NHL

Bergeron assists Caron;Veteran helps B's rookie adjust to NHL life

FOX Sports By RICH THOMPSON, The Boston Herald
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NEWARK, N.J. - Rookie winger Jordan Caron found himself with more than just an experienced linemate when he was paired with Patrice Bergeron during the Bruins' European adventure.

Caron lined up next to a seasoned pro who could serve as an invaluable mentor. The pair began the North American portion of the NHL season on the second line in last night's game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

In the second period, Caron notched career goal No. 1, beating future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur to tie the game at 1.

''Everyday being on the same line with him and working on the simple things like the (English) language, he helps me a lot,'' Caron said. ''He's been a great team leader and he really helps me a lot. I think we make a very good pair, and the Bruins like two-way players. He works really hard on both sides of the ice where he helps the defense.''

The commonalities between the two players, both physically and culturally, were obvious from the onset. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound Bergeron grew up in Quebec City and was 18 when the Bruins selected him in the second round of the 2003 draft. The 6-3, 204-pound Caron grew up in Sayabec, Quebec, and was 19 when the B's made him the 25th player taken in the 2009 draft.

Bergeron recognizes the background similarities. The center contends that Caron is further along in the process than he was going into the third NHL game of his rookie season.

''I think he has improved a lot throughout the whole camp where he got his confidence, and he's a great guy,'' Bergeron said. ''He's very down to earth and very mature for his age. He's handling himself really well and doing a great job. He's a lot better at English than I was back then, so it's pretty good that he's handling himself real well on and off the ice.

''I'm there to help him with a couple of things, but he's been doing pretty good on his own.''

Blake Wheeler and Caron were matched with Bergeron after the Bruins broke training camp and took off for Europe.

''He's there all the time now, so it's nice to have him around,'' Bergeron said. ''He doesn't try to do too much and he's always dead on, and it is good to hear from a guy like that.''

The Bergeron line didn't produce a point in the B's split with the Phoenix Coyotes last weekend in Prague, Czech Republic. But the linemates combined for 14 shots on goal, and Julien felt confident the Bergeron-led trio would produce following the team's final practice session for last night's game.

''They are big, strong guys,'' Julien said. ''When you have a line like that it wears the other team down as the game goes on. Both Wheeler and Jordan are very good on the boards. What can you say about Bergy? He'll dog the puck until he gets it every time.''

Tagged: Bruins, Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Caron

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