Taylor Hall was all over Edmonton media yesterday talking to both Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED and Jason Gregor of TSN 1260. The dynamic winger has been getting better all season, with the 80 point plateau an almost certain lock. It’ll be the first time since–get this–DOUG WEIGHT! Regardless. the spirited first round draft pick has proven to be a great selection, with a more complete game evolving from Hall. and a vault into the seventh position in league scoring. He’s dangerous and he makes everyone else better.
He’s been named first star of the week as well in the NHL, after scoring nine points in four games. Along the way, he has his boosted his fellow linemates, who have continued to rack up points beside him. Both Jordan Eberle and David Perron are tied for the Oilers goal scoring lead with Hall, with the potential for the team to have three 30 goal scorers, with all of them in lockstep at 27 goals.
Blame it on his droopy eyelids, but Eberle sometimes seems unengaged on the ice, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins checks out from time to time. But Hall? He’s on it every shift, and its infectious. In the latter part of this lost season, those players have elevated their energy, creativity and production. I think it is the fire of Taylor Hall that is revealing this promising end to a season that started so badly, burning away the chaff that was left by the awful goaltending of Jason LaBarbera and Devan Dubnyk, now both in the minors.
Now, heading into next season, Hall and company will have the same coach for the first time, something that will allow the Oilers some continuity, a lacking quality during this rebuild. In his interview with Jason Gregor on TSN 1260 he said the following:
“I know for myself personally I’m really looking forward to going into a year where you don’t have that awkward first handshake at training camp. You know what the coach is going to be like, you understand each other and most of all you understand the system that he’s going to employ. We’re going to have the majority of our team back and to have the same coach is going to be great.”
Yes, yes it is.