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Oilers’ Hall ‘so tired’ of having to explain losses

Nov 16, 2013, 9:48 AM EDT

taylorhallgetty Getty Images

A season that began with cautious optimism has turned into a nightmare for the Edmonton Oilers. They suffered a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks last night to fall to a dismal 4-15-2. That puts them on track for a possible fourth first-overall pick in just five seasons.

Forward Taylor Hall was the first of those top draft selections. He’s endured losing season after losing season and he’s sick of it.

“I’m just so tired of coming in here after games and having to give a reason why we lost,” Hall said, according to Sportsnet’s Gene Principe and Ryan Dittrick.

“We need to win. Doesn’t matter how. We need it.”

It certainly doesn’t help matters that the Oilers have been snake-bitten at home, scoring just three goals in their last six games in Rexall Place. That’s particularly troubling because, if anything, Edmonton should at least be able to score with all the skilled forwards they have.

Perhaps they’ll still turn their season around, but they’re already 17 points shy of a playoff spot. Of course, if they can’t, there’s always a chance that GM Craig MacTavish will do something bold.

  1. canucks30 - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Maybe if Taylor Hall actually lived up to the expectations of being a franchise player and #1 overall pick, the Oilers could win some games.

    • lowenni - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Taylor Hall is not the problem. He’s had bumps and gaffes in the road, but the kid has a ton of heart. He and RNH should be the only untouchable players on the Oilers.

      • canucks30 - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Taylor Hall is in his 4th season and has yet to score 30 goals. He has one 25 goal season.

        Yet he’s making Patrick Kane money.

        I’m sorry, but that is underwhelming as far as I’m concerned.

      • lowenni - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        That’s true, but you failed to make note of the fact that in those seasons, he never played a full season. In fact, he has never played more than 65 games in a season. In his 25 goal season (it was actually 27) he played in 61 games and would have easily eclipsed 30 had he played the full season. Last season, he did stay healthy and he proved that he is a franchise player by being on pace for about 90 points in a full season, but of course the lockout limited him to 50 in 45 games. He was a second team All-Star. You may say I’m just supporting your argument by stating that he hasn’t been able to remain healthy, but it’s not really his fault. It’s unfortunate and it happens. It seems like his injuries are coming to an end and he’s becoming the top player people expected from him. While his statistics have been underwhelming I suppose, that doesn’t change the fact that he has a lot of damn heart.

      • drewsylvania - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Health is a skill, too. If you don’t have it, you’re not worth the money.

    • hallforpresident - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      In 2011/12, over a full season, Hall would have gotten 36 goals and 35 assists. In 2013, he would have gotten 29 goals and 90 points. How about we wait until the end of the season before we jump to conclusions…

      • drewsylvania - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        He’s played 65 games or more exactly once. Even if he can play 70-80 games, that’s a history of not being healthy that isn’t going to be rectified by a single healthy season.

  2. mclovinhockey - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Wonder how long it takes for Eklund to start a rumour of Simmonds and Coburn for Hall…. It’s an E9 everybody, look out!
    We should start a trade rumour Bingo with Eklund and the E raitings haha

  3. metalization1 - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    The oilers need some serious change on the team and in their culture. Unless they are willing to start moving players and making some bold moves, they will be doomed to failure.

  4. mlhegs - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Kevin Lowe started building this mess years ago. If you have a failing business year after year would the “President” survive?
    Kevin Lowe has proved his contempt for the fans and if you looked you would see his inability to produce going all the way back to when he played.

    Kevin Lowe has got to go!

  5. broadstreetbeatdown - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Man, this team just can’t get a break. They are just oozing with talent and potential and just can’t get anything going. Too bad for such a great franchise.

  6. hammerhead5573 - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Talent alone wins you nothing. It a combination of talent, gritty players, good goal tending and breaks here and there. From an outsider it appears the Oilers have all the talent in the world but the combination of everything else is missing. As a Hawk fan I have seen first hand what their talent can do. Over a season though, they are missing grit.

  7. jason9696 - Nov 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I didn’t realize the Oilers were 17 points out of a playoff position. So they are already done seeing as they are in the much tougher Western Conference. And we aren’t even in December yet. I really feel sorry for their fans.

    • 19to77 - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      This is legitimately one of the fastest implosions I’ve ever seen a team go through. And none of the others had three first overall draft picks. This team is just insultingly pathetic.

  8. hallforpresident - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    What they need to do is stop feeling bad for themselves and focus on what it actually takes to win.

    • drewsylvania - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      The problem with having a bunch of talented kids is that they…have a bunch of talented kids. They don’t know what it takes to win. The only guy on their team who is both a regular and has won a Cup is Ference. Unless he can lead the team by his effort, the team will continue to suck.

      • 19inarow - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Exactly. It’s one thing to have one 18-year-old make the jump right out of juniors, but three in a row is much different. I think Hall made the proper transition, but RNH and Yakupov could’ve gained valuable experience — and time to build up one’s strength…RNH — by spending another year in juniors. Sucks they couldn’t spend time in the AHL.

        And as far as Yakupov, didn’t mgmnt get the book on him not wanting to play defense, prior to drafting him? He hasn’t exactly been shy about stating that. Al Arbor once said, when asked if they should draft Mike Bossy, “I can teach a player defense, but not how to be a natural goal scorer.” Or something to that effect. But Bossy was also very teachable and willing to play both sides of the puck (while still being the highest goals-per-game scorer in the history of the NHL). Look at what happened to Filatov…he hated playing defense.

  9. sndflyers - Nov 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Everyone can talk about Taylor Hall not being good and a “bust”, but two things to consider are: 1. You couldn’t do any better (hence why you’re all sitting on this website trolling and not playing professional hockey) & 2: every single one of you non oiler fans would jump ship and hop on his balls if he were traded to your team.

    • drewsylvania - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Why we are comparing Taylor Hall to a bunch of us non-athletes is anybody’s guess…

      • sndflyers - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        It’s simple really…people who are posting on the Internet with aasinine conjecture have given little to no thought about how difficult a professional hockey players job actually is. Everyone knows everything. Not only could they go and play better than players but they would make better general managers than any of the paid professionals do too.

      • drewsylvania - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        So? The discussion is about whether Hall is a bust *by NHL player standards”. Any comparison outside of those standards is irrelevant.

  10. muckleflugga - Nov 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    judging by his output, it would appear someone has in fact…

    hopped on his balls

    less playstation, less xbox…more time in video room, more time pounding milk and carbs and more time wearing out the nautilis

  11. ray2013 - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    If you were an objective observer of the Oilers the past five years, you’d note that the team is weak down the middle, they have a weak bottom six, they do not have any elite d-men, and no one includes Dubnyk in any discussions I’ve seen of elite goalies in the NHL.

    So MacT comes in promising bold change, and after his draft and off-season, the team was still weak down the middle, have a weak bottom six, lack any elite d-men playing in the NHL (he did draft Nurse), and was unable to make any trades for a goalie (swing and a miss on Schneider). He also switched from a coach that had them in contention for a playoff spot late in the season, to a more MacT like coach in Eakins, who has so far not lived up to the hype.

    Any surprise that an injury to Gagner (an undersized C with some skill) left them even more depleted down the middle? That their goalie that no one in the organization was really sold on had a rough start, and there was no goalie depth to bail out the team? That having five coaches in five years with five different systems isn’t a recipe for developmental success?

    You can criticize Hall for playing a style that gets him into problems. That was one of the knocks on him in his draft year. But if you’re going to point fingers at anyone, I’d start at Darryl Katz, the owner, who is more worried about being friends with Oiler players from the glory years, than running a successful franchise. What else explains how Kevin Lowe is made of teflon? Kevin Lowe needs to go followed by his management team.

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