Hamilton appreciates Chara's protection

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Hamilton appreciates Chara's protection

The Bruins have a long, storied tradition of sticking up for each other when emotions get a little testy on the ice. It was one of the hallmarks of the club that won the Stanley Cup two years ago.

So its not surprising that Zdeno Chara set that tone again on Monday afternoon as the captain has done so many times. Blake Wheeler threw his 6-foot-5 frame into 19-year-old rookie Dougie Hamilton during the rooks first game skating with the 6-foot-9 Chara, and apparently did it a little too late and with a little too much oomph.

Knowing Wheeler from his Boston days, the chippy play was a little eyebrow-raising.

He wasnt known an overly physical player when he was here, but he was a good skater, admitted Claude Julien.

So Chara informed Wheeler that he didn't appreciate the cross-check on Hamilton, hammering the former Bs forward in the neutral zone with a textbook hit when the chance presented itself.

The message was clear: Dont mess with Dougie.

Needless to say the 19-year-old appreciated it in only his second NHL game, and his first skating game alongside Chara with Dennis Seidenberg out because of a lower-body injury.

"It was unreal," Hamilton said. "I think he doesnt have to do that for me, but he came over and gave the guy a cross check. Then Blake Wheeler was coming down on him and he laid him out pretty good. I saw that and I was laughing on the ice and instant smile, so I guess Im used to that with my brother protecting me, but its nice to have guys here do it."

Hamilton was speaking of his older brother Freddie, a forward in the San Jose Sharks organization currently playing in Worcester, who goes about 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds on his good days. Dougies new protector is a lot bigger.

Julien was asked about the sequence on Tuesday morning after practice, and said the clear, simple dont mess with us message is part of the Bruins way.

More than anything else, that makes the rookies feel like theyre appreciated, said Julien, who remarked that the ultra-talented Hamilton is certainly living up to expectations after two games. It says that 'Z', who Hamilton idolizes to start with, has got him under his wing and is going to protect.

Its good for confidence and its great to know. If your teammates didnt like you, it would be pretty obvious because they wouldnt go out there to protect you. Hes already earned that respect.

It would appear very clear that Hamilton is already liked, respected and protected as a member of the Bruins.

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 

 

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.