The defense for both teams seemed no existent, at least in the defensive zone and both goaltenders had more leaks than a house in Wilmington after hurricane season. Yet somehow, despite a truly entertaining game, the story of the night turned out to be about Justin Williams.
The Good - Defense Wins Championships?
There is an old adage that defense wins championships across multiple different sports and that may be true. But when you're the Carolina Hurricanes and you’re want to be different, you take an old adage and add a twist. The Hurricanes defense had an subpar night defending, but they managed to still win the game thanks to their offense.
The majority of Carolina’s goals last night came from defensemen which is pretty rare for a game that saw the team score five times. The defense helped the Canes comeback, attempt to give the game away, and then win the game in overtime. What a whirlwind of emotions.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled article at this point to let you know that Brian cut me off in our Slack channel right at this point in the story and said we will let the Justin Williams news lead the way instead of an ALN. So the story of how the Caniacs made Dougie Hamilton’s grandma proud will have to wait for another day.
Happy Justin Williams Day!
(Editor’s note: we’re going JW-heavy today, obviously, but come on - when you’re given the chance to use a headline of “Making Dougie Hamilton’s Grandma Proud,” you use it. So, Cody, please continue.)
After a five minute debate that included pleading from other staff members to not lose the headline Making Dougie Hamilton’s Grandma Proud, we will continue. But we will skip the bad and the great parts and just get straight to the point of the article.
The announcement that Justin Williams would be returning to the Hurricanes overshadowed just about everything on the ice from the game and rightfully so. The return of Mr. Game 7 is a big deal. But lost among everything is a story about how the Caniacs made Dougie Hamilton’s grandma proud.
After being traded twice in his still young career, Hamilton was labeled damaged goods by people around the league. Everyone has heard the museum quote and the misconception that Hamilton was a locker room cancer. Whether that be the case or not in his past career, one thing is certain: Dougie Hamilton has a home in Carolina. He is adored by the fans and known for his funny antics. From flossing on the ice, to talking on a banana phone, how anyone could not like this guy is unfathomable.
After scoring the game winning goal on a beautiful toe-drag goal last night, Hamilton was name the first star of the game and sat down for an interview with Mike Maniscalco. Before Maniscalco could even get a question out to Hamilton the chants filled PNC Arena with “Dougie Dougie Dougie” as they have so many times before.
Hamilton proceeded to say thank you to the Hurricanes fans, not for acknowledging his performance on the ice, but because he had talked to his grandmother earlier during the day and she told him she wanted to hear his name chanted throughout the arena. The Caniacs, known for their southern hospitality, unknowingly granted Grandma’s request surely making her smile wherever she was watching at.
Hamilton has been in the early Norris Trophy conversation for his play on the ice. But it’s his demeanor off the ice and in the community that makes him lovable. It’s clear he enjoys being here and still seems taken back when he hears the Caniacs chanting his name. It took getting traded to Carolina for Hamilton to truly find the right fit and find a home and with the utmost amount of southern hospitality, the Caniacs have welcome him with open arms.
So next time you are at a game and Dougie gets on the ice, remember how happy and proud it makes his Grandma when she hears his name chanted on the ice. Let out the loudest “Dougie Dougie Dougie” chant you can, for Grandma.
Moral of the Story
The Hurricanes found a way to win last night and that’s all that matters. It wasn’t pretty and the defense did their best to simultaneously lose and win the game. Thankfully the latter prevailed which gave us the headline news from last night. No, not the Justin Williams stuff, the proud Dougie Hamilton’s Grandma stuff.
Now back to your #14 stories because we know that’s all everyone is talking about today.