Caron struggling for P-Bruins in lead role

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Caron struggling for P-Bruins in lead role

PROVIDENCE, RI There were high hopes for Jordan Caron asthe most notable member of last years Boston Bruins team finding haven in theAHL with the P-Bruins during the NHL lockout. Caron started off strong withfour goals in his first six games including a hat trick against the ManchesterMonarchs, but its been a struggle for the 2009 first-round pick over the lastfew months.

Caron has gone scoreless in his last seven games and has onlyone goal scored in his last 19 games with Providence while routinely skatingwith AHL skill players like Chris Bourque, Ryan Spooner and Jamie Tardif. Thestruggles continued on Sunday in Providences 4-0 loss to the St. JohnsIceCaps as Caron was saddled with three minor penalties, including ahigh-sticking call in the first period that led directly to the IceCaps secondgoal.

The 22-year-old finished with three shots on net,but he didnt seem to have his best skating legs while playing his third game inthree days. Its been important to the NHL coaching staff to see Caron use his 6-foot-2,200-pound frame in front of the net and up his physical play in all zones, butthere was little of that on Sunday aside from the actions leading to elbowing,high-sticking and holding calls on the ice.

Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted followingSundays loss that Caron has been struggling a bit as of late, and he certainlywants to be playing his best hockey if the NHL suddenly starts up in the nextfew weeks.

He hasnt scored a point in a while for a guy that playson the power play and plays up in the lineup, said Cassidy. Its a concernfor everybody. At some point something good has to happen for him. Hes hadnights where the puck has been following him and he hasnt been able to buryit.

Its the American Hockey League, and if you want to get outof here then you have to produce . . . unless youve got a spot waiting for you. Imnot management in Boston, so I dont know. But for most guys youve got to finda way to get it done. Hes probably in that boat along with everybody else.

Nobody is looking for Caron to become the AHLs leadingscorer or to put any dazzle into his blue collar game a game that the Bruinsappreciate for his strength on the puck and solid work along the boards but theresalso going to be some hot competition for the wing spot on the third line. RyanSpooner has shown that hes capable offensively in his first extended AHLaction, and Bourque leads all P-Bruins scorers with 20 points while showing thekind of poise necessary for the NHL.

If Caron hopes to keep a strangle-hold on that NHL job,turning on his A game at the AHL level should be a priority. Theres no doubt now is as good atime as any for Caron to snap out of the personal AHL dry spell thats beenkeeping him down.

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way. 

Florio on issues NFL may face with Raiders in Las Vegas

Florio on issues NFL may face with Raiders in Las Vegas

Mike Florio joins Quick Slants to discuss the problems of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and the latest NFL rule changes.