Niemi brilliant, Sharks open road trip with shootout victory
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BOSTON – Sharks rookie Freddie Hamilton won’t get a chance to see his brother and Bruins defenseman Dougie on Wednesday night, as Boston is in Buffalo to face the lowly Sabres.
But, Brent Burns’ injury means the Hamilton brothers will almost certainly rendezvous on the TD Garden ice on Thursday night, when the Sharks visit the defending Eastern Conference champions.
“If we are, it’s going to be really cool,” Hamilton said on Wednesday, after the Sharks practiced for the second straight day at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. “It’s going to be cool for both of us, and our parents. We’re hoping. It’s definitely going to be a strange, but cool, experience.”
The 21-year-old Hamilton, a 2010 fifth round draft pick by the Sharks, made his NHL debut on Monday in Detroit. He saw nearly 13 minutes of ice time in the Sharks’ 1-0 shootout win.
“It was a lot of fun, and just a special experience. I’ve dreamt about playing my first game for awhile, and to be in Detroit which is a pretty cool place to have it, and [playing] with [Joe Thornton], and with my parents there, it was all pretty cool.”
He had one shot on goal, coming on a spin-o-rama shot from the circle that goalie Jimmy Howard turned aside midway in the third period of the scoreless tie.
“Just spur of the moment. I wasn’t really thinking, it just happened,” Hamilton said of the fancy shot.
The higher-profile Dougie Hamilton is actually a year younger than his brother Freddie. A six-foot-five, 212-pound blueliner, Dougie was chosen ninth overall by the Bruins in the 2011 draft. He had 16 points (5g, 11a) in 42 games as a rookie last season, and has one goal in five games with the Bruins this year. He was recently a healthy scratch for two games.
On Wednesday, Freddie was skating on the wing with Thornton and Tomas Hertl, in Burns’ spot, where he played against the Red Wings. Todd McLellan wouldn’t confirm that Hamilton would be in against Boston, but Burns was already ruled out, so it’s highly likely the brother vs. brother matchup will take place.
“We’ve always talked about it, just didn’t know what it would really be like. I guess we might get a chance to find out,” Hamilton said.