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. Tippett to coach Canada at Worlds

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

    Dave Tippett Getty Images

    After twice serving as an assistant.

  2. No surprises: Niemi to start for San Jose in series opener

    Apr 17, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Head coach Todd McLellan took his time announcing this one, though.

  3. Yeo’s scouting report on Varlamov reveals: ‘This is a great goalie’

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT

    Semyon Varlamov, Matt Duchene, Nino Niederreiter AP

    “The quicker you get the puck off your stick, the more net there is to shoot.”

  4. Get your game notes: Wild at Avalanche

    Apr 17, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Jonnas Brodin, Nathan MacKinnon AP

    Two teams meeting for the third time in the playoffs.

  5. FYI: Hartnell and Voracek have black beards now

    Apr 17, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    Hartnell

    Just in case you don’t recognize them tonight.

  6. Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Brayden Schenn, Ryan McDonagh AP

    “You definitely want to be physical on him.”

  7. Oshie and Berglund out, Tarasenko in for Blues tonight vs. ‘Hawks

    Apr 17, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

    OshieBerglund Getty Images

    Game 1 gets underway at Scottrade at 8 p.m. ET (on NBCSN).

  8. Get your game notes: Blackhawks at Blues

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    BluesBlackhawks AP

    Classic rivalry will get underway tonight at Scottrade.

  9. Sharks playing the role of underdogs versus Kings

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Brad Stuart, Justin Williams AP

    Even though they’re not really underdogs.

  10. Get your game notes: Flyers at Rangers

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Jakub Voracek, Henrik Lundqvist AP

    Both teams bounced back from bad starts to make the playoffs.

  11. St. Louis focused on team rather than own struggles

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

    Martin St. Louis Getty Images

    He had eight points in 19 games with New York.

  12. PHT Morning Skate: Four Game 1s start it up tonight

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT

    Patrick Marleau, Alec Martinez AP

    New York, St. Louis, Denver, and San Jose is where it’s at tonight.

  13. Video: Getzlaf bloodied after taking puck to face

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:19 AM EDT

    Getzlaf2

    A Tyler Seguin bullet, no less.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4663)
  2. T. Oshie (3854)
  3. M. Duchene (3547)
  4. B. Bishop (3098)
  5. H. Zetterberg (3005)
  1. D. Backes (2983)
  2. M. Brodeur (2941)
  3. V. Tarasenko (2894)
  4. P. Bergeron (2878)
  5. S. Crosby (2302)