Skip to content

Columnist: Taylor Hall is playing better than ever

Jan 2, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

taylorhallgetty Getty Images

Sure, Taylor Hall is getting some reps with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but will he be the same force he was for the Oilers when the NHL returns? The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples doesn’t think so – he believes Hall has been looking even better.

Staples raves about a great performance in which Hall reportedly produced 22 scoring chances against the San Antonio Rampage last Friday in particular:

I can’t recall ever seeing Hall skate so well in a game. The speed and aggression of his attack brought to mind great players from past eras. He was repeatedly able to get that extra foot or two close to the net before unleashing his heavy shot. It was bad luck that he didn’t get four or five points in the game.

That’s promising for Oilers fans, who’ve also been hearing great things about Justin Schultz‘s and Jordan Eberle‘s AHL exploits while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins excels with both the Barons and Team Canada in the World Junior Championships. (Oh yeah, and don’t forget Nail Yakupov.)

With all that in mind, Staples cannot help but think that the Oilers might make the playoffs if there’s a season.

Of course, all this is very good news for fans of the Oilers. With Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Hall and Nugent-Hopkins all playing as well as they’ve ever played, a lot of folks are going to have to reconsider the notion that the Oilers aren’t going to be making the playoffs this year, should there be an NHL season. I’m certainly going to reconsider my take. I’ve predicted this group of players would fight for a playoff spot, but fail to make it in the end. I’m not so sure about that now.

What do you think about their chances?

Latest Posts
  1. Flames sign Ortio for two more years

    Jul 24, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT

    Joni Ortio Getty Images

    He started in nine games for the Flames last season.

  2. Vancouver signs ’14 first-rounder Jared McCann

    Jul 24, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    Jared McCann Getty Images

    The Canucks selected him with one of the picks they got from the Ryan Kesler trade.

  3. Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

    Lars Eller Getty Images

    The two sides managed to avoid arbitration despite a $1.45 million gap on a one-year deal.

  4. B’s re-sign Warsofsky: one year, $600,000

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    DavidWarsofsky Getty Images

    Alternately known as “the guy Boston got for Vladimir Sobotka.”

  5. Veteran NHLer Pyatt signs in Swiss league

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

    Taylor Pyatt

    Journeyman split last season between the Rangers and Penguins.

  6. Avs ‘confident’ they’ll reach deal with Barrie, says Sakic

    Jul 24, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche and head coach Patrick Roy appear on the bench during their preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Colorado won 3-2.
(September 27, 2013 - Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Offensive d-man led all Colorado blueliners in goals last year, with 13.

  7. Isles, Poulin avoid arbitration with one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

    Kevin Poulin

    He’s likely to be the No. 3 goalie in New York this year.

  8. Bruins name Sacco assistant coach

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Joe Sacco AP

    Former Colorado bench boss and Massachusetts native returns home.

  9. Avs hope to learn from ‘nightmare’ playoff finish

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Seven Getty Images

    “Maybe it just wasn’t our time yet,” Patrick Roy said.

  10. PHT Morning Skate: What to do with Niemi?

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Thursday’s assortment of links.

  11. Babcock on analytics: ‘I love the information’

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    mikebabcockgetty Getty Images

    Makes sense for a franchise that frequently favors puck possession.

  12. Florida phases out ‘Lady Panthers’

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    They’ll feature a “skating-only” ice crew next season.

  13. Video: EA teases what’s new in NHL 15

    Jul 23, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    eanhl15screen

    Will their latest physics improvements make a big difference?

  14. Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016

    Jul 23, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    James Reimer, Mark Fraser, Steven Stamkos AP

    “We’ll see what happens. It’s a couple years away.”

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1942)
  2. L. Stempniak (1640)
  3. D. Roy (1559)
  4. R. Nash (1337)
  5. A. Rome (1325)
  1. M. Ribeiro (1230)
  2. R. O'Reilly (1226)
  3. C. Franson (1211)
  4. D. Cleary (1136)
  5. P. Subban (1135)