PHILADELPHIA – Completely overshadowed in the Bruins blowout win over the Flyers on Saturday afternoon was the return of young defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Boston lineup.
Hamilton didn’t figure in any of the six goals scored in Boston’s 6-1 stomping of Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center, but the 20-year-old played a strong 18:55 of ice time while starting the game in a pairing with Torey Krug.
The Bruins youngster switched partners throughout the game, but had six shot attempts and a pair of blocked shots in a solid game after missing the last four tilts with a mild concussion.
“I felt like I hadn’t really missed anything,” said Hamilton. “I felt good right away, and obviously the team played really well. It was a lot of fun to be a part of that game, and be back with the team.”
The B’s defenseman actually absorbed a couple of big hits as well, including a jarring exchange in the neutral zone that stood him up before he tripped up a Flyers player entering the Boston zone. Hamilton said he wasn’t really looking to take on any big hits in returning from his first career concussion, but it’s hard to imagine it didn’t add to his confidence level when he immediately shook the contact off.
“I’m just trying to be ready [for the big hits], and if I’m ready then I can kind of brace myself for it,” said Hamilton. “That’s what I was trying to do while keeping my head up, obviously. That will make things easier for me.”
Things looked pretty easy for Hamilton after recovering from his second injury this season, and now the youngster is looking forward to a long stretch of good health while continuing to develop his all-around defenseman game.