Those waiting for Jordan Caron to cool down might have to take a number and start grabbing for the nearest Snickers bar.
It looks like the 21-year-old Bruins winger wont be going anywhere for a while after another solid, strong performance in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Claude Julien raised an eyebrow or two when he trotted Brian Rolston out with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand for that lines first shift of the game, but Caron was quickly back skating on the right side with Bergeron and Marchand.
Bergeron was clearly on a mission carrying defenders in the offensive zone, winning key face-offs and holding off Washingtons best offensive forwards.
But Caron was right there alongside his fellow Quebec native.
Its just more confidence, and obviously a bit more playing time I think thats huge. When you feel you have the confidence of everybody, I think it gets you going and you feel more comfortable out there, said Caron. Right now its good, but we came up short a
little bit against Washington. Obviously were going to have a tough challenge tomorrow, so were going to have to bounce back and be ready to battle.
It was Caron that started the Bruins game-tying goal in the second period when he used his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame like a battering ram, and caused a Washington turnover when he rushed Alex Ovechkin.
The Russian sniper quickly threw the puck back toward the defensive zone as Caron slammed into him in between the two benches along the side boards, and that allowed Marchand to turn it into a partial breakaway.
Marchand made a quick move with his hands that faked out Tomas Vokoun and gave the Bs agitator a five-hole target to shoot at, but make no mistake: that play was started by a physical Caron without the assist to show for it in the scoresheet.
Jordan made a great play to force Ovechkin and make him throw the puck away. It kind of bounced of the defensemans shin pad in open ice. I went in, tried to make a move, the five-hole opened up and I slid it in, said Marchand. Caron is playing really well right now.
He works very hard. Hes a big body and he controls the puck very well down by the net.
He seems to have a little confidence right now and we can feed off of that. We enjoy playing against the big lines and trying to shut them down. Caron is good defensively and he comes back hard and hes good positionally so he definitely contributes to the line.
The winger finally did extend his point streak to four games when he fired a shot at the net in the third period that turned into second-chance attempts for both Marchand and Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk finished things off for Bostons third goal, and gave Caron an assist for his seventh point in the last four games.
So the 2008 former first round pick, brimming with newfound confidence, continues to show all of the attributes that made him a top prospect and appears to have found a home among the top six forwards on the Bruins.
Eventually Julien settled on Rolston with Chris Kelly and rookie Lane MacDermid, and the top three line combos allowed Julien to match Bergeron, Marchand and Caron against Alex Ovechkin whenever his line headed to the ice. Caron was basically lined up against Ovechkin throughout the night, and the rookie helped keep Ovie quiet.
I thought Caron did a great job. He was lined up against Alex Ovechkin. Certainly we needed our third line as well to be good for us tonight. We moved up Lane MacDermid with Rolly Brian Rolston and Kellysome experience there, said Claude Julien. We did the best we could with our lineup and as far as Im concerned, I thought Caron did a good job. Hes a big enough body. When Ovechkin challenged him physically he was up to the task.
With Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley still out of the lineup -- and Horton just now resuming light activity without any timetable in place to get out on the ice the Bruins needed somebody to develop into an effective winger on the right side. While many thought it would be Rolston after the trade that brought him back into the Boston fold, its been Caron after a two-year apprenticeship with the Bruins thats given the youngster a world class hockey education.
As some point things were going to click in for Caron physically and offensively, and it appears that both are coinciding at exactly the right time for a young player looking to land himself a permanent spot in Boston. Caron still isnt quite there yet, but the prospects of a
roster spot being open to him on a stacked playoff squad have become much brighter in the last two weeks.