BOSTON — Dougie Hamilton, like other departed players before him, was treated to a chorus of boos from the TD Garden crowd every time he touched the puck in Tuesday night’s game, his first against his former Bruins teammates in Boston.
“I kinda liked (the boos), it kept me going,” Hamilton said after a 2-1 loss. “They’re obviously watching me out there. It means something to them. It’s just motivation for me.”
Hamilton isn’t having a great debut season for the Calgary Flames. The 22-year-old defenseman has tallied 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 63 games. That’s good for a 0.43 points per game average, a slight decrease from 2014-15.
Hamilton also isn’t producing offense at even strength as well as he did in his Bruins career, as seen in the War on Ice chart below.
Hamilton hasn’t been bad by any means. He’s still a legit top-four defenseman with great upside.
In fairness, the Flames as a team have struggled. They have the third-worst record in the NHL and aren’t going to make back-to-back playoff appearances, but there’s enough young talent to be excited about the future, and Hamilton certainly is part of that.
“We’re a young team, developing for the future and stuff,” Hamilton said. “You look at our core players, we’re all young players. Only getting better. We just have to keep developing as a team and keep improving and hopefully we can win a Cup one day.”
Going to a new team always is difficult, especially a Canadian franchise facing high expectations after a surprise run to the conference semifinals the season before. After an adjustment early in the season, Hamilton admitted he now feels more at home in Calgary.
“I enjoyed my time (in Boston) and I’m thankful for all the opportunities,” Hamilton said. “I developed a lot as a player in the three years I was here. Learned a lot and everything. Just thankful for them and the opportunities they gave me and everything. You just got to think of that stuff and move on.
“I’m happy being a Flame now, and it feels so far removed already. It doesn’t feel the same as earlier in the season when it was kind of fresher. I feel I’m more a part of the Flames now and I’m enjoying myself.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Mar 1, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Calgary Flames goalie Joni Ortio (37) makes a save in front of defenseman Dougie Hamilton (27) and Boston Bruins center Ryan Spooner (51) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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