Boston Bruins forward Jordan Caron is on Twitter. If he searches for his name or checks his mentions on a regular basis, he’d probably find some words that might bruise his ego.
The young winger is far from a Boston fan favorite — just ask this lady. It’s not that Caron is a bad NHL player. He just doesn’t do a whole lot to excite people. So when Caron was inserted into Boston’s Stanley Cup playoff lineup because of injuries, some over-the-top Bruins fans shuddered at what might be on the way.
However, Caron has been solid through the Bruins’ first three playoff games, and he was rewarded for that Tuesday night when he scored the second of three Bruins goals in their 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The goal was Caron’s first career postseason point and just his third NHL goal since the start of the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
“I actually looked at the ref to make sure that one was in before I (celebrated),” Caron told reporters after the game. “It felt pretty good to see the light go on and everything.”
The feeling probably was made even better with how things have gone for him this season. Caron entered the season as the Bruins’ 13th forward, meaning playing time would be hard to come by, but he ended up appearing in 35 games with just one goal and two assists.
“They told me at the start of the season I was going to be the 13th forward,” Caron said. “I knew what to expect and kept working hard all year. Right now getting the chance to play in the playoffs is pretty exciting, and I’m really happy to be playing right now.”
Caron put himself in the right place at the right time Tuesday night in the first period as he buried a second-chance opportunity after collecting the rebound on a Shawn Thornton shot. That all came a short while after Caron helped set the tone by mixing it up with Justin Abdelkader as part of a noticeable uptick in physical play from the winger.
That work all over the ice is being noticed.
“He’s worked hard all year,” Thornton told reporters. “Being in and out of the lineup is never easy; I’ve been there. He’s played very, well for us. I think he’s been a good fit on our line. He’s battled hard. He’s getting pucks to the net, getting to the net, finishing a lot of checks and creating energy. It’s been fun to play with him.”
Caron’s status as the playoffs progress is up in the air. As soon as Daniel Paille or Chris Kelly recover from their respective injuries, Caron could be the first player out of the lineup. But for at least one night, Caron got to be one of the Bruins’ heroes.
That probably should make the animosity go away for a day or two.