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Hall on pace for 80 points

Not one Edmonton Oiler since Doug Weight has netted 80 points in a single season, and that was the 2000/2001 season a mere 13 years ago. Now, standing at 77 points in 73 games, with 2 games to go, point per game winger Taylor Hall just might hit 80 in this his 4th NHL season, with a bottom of the league team.

Fans in Edmonton have long believed that Hall would be the team’s saviour. From the first utterance of “fall for Hall” in 2010 until today, the belief is strong that Hall will one day be the team’s captain and scoring leader. With the addition of Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Darnell Nurse, and the yet unpicked 2014 draft pick the belief in Hall has only increased. With added talent to the roster, the team can’t help but do better, eventually… right?

 

Water bottle incidents aside, Hall has made some significant steps forward as a player. He isn’t pointed out as being as “whiny” as he was at the beginning of his career, always complaining to on ice officials. Hall has always been reported as being the person in the Oilers’ locker room who is the most upset about each and every single loss, now he is giving poignant media addresses ensuring that the entire team is not taking the situation lightly. In a one on one interview with Jason Gregor of OilersNation.com, Hall says:

I think that everyone on our team cares and when people say that we’re not trying, or it doesn’t look like we care, we care a lot. If you were in our room and you heard what we say, and how much guys care you wouldn’t think that.

Sometimes it just looks like that because we’re not in the right spots, or we’re trying a little bit too hard. But over the last 30 or 40 games, I think that we’ve found a pretty good balance of how we like to play. The record, you know, it’s been OK, it hasn’t been great, but I think that the signs are there and how we need to play is hard, but not only hard, we need to play smart. You see these good teams in the league, teams like Anaheim last night, they didn’t quit at all. They were on the verge of tying it up during that third period, simply because they kept coming and they kept working smart.

I agree with Gregor on this one, it’s not just a matter of being out of position and the players are clearly giving up and sulking at points throughout the season but not Taylor Hall. Instead of sulking, Hall has continued to look for scoring chances, and rallied for meaningless goals in games where the team cannot dig themselves out of a hole.

It’s great that Hall is a true team member, and would never throw teammates under the bus, but the reality is that certain members of the team need to take a lesson from Hall and increase their intensity. For other players, it may be too late for them with the Oilers, and perhaps simply being on another team, in another city, in another situation might be enough to make them give a little more on the ice.

It’s hard to see much to cheer about this season in Edmonton, but somehow this season may be a game changer. This season might be the season, despite the final league rankings, that the team does truly turn a corner. One of the newly acquired goaltenders could help turn this team around. Hall may the forward to turn things around point wise, inspiring others to reach higher point or goal totals.

In the meantime, if Hall can reach that 80 point plateau, that has to be something for the fans in Edmonton, we don’t have much else.

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+hall

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About Oil Patch

Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

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