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Hall says Oilers should emulate Habs, Rangers

Sep 4, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

It’s easy for a team outside of the playoff race to say “We want to be like the Los Angeles Kings,” but the problem is usually obvious enough: they don’t have what it takes to be like said defending Stanley Cup champions.

Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall seems aware that such an idea is easier said than done, so instead, he told the Edmonton Journal that he believes his team has a better chance of following the path of the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens.

“There are teams built the way we are, and they have success,” Hall said. “The Rangers were a fast team that had trouble with their identity at the start of the year and figured it out over the course of the season. They were a fun team to watch. They’re not big, but they play with the puck and they’re fast. That’s how we have to be.

“We’re not going to bully teams out of their arena, but what we can do and what we can grow into is a possession team … a team that’s hard to knock off pucks and battles the way the big teams do.”

That’s a pretty valid perspective, yet the natural counter is: would those Eastern Conference teams have the same sort of success in the wicked West?

It’s tough to say, but at least the Oilers seem like they’re correcting some of their issues, even if the franchise itself admits that they still sport some glaring weaknesses (particularly at the center position).

  1. ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Edmonton? LA? Blomfeld post in 3…. 2….

    • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      oh and I bet he calls me ibidinijad

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Please don’t egg him on

  2. billiam55 - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    would be nice to see the oilers back in the mix. but i dont see that happening for a while.

  3. flyboystransport - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    If the Oilers forwards start playing defense and back check consistently they would have more success. They need consistency on the bench too.

  4. rmccleary97 - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Puck possession is great – but if you’re not doing anything productive with it, it’s pointless. Teams should be worried about efficiency with the puck, and efficiency in defending without it. More to the point, teams should quit worrying about “shots for/against” and start worrying about “quality shots for/against.” I don’t care if my team allows 35 shots a night, if they’re all coming from the end boards or up by the blueline or bad shooting angles; I *do* care if my team allows 20 shots a night and they’re all coming from 10-25 feet out, in the slot between the faceoff dots. The former might result in a couple goals against, which can be overcome; the latter is likely to result in 3-4 goals against, which is going to make it more difficult to win.

    Quality over quantity. It’s one of the great missing pieces of context in all the blabber of advanced stats.

  5. rcouellet - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Well, he’s right. Montreal was able to eek out a series against Boston and a lot of it had to do with their speed and tenacity. Not many teams will compete with LA, Boston, Chicago or St Louis in the puck possession category. That doesn’t mean you cannot still be competitive.

  6. habs9 - Sep 5, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    sooo….the fact these 3 teams have a Price and Lundqvist….not much of a factor?…..hhmmm

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