I drove 2hrs to London tonight to see McCarron's debut as a Knight. It would be my first shot to see the young giant play. My hopes were that he'd dominate, decimate and obliterate the opposition. What I saw didn't disappoint, but rather showed what looks to be like a talented hockey player whose getting to know how to use his size and skill.
His first period was decent and showed his play making abilities. He created the plays that lead to two of the Knights goals in the first period. No assists on the plays, but without his work those goals didn't happen. You could see he was a bit timid, not checking, and being somewhat out of place on the ice. Not in the wrong place, but not in the heat of it either.
Perhaps it was nerves, or his getting used to the tempo of the OHL ... and perhaps he was reminded that he's allowed to use his giant body while on the ice, but the second period saw him play a much more physical game. He hit a few people, threw some of his body around (the kind of plays where someone goes to hit him and they end up flying to the ground looking the worse) and yes.... he dropped the gloves and got into a fight. I had a tear in my eye (from allergies!!! Damn it!) . He didn't particularly dominate the fight, but he's in the right league to learn the craft.
The third kept pace with his play in the second. He was more aggressive with the body, and created chaos in front of the opposing net. Ok, so far so good buddy, but you have to score if you want to get the girls excited... and then he did. Again, my allergies flared up a bit... I don't know what's up with that... he was playing centre on that shift too, not his usual right wing.
Overall, not a bad start for a kid whose playing his first game outside the US system. His time in London will hopefully have a great impact on his skill as a player and further mature this giant boy into a dominant power forward for the Habs. It's going to be fun to see him get there.
His next stop is against the Guelph Storm on Sunday, and I plan on being there to see if tonight was a fluke, or if he can keep the pace.
My bet is that he'll do just fine.