WILMINGTON, Mass. — Jordan Caron needed just two games to score his first NHL goal, but that’s nothing new for the Bruins rookie. He’s used to getting such milestones out of the way early.
His first goal of any kind came when he was too young to even remember it, but fortunately the feat was preserved on film.
“I have it on video, but I don’t really remember it,” said Caron. “I was only like 3 or 4, but I saw it a couple times on video.”
Caron’s memories of his first NHL strike, which came Saturday night in New Jersey, are a little sharper.
“It was great,” said Caron, who won’t turn 20 until Nov. 2. “I didn’t sleep much that night, but it was a great feeling.”
Caron didn’t need much sleep, as he already felt like he was dreaming after scoring his first goal on boyhood idol Martin Brodeur, the NHL’s all-time leader in wins (603) and shutouts (111).
“It’s a dream come true,” said Caron, a Sayabec, Quebec native. “He’s a great goalie, maybe one of the best ever. He’s from Montreal. We’re both French and I can remember watching him win the Stanley Cup a few years ago. I was 12 or 13 years old. To score my first goal on him, it’s a great feeling.”
Caron was still reveling in the goal after Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, but rest assured he’s not letting his early success go to his head.
“I don’t think it’s going to change much,” said Caron. “I need to keep playing hard. I want to score more than one. I want to keep going.”
Claude Julien is confident that Caron will have plenty more goals to celebrate, though the Bruins coach is more impressed with some of the other aspects of Caron’s game.
“I saw a couple of really good backchecks, one on [Ilya] Kovalchuk the other day that created a 2-on-1 and he came right back and picked him up,” said Julien. “He doesn’t seem to be afraid to battle against or be intimidated by or even in awe of elite players. He just goes out there and plays hard.”
Julien has remarked on Caron’s confidence and fearless approach throughout camp, and that hasn’t changed since he was inserted into the regular-season lineup in the team’s second game in Prague. Playing on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Blake Wheeler, Caron has been solid in both ends of the ice and is making it hard for Julien to take him out of the lineup again.
“I think he’s just out there playing his game,” said Julien. “I think with Bergie on his line and with the coaching staff really encouraging him to be himself and play his game has really helped him.”
A big part of Caron’s game is to create havoc in front, which he did for his goal as he banged home the rebound of a Johnny Boychuk shot from the top of the crease. Going into those areas means taking plenty of punishment from opposing defensemen, but that’s a price Caron is more than willing to pay.
“It’s not that bad,” said Caron. “It’s what I’m good at, [getting] in front of the net and screening the goalie. That’s what I do. It’s not that painful. For sure there’s going to be D that are hard to play against, but that’s what I like to do.”
Julien likes what he sees from both of his teenaged rookies, as Tyler Seguin also notched his first NHL goal in the club’s second game against Phoenix in Prague.
“We’re three games in and they each have a goal,” said Julien. “It’s nice to see those guys get that off their backs nice and early. Now they just have to play the game, and they’ve contributed in different ways, but they’ve both been pretty good and we’ve been pleased.”