Zach Hamill hopes to make another good impression
|12.13.11 at 1:26 pm ET|
He’s no Gregory Campbell, but Zach Hamill is ready to step in and center the fourth line Tuesday against the Kings.
The B’s recalled Hamill Monday night from Providence, and as fans will remember, the former eighth overall pick impressed in his brief stint in Boston last month. He assisted a Jordan Caron goal while playing on the third line in place of the injured Rich Peverley against the Oilers, and even stayed in the lineup at the expense of Benoit Pouliot the following game.
This time around, Hamill figures to play on the fourth line, which enforcer Shawn Thornton dubbed the “Merlot Line” two seasons ago. It’s a tougher line that relies on a grind-it-out style and tries to throw as many pucks on net as possible. Hamill admitted Tuesday that he’ll have to adapt to their style a bit, but that he isn’t concerned.
“Yes and no,” Hamill said when asked whether being on the fourth line means he’ll need to ramp it up physically. “I go out there every night and try to compete. I’m not going to go out there and hit 15 guys. Go out there and compete on pucks, go to the net and be good in all three zones.”
This season, the last of Hamill’s deal with the B’s, has seen more bright spots than seasons past. He was drafted as a center in 2007 and played the position in Providence until this season, when he began playing as a wing primarily. He had 13 points in his first 16 games in Providence, and impressed in his two NHL games.
“I think I was coming in here in the start with an open mind, coming in here and trying to get better every day, and that’s what I’ve kind of been doing,” Hamill said of the strides he’s made this season. “I’ve still got that mindset. I’m not looking too far ahead and not looking back also. It’s kind of been just going forward and keeping my mind on myself.”
Hamill’s been getting a lot of work on special teams in Providence, being relied on when the opponent has a 5-on-3, and feeling that this season has made him a more complete player.
Said Hamill: “I feel like I can play on any line. If it’s a skill game or keeping it a more simple game, I think I can do that. I think my work ethic and my versatility kind of shows that I can do that.”
While it’s been a generally positive season for Hamill, he’s been quiet on the stat sheet of late. He has just one point, a goal, over his last nine games. All things considered, he feels good about his game and hopes he can continue to make a better impression than he may have in previous seasons.
“It’s been a little slower stat-wise [in recent games], but I think everywhere else, I’ve felt that I’ve been playing pretty good,” he said. “The chances are there. I’m shooting the puck more. I think my shots have been going up, so it’s been good. A lot of penalty-killing and getting out there and kind of playing situational roles.”