Coach’s Corner: Cherry defends Hurricanes’ Hamilton for Ovechkin play

The duo discussed the opening period for both the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. They also spoke on the use of the fourth line in big games and giving their insights on the series between the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes.

Dougie Hamilton took some heat over the weekend for a play he made – or didn’t make – during a Game 5 blowout loss to the Washington Capitals when the Carolina Hurricanes defenceman appeared to give up on a puck near his own net as Alex Ovechkin was bearing down.

The botched puck retrieval led directly to a Capitals goal and Hamilton was roasted for it online. But did he abort his mission because he heard footsteps, or was it more due to confusion over an icing call that had been waived off seconds prior? Don Cherry thinks it’s the latter.

“They think that he’s a coward here. He’s not,” Cherry said Tuesday during the first intermission of the Bruins-Leafs game. “He’s confused. He is not afraid of Ovechkin there. He is not. He thinks it’s icing. That’s the way I feel about it. When he looks back, Ovechkin’s coming and he is a horse, and he gets accused of being a coward. He’s not a coward at all. He just thought it would be icing.”

The Hurricanes lost that game 6-0 but evened the series up with a victory in Game 6 two nights later. At one point early during Game 6, Hamilton made sure to avoid Ovechkin yet again and the superstar mocked him for it.

Hamilton did his part by scoring a goal and an assist in the 5-2 win.

“I think he’s a good defenceman,” Cherry added.

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