NEW YORK, NY - No player likes to sit out. Ever. Whether a veteran, or a young player trying to carve himself a full-time role.
It happens on every team. We've seen it throughout the start to the Bruins' season, first with the defensemen rotating, then with Matt Bartkowski as a healthy scratch before stepping in with Adam McQuaid's lower-body injury.
Jordan Caron has been the 13th forward for the B's for most of 2013-14, sitting out eight straight games from October 13 to November 15, before getting into game action on Monday in Raleigh.
"He’s been working hard in practice and, and I think it was important to get him back in our lineup," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had said, on the decision to play the winger.
It was an opportunity for Caron to shake off the rust and pick up his confidence from a strong start to the season, filling in with Carl Soderberg injured.
In the B's 4-1 win over the Canes, Caron spent time in the third period up with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson.
"The coaches talk to me and make sure I’m ready every day and keep working on my game shape," Caron said postgame in Raleigh.
"I had a pretty good start this year and I just wanted to keep going. When they sat me, they told me it wasn’t about my game so I stayed positive and I knew I did a good job early on and I just wanted to stay positive and I knew my time was going to come."
"I don’t think it was a real big threat here [in Carolina] as far as having to rely on Thorny," Julien said. "But there’s a good chance you’ll see Thorny in the lineup again [against New York]."
"He’s been playing well, so it’s a back-to-back game, he just misses a day and not four or five. So to me, it was an easy decision for me to make."
As such, leave it to a veteran in Shawn Thornton to take it for what it is, and understand the circumstance, no matter how tough it is to sit out.
"I can’t stand watching hockey games but there was a lot of communication in this situation," said Thornton. "I was told I was playing good but we had to get Jordy into a game at some point."
"I’ve been that guy that’s been a healthy scratch for a significant amount of time and it’s not easy if you sit out a tremendous amount of time. Carolina was probably a chance that my other services might not have been needed as much and as good a time as any to get Jordy in a game."
"I’m hoping I’m back in the lineup [against New York] and if I am, I’ll go back out and try to play. [Claude] said I’ve been playing really good as of late so try and continue that if I’m back in."
Thornton has two goals, with 24 penalty minutes, and his Merlot Line with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell has felt that they're coming around after a slower start to the season.
"It’s been coming I think the last three or four games. I think it’s progressively getting better," said Thornton. "Piesy buries on one of his fifteen breakaways or one of those crossbars or posts I hit go in, then we’re a very productive line at this point in the season."
"Sometimes those bounces go in and sometimes they don’t, so we try to put more emphasis just on the way we’re playing. We’ve been getting a lot better of late."
"I think we’ve continued to sustain a little pressure in the offensive zone, we’ve been good about not getting pinned in our zone most times so I think we’re definitely trending in the right direction."
The "energy line" gets its identity from their sixth sense cycle game down low and ability to hem teams in on the forecheck.
Sitting in the press box in Raleigh gave the longtime Bruin and veteran winger an opportunity to see his linemates in action, from a different perspective.
"The game up top is always a lot different than the game at ice level, so I noticed that Piesy was absolutely flying last night," smiled Thornton.
"And I hope that continues tonight if I’m back in the lineup."