February 12 2011 07:47AM
Taylor Hall's rookie season has been a blessing for Oiler fans. Why? There's always a reason to watch the town team. However, Hall has been more impressive on the road than at home. Is it a big difference? Read on.
Taylor Hall is becoming a target for opposition NHL teams even at this early stage of his career. And with good reason. Hall is a quality rookie wherever he plays, but on the road--and in hostile environments--he kicks ass:
HOME ROAD SPLITS/HALL 10-11
- Home: 26gp, 6-7-13 (.500) -9
- Road: 28gp, 11-10-21 (.750) +1
That's a tidy difference over a little more than half of a season. Both Eberle and Pääjärvi also display better numbers on the road, but Eberle's are less severe. Is this a case of young #4 putting too much pressure on himself? I doubt it, although he's still a teenager. It's difficult to remember how young he is based on how well he's handled the pressure.
2010-2011 SPLITS/HALL 10-11
- Oct-Dec: 37gp, 12-10-22 (.595) -7
- Jan-Feb: 18gp, 5-7-12 (667) -1
Slight improvement offensively (slight enough to be considered random chance) but his plus minus number is markedly better since the new year. To my eye, Hall has become more involved in the play, more irritating to the opposition, more impactful on the overall spirit of the game, in these last 18 contests.
2010-11 SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE/HALL 10-11
- first 27 games: 9-6-15 (.555) -4
- next 27 games: 8-11-19 (.704) -4
Nice improvement in his second set of 27 games. I think that will be the theme for Hall this year. We can't expect Stamkos splits, but it's clear this kid is getting more comfortable and has another gear.
Which inspires a question: is Taylor Hall already the best player on the Edmonton Oilers?
A reminder I'll be hosting "NATION RADIO" first edition today at noon. The first show will happen live from the Team 1260 studios and the boys from the Pipeline Show (Dean Millard and Guy Flaming) will have me on just before noon to kickstart things and hopefully hold on to some of their impressive audience.
Your calls are welcome, I will be browsing this thread for questions and comments throughout the broadcast. You are all given permission to watch the Oilers game today and to enjoy Hockey Day in Canada. However, Wanye will have the broadcast up here at Oilers Nation (an archive will be available here) shortly after the broadcast.
I hope you'll listen. More than that, I hope you enjoy it.