The Boston Bruins weren’t perfect, but they were far from “bad” in beating the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, last night at TD Garden.
Dougie Hamilton on the other hand? Well, we don’t want to be mean, so let’s just say he was a bit further away from perfect than the majority of his teammates.
“I thought we were good; I thought I was bad,” Hamilton said, per the Boston Herald. “Everyone else played well and battled.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien concurred that his young d-man had a “tough night,” noting a few poor reads that led to odd-man rushes the other way.
“There were a couple of times he might have forced it (when) we didn’t have a forward coming back,” said Julien. “Normally Doug will read those plays better.”
Hamilton, 21, has always played under a pretty big spotlight; when you’re good enough to be a ninth overall draft pick, that’s the price you pay.
But that spotlight is even brighter now, given Johnny Boychuk’s departure to the Islanders, as well as the general consensus that Zdeno Chara’s minutes will need to be managed in order to keep the 37-year-old fresh for the playoffs.
Before the season started, Hamilton was feeling positive about his game.
“Physically I feel stronger, and with the skating I feel a little bit faster,” he said, per CSN New England. “I’m just more confident with the puck. I just need to keep improving that, and improving my D-zone [coverage] and my gaps.”
Like any young d-man, Hamilton is a work in progress. (Lest we forget where Chara was at the age of 21.)
Still, he knows he needs to be better, starting tonight in Detroit.