.
With the Bruins riding a two-game losing streak, now would be a perfect time for Caron to make the kind of impression that helps lead the Bs to a win against the NHLs worst team this season.