Is former Bruin and current Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s sometimes complacent and sneaky style of play really hurting his team and himself? Or has he simply found a way to be a passive agitator and willing to take whatever comes his way for the good of the team?
The fact Hamilton never fights back and plays a rather soft game clearly isn’t attractive to hockey fans, likely some of his Carolina teammates, like the those in Boston and Calgary, but from far away it does seem that Hamilton is at least prospering on the ice with seven points in 12 playoff games. He’s also using that passive aggressiveness to drive his opponents nuts, especially ones like his former teammate, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara in his team’s 5-2 loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
From rumors of not wanting to partake in a team bonding trip to an on-ice scuffle with Chara during practice and to reports of constantly displaying displeasure with his playing time or spot on the power play, it was simply never a good fit in Boston for Hamilton. Hamilton, who was selected ninth overall by the Bruins in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, is now on his second team since being traded by the Bruins at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, but it was clear on the ice in the Bruins’ 5-2 Game 1 win that there is still some bitterness between Hamilton his former mates, specifically Chara. What was also clear was that Hamilton was in Chara’s head after the game.
I’m not talking about that, no,” Chara replied angrily when asked if Hamilton was under his skin. “He didn’t,” he reemphasized.
The passive Hamilton played it off as just part of the game.
The read here is there aren’t many friendship feelings coming from Chara and those Bruins that played with him during his three seasons in The Hub Of Hockey. However, Hamilton looked as if he was trying to rekindle his friendships taking two third period penalties, the first of which led to Patrice Bergeron’s game-winning power-play goal at 2:56 of the final frame. Both calls were quite questionable and after the game, Hamilton was left wondering why playing the Bruins will forever be a nightmare from his questionable time here.
“Well, I just watched both of them, so I didn’t agree with either, so not much else to say,” Hamilton said after he and his teammates watched a 2-1 lead evaporate on two Bruins power play goals by Bergeron and Marcus Johansson in just 28 seconds. The game’s over now, and nothing we can do about it now. I think we were playing a, I guess, not bad game, but had the lead in the third and took some penalties and gave them the lead, so tough to come back from that.”
When asked if the penalties were a result of being undisciplined, Hamilton once again reiterated he didn’t think they were penalties.
I don’t think they were penalties, so neither,” Hamilton – who also said he got no explanation from the referees – repeated.
Hamilton already got under the skin of Capitals captain and 2018 Conn Smythe winner Alexander Ovechkin in the Hurricanes’ amazing seven-game upset of the Caps in the first round and Brock Nelson of the Islanders in the second round. Sure giving up on an icing call because he heard and briefly saw Alexander Ovechkin bearing down on him was disgraceful. Ovechkin took the gift turnover and fed it out in front for a goal. For the rest of the series though, Hamilton became that annoying pest that wouldn’t fight back when Ovechkin challenged him and was mocked by the Capitals captain, but he got the last laugh when his team pulled off the upset and beat the defending Stanley Cup champions.
In the second round, he did the same to Nelson who scored a goal and bumped Canes goalie Petr Mrazek. After the Canes swept the Isles, Hamilton gave Nelson a tap on the head in the handshake line.
Now, will Chara be Hamilton’s next victim of what seems to be a plan by Hamilton to rattle a key opponent regardless of what people think of his tactics? Chara and the Bruins may want to not take the bait from Hamilton and just move on from the past because even if Bruins mock him by serenading him with his name, Hamilton could care less.
— BOSHockeyNow (@BOSHockeyNow) May 10, 2019
Read More: Bruins Win Game 1; Power Past Hurricanes 5-2