CSNNE.com describes how Zdeno Chara informed Blake Wheeler Monday after that he didn’t appreciate a cross-check on Dougie Hamilton, hammering the former B’s forward in the neutral zone with a textbook hit when the chance presented itself.
The message was clear: Don’t 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 doesn’t 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 I’m used to that with my brother protecting me, but it’s nice to have guys here do it.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked about the sequence on Tuesday morning after practice, and said the clear, simple “don’t mess with us” message is part of the Bruins way.
“More than anything else, that makes [the rookies] feel like they’re 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.
“It’s good for confidence and it’s great to know. If your teammates didn’t like you, it would be pretty obvious because they wouldn’t go out there to protect you. He’s already earned that respect.”