Another Kid in the Hall

Lowetide
November 27 2011 10:03AM

Taylor Hall's injury last night was a blow to all of Oilers Nation. The young guns have been feeling their oats all fall, and Hall--who was perhaps just a step behind RNH & Eberle--had "that look" of late. Oiler fans know that a goal scoring rampage often follows Hall's shifts into overdrive. Now, we wait. For the MRI and then the news of how long Hall will be out. One thing to remember: this bad news also brings opportunity.

THE NHL CANDIDATES

This fan was a couple wobbly pops in Saturday night when #4 was felled (Robin Brownlee has an excellent article on the Hall injury and last night's game here at ON. My only quibble would be that the Oilers were clearly gassed in period 3, so it was a game they were in tough to win no matter the circumstances) and the profanity around the LT house was not for the meek.

However, as day breaks (well, as midday breaks) it gives one a chance to think about current roster players who might benefit from Hall's bad fortune. If Taylor misses four weeks, which NHL forward will benefit the most?

  1. Magnus Paajarvi: Buddy has been in a funk all year, and some of that is due to playing with less skilled men. Still, some of this is on the player, and he certainly lacks confidence at this time. I could see coach Renney moving Paajarvi up to the top 6, possibly slotting him in with Horcoff and Hemsky. That's a soft landing for a struggling youngster, although Hemsky's ad-libbing can be a nightmare for youth (you may recall Hall's comments on playing with 83). If MP gets the opportunity, he needs to post some crooked numbers a-sap. That top 6 chance won't last long if the puck doesn't get past the goal line.
  2. Sam Gagner: Samwise has been doing some good things of late, finally coming alive after an injury filled and ineffective early fall. The problem: Gagner hasn't been effective at Hall's position (LW) in the past. It's unlikely coach Renney will move the RW's (Eberle and Hemsky) or the C's (RNH and Horcoff) so Hall's injury could in fact weaken Gagner's position in the short term.
  3. Ryan Jones: This might be the option that coach Renney goes with, as Jones has shown exceptional adaptability and is in fact becoming what Fernando Pisani used to be for the Oilers. By that I mean, Jones is the guy that coach Renney can put on a line and see good things happen. If Renney puts him with Horcoff and Smyth, that's a line that could do some heavy lifting. Jones is a definite possibility.

There are some other options, but those would be the three that I'd see as being likely. Ben Eager has in the past slipped up a line or two, but his subpar season so far makes him a distant option. Coach Renney clearly trusts Anton Lander, and the young Swede may also get a few spins at the position.

POSSIBLE BARONS

With the move up the depth chart for one of the bottom sixers, there's a chance Steve Tambellini reaches down to OKC and calls up a forward. Although that player is extremely unlikely to take Hall's place, a couple of weeks in the NHL and some 3rd or 4th line time could be in the offing. Here are some of the candidates.

  • Phil Cornet leads the AHL in goals (15 goals in 19 games) and has to at least be on the radar. He's a fascinating prospect, in that the Oilers haven't used him or talked about him as someone they see as a legit NHL option. Still, he's ripping up a damn good league, and someone has noticed and that's for sure.
  • Teemu Hartikainen has 8 goals and what's more is having some impact on the OKC powerplay. He's a big body and showed well during a cup of coffee last spring. Hartikainen would be my choice for recall, based on his nice range of skills and the fact that he shouldn't look out of place on the 4line. He might deliver more pep than someone like Eager, who still looks a little tentative after the pre-season concussion.
  • Gilbert Brule took his medicine and has played well in the AHL. The organization might prefer to keep him in the minors (waiver concerns, or a longer term approach to his career recovery) but he is a player who could step in and play at a certain level for the Oilers.
  • Hunter Tremblay leads the AHL in shorthanded goals (3) and has impressed his coach this season. You never know, he may never play in an NHL game. But there's a player here, and rewarding him with a recall might be an option.

FEARLESS PREDICTION

Those who follow my "reasonable expectations" series know I'm rarely wrong. In this case, my bet would be on the youngster Paajarvi getting the first at-bats. Coach Renney might feel this is a chance to get the young man some confidence and a goal or two.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Taylor Hall's injury is extremely bad news. The young man has 30 goal power and no NHL team has the kind of depth required to plug and play that level of talent. The Edmonton Oilers do have some nice options, a reflection of their improved depth across the board. Stu MacGregor really is a magnificent bastard.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2011, 03:25PM
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@copperandblue

I get that.. but aren't you trying to say they lost because they got roughed up? and using that event as a symbol of that?

Seems to me that's the case.

The value of Marchand and Lucic et al. is not that they hit, intimidate, etc. it's that they score and do so with grit - the grit is secondary, welcome but secondary.

Dallas was the same situation. Did you see how many penalties Morrow took in the 2nd and 3rd period?

What's Hordy going to do realistically with his 3mins of TOI? even if it was 7 or 8? hit somebody, take a penalty? probably and I would probably cheer him on... but that's still not going to win the game!

We failed to score on the PP in that game and we were given ample opportunity. Wishing we were tougher - and believe me I do too! - can lead to mere wishful thinking...

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#52 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2011, 03:27PM
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The Beaker wrote:

They failed to score at all (in the final), not just the PP.

fair enough. but their model of success all year long wasn't strictly 5x5 play... they relied heavily on special teams. They went from amazing on the PP to stinking it up.

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#53 Ales Hallsky
November 27 2011, 03:39PM
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Greetings from Tulum. I'd be pissed right now but I'm in Tulum :)

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#54 copperand blue
November 27 2011, 04:59PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

fair enough. but their model of success all year long wasn't strictly 5x5 play... they relied heavily on special teams. They went from amazing on the PP to stinking it up.

We are cheering the same team; Canuck won't win a Cup because they don't stand up for each other; Bruins stiffened after Norton got waxed. I don't think the Oil has that Kevin McLelland type personality...gawd I must sound old...lol

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#55 bcoil
November 27 2011, 05:07PM
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Glenn Anderson played with great abandon but the coaches worked with him to teach him how to do it in manner that was much safer......i.e. recognising when to take a safer route to his destination .It bothers me to hear Renney's somewhat cavalier comments conserning Hall instead of instructiong his assistants to work with him on his routes .......Smith played with Anderson ....Anderson works with the oilers .so there is a lot of experiance around to help Hall develope his style.......There have been a number of discsions and comments this year by Renny that make me wonder if his eye is a little too focused on his Contract extension instead of the proper development of this team and some of the young talent.

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#56 Oilcruzer
November 27 2011, 06:35PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'm not a doctor but i'm going to express my opinion anyways. The injury to Hall is most likely a dislocated shoulder. Once the ball is back in the socket you're virtually pain free again. It was probably Taylors decision to return once TD was able to put Halls shoulder back into place.

Have to think his shoulder pads played a role in his shoulder being yanked from it's socket. Shoulder pads are intended to absorb the impact when your arm is at your side bracing for impact. When Taylor extended his arm to break his fall, the colision with the boards combined with the angle of his arm, and the gladiator type shoulder pad is what pushed that shoulder out of place. He would've had a much better chance had he been wearing no shoulder pads during that colision with the boards.

My shoulder has come out on me so many times the doctors have just showed me how to put it back into place without having to got to the hospital. the pain is excruciating when the ball isn't in it's rightful place but when it is back in place you feel 100% again. Once it comes out once it's going to happen on numerous occasions until you have surgery to stabilize it.

Exactly well said.

I would have been surprised if he didn't try to go out and try it. Sometimes these can work. It ain't the training staff's fault. The damage was done on the first hit, the second love tap proved how severe it was.

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#57 PDiddy
November 27 2011, 07:36PM
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What did Hall exactly say about playing with Hemsky? where can i hear this?

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#58 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2011, 08:20PM
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copperand blue wrote:

We are cheering the same team; Canuck won't win a Cup because they don't stand up for each other; Bruins stiffened after Norton got waxed. I don't think the Oil has that Kevin McLelland type personality...gawd I must sound old...lol

We are cheering the same team

Oh... that goes without saying! I've said it before and I'll say it again...

Every Oiler Fan is Sacred!!

I'm not trying to start a beef or anything... hope it doesn't come off that way!

Just worried about overcorrecting and misdiagnosing problems (ie. lack of toughness on the Oil).

but yea... i sure hope those useless peacocks never win a cup.

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#59 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2011, 08:49PM
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These guys know a thing or two about roughing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_5hQp8RvTg

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#60 Soupy
November 28 2011, 09:28AM
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@PDiddy

I would also like to know

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#61 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 28 2011, 10:10AM
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Soupy wrote:

I would also like to know

discussed up thread... see (roughly) #s 34-41 no actual quotes but the impression of the sentiment changes from "nightmare" to "tricky" (a world of difference that LT seems to acknowledge)

If someone has the actual quote or vid that would definitely be appreciated.

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#62 A-Mc
November 28 2011, 10:28AM
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'Twas a weird ending to an otherwise decent game Saturday night.

Gagner is picking up his game and I'm happy to see it! He looked good.

I'm hopeful that with Hall's Absence, some other guys whom are lacking in the Points column, can step up a bit to fill the gap. If there was ever an opportune time for Paajarvi's game to come in, It is Now. The Universe will only afford Prv so many chances before he gets sent down to OKC: he needs to find a way to capitalize!

I'm excited for tonight's game: we need to take the win to stay afloat. If we can ATLEAST tread water while we wait out some remaining injuries, we'll be in good shape once everyone is back from IR!

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#63 Pucker
November 28 2011, 12:32PM
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I'm a strong supporter of the pictures that appear with your articles. Thanks for hangning in there.

I think that's Anne Hathaway, which reminds me of the girl in the t-mobile commercials. Carly Foulkes. A fellow Canadian and probably a hockey fan. It might be worth adding to your file.

check it out: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4428119/

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