By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Dougie Hamilton needed to be one of the Hurricanes' key players against the Bruins. This was his opportunity to shove it back in Boston's face after he decided he wanted out.
Through two games, he's gone entirely in the opposite direction.
Hamilton followed up an undisciplined, costly Game 1 letdown with another sloppy effort in Game 2 on Sunday at TD Garden against his former team. As part of the Hurricanes' top defensive pairing, he can't continue to clunk around like he did in the first two games if the Canes expect to make this a series when it heads to Raleigh.
Hamilton played 16:01 of 5-on-5 ice time, mainly against the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak. The trio had their way with him. The Bruins held a 6-3 shot attempt advantage with Bergeron on the ice against Hamilton, as well as a 6-2 edge for Marchand and 6-1 for Pastrnak. He's continually faltering in his own end and failing to make an impact offensively for the vastly inferior Hurricanes blue liners.
Bergeron assisted on the lone goal that the Hurricanes allowed with Hamilton on the ice. And Hamilton could be held at least partially responsible for it, failing to disrupt Bergeron's eye-popping centering feed. Then he completely lost his composure after Danton Heinen finished Bergeron's set-up to put the Bruins up 6-0 in the third. Hamilton decided to cross-check Heinen up high after he had clearly scored.
Heinen scores on a 2 on 1 with Bergeron, Hamilton hits Heinen after the goal pic.twitter.com/r2mRu2fkhM
— Heart of NHL (@HeartofNHL) May 12, 2019
The Bruins will not stop pic.twitter.com/lpdnKhxV6S
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 12, 2019
This was the culmination of a frustrating afternoon for Hamilton, who basically got bullied by the entire arena. Fans showered Hamilton with taunting "Doooooug-ieeeeee" chants just seconds into the game, and brought it back whenever the defenseman made a mistake on the ice.
Like when he fanned on a shot attempt then toppled to the ice.
Dougie Hamilton falls all over himself to the delight of the TD Garden crowd pic.twitter.com/ucoOw6IKdn
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) May 12, 2019
We'll see if Player Safety decides to look at Hamilton's cross-check to Heinen after the goal. He might get off since he ostensibly didn't injure Heinen in the incident.
"Yeah, I didn’t really know what happened," Heinen said after the game when asked about the Hamilton hit. "It was just kind of a dog pile. I haven’t really seen it."
But at this point, a suspension for Hamilton might be a show of mercy from the league. He's having a bad enough time actually being out there on the ice. If the series even does come back to Boston, it's not going to get any easier for him with the way the crowd is reacting.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].