Caron pushing the pace as P-Bruins leading scorer


Caron pushing the pace as P-Bruins leading scorer

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.

Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

BOSTON – There was no late-night workout in New York City between the Boston Celtics and Josh Jackson.

There was no conversation between Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations and the Kansas University star, either.

And that made the decision by Boston to select Duke’s Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick a lot easier than some might have thought.

Following Thursday night’s NBA draft, Ainge spoke to the media on several topics which included him explaining the interaction – or lack thereof – between the Celtics organization and Jackson who was selected with the No. 4 pick by the Phoenix Suns.

When asked about his level of communication with Jackson, Ainge said, “never talked to Josh. No one in our organization did. I know someone wrote something that was different.”

That’s because in New York City on Wednesday, Jackson told a group of reporters that he had spoken with head coach Brad Stevens and other assistant coaches, but had not had a chance to talk with Ainge.

Despite the lack of communication with the Celtics, Jackson said he was still open to playing for Boston.

“It would be great to play in Boston,” Jackson told reporters on Wednesday. “I see a lot of their players on their team are about the same things I’m about. Anybody who knows me, knows I love to win. I see that in a lot of the guys on their team. I would love to play in Boston.”

Those were his words.

But his actions told an entirely different story.

Jackson said he didn’t work out for Boston because he and his agent didn’t think the Celtics were interested in him when they had the number one overall pick.

Once Boston traded the No. 1 overall pick for Philadelphia’s pick (No. 3) and a future first-round pick, Jackson said there was more interest on Boston’s part but there was not enough time to schedule a workout.

Boston's attempt at working out Jackson went horribly wrong. 

“They canceled a workout on us,” Ainge said. “When we flew out to Sacramento, they decided to cancel it; as we flew, Brad and I and (assistant GM and team counsel) Mike Zarren flew cross country.”

Although it was never said explicitly, Ainge had a feel for what was happening.

"There was something that he didn’t want to play for the Celtics,” Ainge said.

Ainge, who played for the Sacramento Kings (1989-1990), acknowledged he wasn’t thrilled to make the long trip and not get to see Jackson workout.

“I was mad,” Ainge said. “Flew cross-country. . . there’s nothing to do in Sacramento.”

Despite not having had a chance to speak with Jackson or getting to work him out, Ainge said the Celtics still had not ruled out drafting him.

“In spite of that, we watched Josh for two years and we were fans,” Ainge said. “He’s a terrific kid and a good player.”

Thomas (hip) feeling better, but still no determination on surgery

Thomas (hip) feeling better, but still no determination on surgery

BOSTON –  Brad Stevens said Isaiah Thomas (hip) is feeling better, but no decision has been made on whether the two-time All-Star will have surgery.

“He’s doing some rehab work out there with his people in Seattle,” Stevens told a pool reporter during Thursday night’s NBA draft. “He’s getting ready to host his Zeke-end (basketball tournament), which is a big deal for him.”

Thomas, who led all players in the Eastern Conference with a 28.9 points per game average, suffered a right hip injury in Boston’s second-round series against Washington but continued to play through it.

However, the injury only worsened and ultimately led to him being unable to return in the second half of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland which ended in five games.

Stevens said no decision has made yet as to whether Thomas will require surgery.

“He has his follow-up appointment here in a couple of weeks to determine next course of action,” Stevens said. “And nothing’s determined after that. He hasn’t done a lot, physically, and will be off his feet until that next appointment, or won’t be doing any basketball.”