Hamilton a believer in Bruins-Canadiens rivalry

Hamilton a believer in Bruins-Canadiens rivalry
March 4, 2013, 10:00 am
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Dougie Hamilton has been out since sustaining a "mild concussion" Jan. 11 vs. San Jose.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON -- Dougie Hamilton said prior to Sunday’s game that the rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens was just “all right” after getting a taste of the NHL feud during the teams' first meeting up at the Bell Centre.

“I thought it was all right. I kind of expected it to be better," said Hamilton before the game. "It’s so long ago now that I’ve always forgotten it now. I’m just looking forward to playing in front of our fans. For me it’s just another game against Montreal. It’s a rivalry for the teams and the intensity will be there, but there’s nobody that I have a feud against on Montreal."

The 19-year-old rookie was singing a different tune after Sunday night’s 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden after watching the hatred, flying fists and dirty tricks that were taking place all over the ice.

“It was funny because you guys talked about it [on Sunday] morning, so I think with our fans and them getting into it, it was I guess fun to play them and play them here,” said Hamilton, who finished with the goal and a plus-1 in 19:18 of ice time. “But it would have been a lot better if we could’ve held on in the third.”

Hamilton scored what appeared to be the game-winning goal midway through the second period when he showed superior hand/eye coordination in whacking a bouncing puck into the Montreal net.

The puck had ricocheted off a stick in front of the net after a Brad Marchand centering play, and Hamilton played the bounce like a stone-cold pro. Hamilton admitted that the Bruins coaching staff had actually warned him over the last couple of days about the risks of moving down that low in a 4-on-4 situation, but nobody will have a problem with it when he was in exactly the right spot to finish off a goal.

“It was a knuckle puck, so I just shot it,” said Hamilton matter-of-factly about his second career NHL goal.

The goal extends Hamilton’s team lead in points among from a defenseman with 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) in 19 games for the teenage rookie sensation, and gave him his first real taste of what the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry is all about.