It was a warm, fuzzy, family scene in the corner of the Saddledome ice on Saturday.
Dougie Hamilton and his brother Freddie — all happy after combining on a National Hockey League goal, the only one as it turned out for the Calgary Flames in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Never mind that it was the result of Freddie whiffing on a pass from Johnny Gaudreau, which sent the puck sliding by accident over to Dougie at the other side of the net, where he deposited it past Chicago keeper Scott Darling.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 27, 2016
When there’s not much good going on with your team as an awful season winds down, you look for good things to talk about.
“Those are good family moments today and I think they are going to get even better when they are older,” offered Flames head coach Bob Hartley, playing along with the media after his team’s 38th regular season defeat.
“It’s pretty special to score a goal when your brother gets an assist. They seem to have fun playing together, so it’s a good situation.”
Dougie & Freddie Hamilton are the first brothers in #Flames history to record a point on the same goal
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 27, 2016
Freddie Hamilton, who is older than Dougie by almost two years at 24, was recalled by the Flames earlier this month and scored his first Flames goal March 18 — shorthanded — against Colorado.
He was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche right before the start of the season, a side note following Dougie’s arrival on draft day when he was dealt by the Boston Bruins for a first and two second round picks.
The Hamiltons were last teammates with Niagara Falls in the Ontario Hockey League and this was their fourth game together in the NHL.
After struggling to fit in with his new team to start the season, Dougie has found his stride and the complaints of how the Flames wasted all those picks on a bum have ceased.
“Everything was new,” he explained in a scrum with reporters in January. “It’s the start of the season, you haven’t played in five months, new team, new teammates, new system, no chemistry, new city.
“It’s not really an excuse, you want to come in and play your best hockey right away, but it was a tough start for me personally and the team. It’s nice to have that behind us now.”
Freddie got his chance on the Flames’ top line on Saturday, playing with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He was plus-1 in just over 14 minutes of play and Hartley responded to questions about his game with a positive assessment.
“Freddie played OK,” he said. “It’s a big jump from the American Hockey League to playing with Johnny and Mony and being matched against Kane, Toews, and company. But I felt he did very well.”
The Hamilton from Hamilton and Gaudreau goal was the only feel-good story from the Flames standpoint on a night when another loss to a much better team was the result. It was a big goal, tying the contest 1-1, so it brought plenty of celebration.
“In junior there were a lot of those — Hamilton from Hamilton,” said Dougie. “We always enjoyed that so to do it in the NHL is pretty cool.”