Re: Dougie Hamilton--- Impressed yet?
posted at 2/3/2014 1:05 PM EST
In response to JWensink's comment:
Many times fans think physical play is all about making big hits or dropping the gloves. Way more important is how physically you compete. That was always my complaint about Seguin. I could care less if Hamilton ever green lights somebody or gets in a fight. But there is a concern about his battle level. Finesse and skill are good traits for anyone to own, especially if you're a big Dman. But there comes a point when you have got to have an element of desperation to your game. It is painfully obvious to me anyway that this kids personality and demeanor are a little troubling, because they reflect his on ice persona. Punish people on the wall, or destroy somebody with a big check? Nice to have, but not the only way to be effective. Wanting the puck more than the other guy, and be willing to do whatever is necessary to get it - yes. Protect the front of the net with physicality - yes. Cross the line once in a while in a puck battle - yes. Get involved in a scrum- yes. It's emotion that's needed for those things, and Hamilton's emotions seem to be on the timid side for me, and it's written all over his face. Not exactly the alpha male type, and that really doesn't change if it's not in you from the start. That's what bothers me about his future with this team.
You and I have always agreed on this part. I don't think it will be a problem with Hamilton, not because I think you'll see him venture into that Pronger-like territory you describe here but because I think he's the kind of player who reads the game so well, he doesn't have many desperate battles. He's just in control, the way Ray Bourque was so often? Or, looked at from the reverse angle - he's the opposite of Boychuk. Boychuk's not a rocket scientist, and at least once or twice a game, the puck's in his corner and he's a whirl of stick, elbows, shoulders, hips, head ... you're waiting to hear Wab! Wuh! Woo! Wha! Thhpb! Wa!. Boychuk is the current king of desperate on the Bruin D.
Personality wise, he seems like a bit of a shy kid. We forget, because it seems like ages ago that they drafted him, then sent him back to Jr., that he's still the youngest guy to play a game for them this year despite all of the rookies and call-ups they've had. Spooner is a year and a half older. Smith is more than two years older, and Marchand more than 5. On that front, I'd say Bergeron might be a comparable - unilingual francophone who worked his tail off, kept his head down, and developed into the kind of player you really want - always working, always using his body even if he's not throwing hits the way he did pre-concussion. I'm happy if Hamilton follows that path.
Of course, ditching that "-ie" would go a long way.