Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: dougie hamilton
Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton has been keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In his latest installment, he talks about the team’s recent struggles, injuries on the team, and how the trade deadline affected him. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)
A lot of unlucky things happened to us over the past month. I don’t think our game slipped too much from how well we played in January. I thought we were working hard but just couldn’t get bounces to go our way in games. Hopefully now in March, we can move forward and get back to our winning ways.
One area we’ve worked on is our power play. It’s a little bit different now. We have two different units, same guys but in different positions. It’s improved a lot and we’ve scored a couple of goals with the unit I play on, and the other unit has scored some goals too. We need our power play to do well in order for our team to be successful.
We’re moving in the right direction. There is more of a complete effort in the games. We have to keep working hard. We know there is only a little over 20 games left and there are teams behind us who are pushing us. We have to make sure we are focused on every game.
The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa spends quite a bit of his Sunday notebook discussing the Toronto Maple Leafs' mess and their need to rebuild around Phil Kessel--a little contrary to the "wisdom" coming out of Toronto these days (and I'm sorry, Leaf fans, Kessel has all the social graces of a perpetually angry 5-year-old, but he's the best player you've got)--but I do believe that he's the first person to make this suggestion:
There is no secret to playing the Bruins. Opponents have identified that panic sets in if they forecheck aggressively and get in the Bruins’ faces. On defense, the Bruins don’t have the personnel to retrieve pucks quickly and shuttle them forward before they’re picking the backs of their heads out of the glass.
The Bruins are indeed slow-footed if they're not the ones smashing their opponents on the forecheck.
Of their regular six-pack, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug are the best at moving the puck. When he’s not skittish, Matt Bartkowski does the job, too. But it’s too easy for other teams to slam down hard, eliminate the D-to-D pass, and hound the Bruins below the dots. No club can succeed when it’s under assault behind the goal line.
By next season, Joe Morrow might be ready for full-time NHL work. He’s not enough. The Bruins need at least one more defenseman who can move the puck with poise.
With Arizona rebuilding, GM Don Maloney is listening on everyone, including Keith Yandle. The Bruins would have to send Krug the other way, along with maybe another young roster player, a pick, and a prospect. They’d also have to clear out cash. Neither is easy to do.
Shinzawa continues, and as this is KK hockey, I (George) will refrain from adding a .gif of someone raising a middle finger regarding Mr. Shinzawa's "good on the NHL for fining Gustav Nyquist" line.
The second infraction was a dive, but the first wasn't--and I think it's pretty pathetic that the NHL's far more concerned with having its referees determine if a player's embellishing than, you know, calling the obstruction, interference, moving picks, tackles, seals and sit-on-him moves that have become commonplace again in a clutchier, grabbier NHL than we've seen since the 04-05 season mercifully ended with Calgary unable to all but literally rope down John Tortorella's Lightning.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Consider: Hamilton leads all Bruins this season in average ice time with 22:29 per game. In the four games that Chara has been absent the Black-and-Gold production line, Hamilton has clocked an average of 24:40, a stout 5:34 more than what the former first-round draft pick (No. 9 overall, 2011) averaged all last season. The gangly, wide-eyed, slick-skating Hamilton is no longer the wunderkind in waiting, but rather an essential element to the Bruins remaining among the league’s elite franchises.
“I think you are going to see someone who probably recognizes that he can rush the puck because of his size and skating ability — he can rush it at will,’’ said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, pondering what could be Hamilton’s career trajectory. “Because of his sense for the game, he will be able to pick his spots, a guy who can control the puck.’’
Such commodities are rare in today’s game. The Bruins haven’t had a true wheeler-dealer with the puck since Ray Bourque’s days, which came to a bittersweet end on Causeway in March 2000. Hamilton doesn’t have Bourque’s bulky build or his breadth of game, but he has a growing command of skating and puck-moving skills that he’ll now have to augment with stout defense during Chara’s 4-6-week absence.
The last few dinosaurs of the stand-up goaltending technique--30-something-and-up goalies like myself--fondly remember goaltenders like Bob Essensa as pioneeers, and as cautionary reminders that relying on the same technique all the time was nothing less than dangerous.
In an era when goaltenders stayed on their feet until shots came their way, Essensa offered a unique alternative to trying to look OVER your opponents when screened. Instead of poking his head over traffic, he'd crouch down to the point that his entire torso and head were parallel to his thighs, looking through players' elbows and even around their butts to find the puck.
Andi Petrillo of Hockey Night in Canada with a nice feature on the parents of Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton last night.