Edmonton Oilers Hall Commencing Beast Mode


The Edmonton Oilers are trending upward after two straight games of solid performance and successful results. A major part of that success ties into the elevated play of Taylor Hall. He is playing exactly like a top winger in the NHL should.

Sportsnet Columnist Mark Spector said, “Taylor Hall was Connor McDavid in 2010“. The weight of the entire hockey world including his team was strapped to his shoulders at the raw age of 18 years old. He was expected to be the saviour of a horrendous Oilers organization that was down in the dumpsters like no other. I believe too much pressure early on in Hall’s career has caused him to feel overwhelmed at times, thus effecting his ability to perform at a high level on a consistent basis.

Having said that, he has done quite well considering the negative factors he has dealt with. Injuries have plagued him since he first stepped into the league. He has played for five different coaches with different systems in his 6 year career. Bringing in a new coach almost every season can be hard for a players morale and their ability to adapt. Having to learn a new system every year is challenging and the team itself will struggle because they are trying to get used to it.  The supporting cast behind Hall has also never been good enough to offer enough support for the team superstar.

If I ever here someone say Tyler Seguin is better than Taylor Hall and the Oilers should have taken him first overall in 2010 instead, I just might lose my mind. Hall has played on arguably the worst team of the last decade, while Seguin had the chance to step into the league playing for a powerhouse, Stanley cup contending Boston Bruins. Now, after being traded, Seguin is playing with the likes of Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp and Art Ross Trophy winner Jamie Benn on a strong playoff contending team in Dallas.

Hall never had the support and quality players to play with like Seguin has. Not to mention the fact that Hall has been a very productive, offensive forward on a terrible team and was ranked in the top 50 players in the NHL by TSN in 2013. Hall has 267 points in 305 career games while Seguin has 290 points in 359 career games. Both players stats are quite similar and considering Hall has played 54 less games than Seguin, i’d say they are pretty much neck and neck. Hall obviously has more to prove at this point. Seguin has played on winning teams, Hall has been on a losing team. See the difference? Case closed on that subject.

I have said this before and I will say it again, Hall is dynamic and electrifying. He has the ability to change a game with his high powered offensive prowess, lightning quick speed and clutch goals. Hall is the type of player that can bring you to the edge of your seat whenever he carries the puck for one of his famous end to end rushes. His puck skills are phenomenal and the shot he possesses is extremely lethal, particularly on the power play from the point. I like how he plays with power. His stride is incredibly powerful and his strength is noticeable when he busts around a defender or battles along the boards. At 6″1 201 lbs, Hall has good size and terrific fitness level to perform at an elite level.

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So far in the 2015/2016 season, Hall has played 6 games and has 2 goals and 2 assists for the Oilers. After somewhat of a slow start in preseason as well as in the first 3 games , Hall is now beginning to find his groove. At this time he leads the NHL in shots on goal with 29. He has been very effective in creating offense and getting pucks to the net. There is no doubt that Hall has a dynamic beast mode side that he can use to dominate games.

I think his dynamic game was ignited when he scored his first goal of the season against the St Louis Blues on Oct. 15. That goal is what brought confidence and swagger back into his game. Sometimes all it takes is one goal for a player to get his game going. Hall made a clear cut transition to dynamic mode after his strong performance in the home opener against St Louis.

The spotlight has sort of shifted off Hall because of McDavid, however I think that’s a good thing. I think for the first time in his career, the pressure is lowered and the weight on his shoulders is lighter. He can use this as an advantage to play some high quality hockey under the radar and not endure any set backs or overwhelming pressure. All of the young stars on the Oilers roster have to share the responsibility of being “The Guy”, that way the weight of the team does not fall on one players shoulders and the pressure does not become overbearing. If that can transpire for an 82 game schedule, we will see consistent, outstanding performances from the Oilers top offensive guns.

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