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Hammer Time

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – It may not have been the result he was looking for, but in the battle of youth versus experience, Roman Hamrlik proved he’s still got a few tricks left up his 36-year-old sleeve.  

Taylor Hall was still in diapers when the Lightning drafted Hamrlik first-overall in 1992, and the seasoned Habs blue-liner made sure to put that wealth of experience to good use against the Oilers’ rookie. 
“Those young guys are really fast,” marvelled Hamrlik, who captured third-star status for his busy night’s work. “The more you play against Hall the more you see he has lots of speed, he has really good hands, he’s patient with the puck and he’s a heck of a player. It’s tough to defend against him so you really just have to keep him to the outside and try to block as many shots as possible.”
WATCH: Hamrlik's 600th career point.
The 6-foot-2 defenseman didn’t just keep one of the NHL’s brightest young stars off the scoresheet in his 21:10 minutes of ice time on Wednesday night; he also put up a few points of his own. After notching his 600th career point with an assist on Mathieu Darche’s second-period marker, he popped in a goal for No. 601 two minutes later. Like any good veteran, though, those weren’t the points he was most focused on after the game. 
“It’s a special number, but it would be nice if we had those two points to go with it,” he lamented after watching his team’s 3-1 lead slip away. “Looking back, I never thought I’d get to 600 points and I’m going to keep the puck as a good memory. It’s nice to have that [milestone] but I’m too disappointed that we lost the game. I think we gave them those two points.”
With 1,255 NHL games under his belt, Hamrlik knows you can’t win them all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from your mistakes.
“We started the first period pretty well with a power play goal but in the second I think we started playing selfish hockey and that’s not us. We’re not going to beat anyone if we play selfishly,” underlined the 16-year veteran. “We’ll take the lessons from this game and learn from them and we should be better next game.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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