WILMINGTON, Mass -- Dougie Hamilton won't deny he'd like to be playing more during his first Stanley Cup playoffs, but he's happy to at least be along for the ride. At this time last year, Hamilton was relaxing at home, watching the playoffs after his last season with the Niagara IceDogs. Now Hamilton is getting a front-row seat to what it takes to win the playoffs. Although he's played in only seven of the Bruins' 12 games thus far, he's soaking it in.
"It's been a good experience," said Hamilton, who has three postseason assists. "Obviously you want to be playing every game but I understand what's going on. I think I'm the youngest guy left in the playoffs right now and it's pretty nice to look at it that way. I think just watching is helping a lot too and I've been lucky to get some games in and I'm taking it all in as a good experience."
Hamilton is learning something new every day but what he's found to be most important is to just play his game and not try to do too much.
"It's been everything everyone said it would be and more," said Hamilton, who finished the regular season with 16 points in 42 games. "Especially at this point you have to bear down on the little things and it's about keeping it simple or waiting in your position and not pushing too much, just doing your job. It's been great watching it first-hand and I'm enjoying it too."
Another lesson that Hamilton is taking to heart is that he must remain even-keeled and not let games or not playing in some games affect his play or mental approach. The 19-year-old rookie has realized how quickly things can change game to game and how fast momentum can switch.
"You just need to move on from every game because every game really is different," Hamilton said. "You just watch the other playoff games too and you see the ups and downs or guys struggling and then turning it on. Series change so quickly and you need to roll with the ups and downs and play one game at a time."
Last Sunday Hamilton made sure to watch some of the Memorial Cup finals, as former Hockey Canada teammates at the World Junior Championships Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin helped lead the Halifax Mooseheads to the championship. It helped Hamilton realize just how far he has come in just over four months since he was playing with MacKinnon and Drouin for Canada in Russia this past January.
"I watched a little bit of the last game and saw my world junior teammates putting on a show," Hamilton said with a smile. "It's kind of cool to see that and then look back a bit and then see where I am now."