HALL OR EBERLE?

Jason Gregor
August 14 2012 10:28AM

In certain debates there can be no wrong answer, only differing opinions, and I think this article is one where there is no wrong answer.

Yesterday during my radio show Ryan Rishaug and I debated who would we rather have in a game seven; Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle? Rishaug picked Eberle, while I picked Hall.

Unlike previous years when we've debated the merits of young Oilers, this is the first time in the last decade where I can honestly say there is little downside to either player. Both are incredibly talented, have a desire to win, have scored key goals and they still have room to improve.

But there is no fence sitting today. You take one or the other.

During a quick text/twitter poll on the show the majority (71%) leaned towards Eberle. Rishaug talked about his ability to be "clutch" and that he has the "it," that only special players have in key situations. Of course he is referring to Eberle's heroics as a member of Canada's World Junior team.




Or maybe this is why people feel that way...

There is no debate that Eberle was the go-to-guy at the WJC. Twice he electrified a Nation when they were on the brink of losing. He will go down as one of the best "clutch" goal scorers in Canadian WJC history.

Here's a quick look at their numbers when playing for Canada at the U18 and WJC:

Eberle:

 

SEASON TEAM GP G A P PIM
2007-2008  Canada-WJ18-A  7 4 6 10 0
2008-2009  Canada-WJC-A  6 6 7 13 2
2009-2010  Canada-WJC-A  6 8 5 13 4

Hall:

 

2007-2008  Canada-WJ18-A  7 4 5 9 4
2009-2010  Canada-WJC-A  6 6 6 12 0

We'll never know if Hall would have matched Eberle's eight goals and 13 points in his 2nd stint at the WJC, because Hall was playing in the NHL, but they each had ten goals between their first year at the WJC and the WJ18. Of course Eberle's two game-tying goals will live on in Canada hockey history, and when he added the first goal in the SO win over Russia in 2009, his reputation as being "clutch" grew even bigger.

HALL'S HEROICS

Hall has also been a go-to-guy early in his career. He won back-to-back Memorial Cups while being named the MVP both years. He was also the OHL playoff MVP in 2009. His playoff numbers in junior were ridiculous.

 

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG
2007-2008  Windsor Spitfires-OHL  5 2 3 5 -6 2 1
2008-2009  Windsor Spitfires-OHL  20 16 20 36 15 12 6
2009-2010  Windsor Spitfires-OHL  19 17 18 35 16 32 7
  TOTALS 44 35 41 76 25 46 14
                 
  MEMORIAL CUP              
2008-2009  Windsor Spitfires-M-Cup  6 2 6 8 n/a 8  
2009-2010  Windsor Spitfires-M-Cup  4 5 4 9 n/a 2  
  TOTALS 10 7 10 17   10  

It is hard to compare Hall's junior numbers to Eberle's because Hall had a better supporting cast, but he was still the class of his team during the playoffs. During those two OHL championships he tallied 71 points, the next closest forward was Dale Mitchell with 46. Adam Henrique had 42, Scott Timmins scored 38 and Greg Nemisz had 32. Ryan Ellis was the other dominant Spitfire those years scoring an amazing 64 points as a blueliner.

While Hall had a solid supporting cast, he was clearly the offensive anchor.

Eberle's junior playoff stats are solid despite never winning a round in the WHL.

2005-2006  Calgary Buffaloes-AMHL  11 7 1 8 8 0
2006-2007  Regina Pats-WHL  6 2 5 7 2 1
2007-2008  Regina Pats-WHL  5 2 4 6 7 2
  WHL TOTALS 11 4 9 13 9 3

Eberle was great at the WJC and Hall dominated for two years in junior.

IN THE SHOW

Their junior and WJC numbers are great, but what they do in the NHL will be the utlimate measuring stick. Two years into their NHL careers, there isn't much separating them, other than games played. Eberle has produced three more goals and 24 more points in 21 more games.

Eberle:

 

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2010-2011 Oilers 69 18 25 43 -12 22 4 2 5 158 11.4
2011-2012 Oilers 78 34 42 76 4 10 10 0 4 180 18.9
  NHL TOTALS 147 52 67 119 -8 32 14 2 9 338 15.4

Hall:

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2010-2011 Oilers 65 22 20 42 -9 27 8 0 4 186 11.8
2011-2012 Oilers 61 27 26 53 -3 36 13 0 7 207 13
  NHL TOTALS 126 49 46 95 -12 63 21 0 11 393 12.5

The theory around choosing a player for one game is that they will perform when the pressure is the highest. Eberle did that at the WJC and Hall did it two years straight in the OHL and Memorial Cup playoffs. Unfortunately we haven't seen what they can do in the NHL because the Oilers haven't been close to the postseason.

I did a quick check on GW goals in their first two seasons, and Hall has a slight 11-9 advantage over Eberle. GW goals don't always mean they were scored at crunch time, so I don't put too much stock in them. Here is a quick glance at the GWG from the past two seasons.

2011

Eberle (5):
2:53 of the 2nd period in 4-1 win over Vancouver.
0:14 of the 2nd in 4-2 win over Columbus.
3:58 of the 3rd period in 4-1 victory over Montreal.
3:32 of the 2nd frame in 6-3 win over Columbus.
3:10 of 1st period in 5-0 victory over Toronto.

Hall (4):
19:31 of the 3rd period in 3-2 win over Colorado.
0:23 into OT in 2-1 win over Blues.
15:36 of the 2nd period in 5-2 win over the Sharks.
14:35 of the 3rd frame in 5-3 win over Thrashers.

Hall had one OT winner and scored once in the final 29 seconds.

2012

Eberle (4):
13:18 of the  first period in 3-1 win over the Flames.
13:16 of the 2nd in 4-2 win over St. Louis.
12:44 of the 2nd period in 2-1 win over the Capitals.
15:51 of the 1st period in 6-2 victory over Nashville.

Hall (7)
9:24 of the 3rd period in 5-3 win over the Jets.
3:26 of the 2nd frame in 2-0 blanking of the Flyers.
0:17 of OT in 4-3 win over the Senators.
6:01 of the 3rd in 3-2 win over Colorado.
3:06 of OT in 2-1 win over the Kings.
15:29 of the 2nd period in 5-2 victory over Minnesota.
6:55 of the 2nd frame in 3-2 over the Canucks.

Hall had two more OT winners.

CONCLUSION

Both have proven they can score big goals in big games. The one thing that does surprise me is how many have suggested that Eberle is a much better goal scorer than Hall. Eberle has incredibly gifted hands and he's scored some electrifying goals, usually going top-shelf or deking out a defender and the goalie, but it's not like Hall is a plug who just crashes the net and hopes the pucks deflects off of him.

They both are scorers, just in different ways. Hall can overpower goalies with his shot, and create chances on his own, while Eberle has pinpoint accuracy and excellent hands in tight.

Like I stated earlier, I don't think there is a wrong choice, but when I was forced to make a choice I took Hall and Rishaug choose Eberle. Only time will tell who was more accurate, but I don't think there is a wrong answer. The only way we'll find out is when the Oilers make the playoffs, and even then I'm not sure I would base everything on one game.

But for fun I will ask you to choose. We will have all different opinions on why we want Hall or Eberle, but if you respond choose one.

I don't want comments like, "I'll take Hall for the first 58 minutes, but I want Eberle in the final two."

No fence sitting.

The great part of this debate is that by this time next year, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov might have produced their way into the conversation.

Today I will take Hall, by the slimmest of margins.

Who do you want in game seven?  

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Pistol Pete
August 14 2012, 12:06PM
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Hallsy

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#52 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
August 14 2012, 12:06PM
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Hall! He has accomplished more and at an younger age. At 21 in 2014-15, Hall will be miles more valuable than Ebs was last year.

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#53 Motomoto
August 14 2012, 12:08PM
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I wouldn't want to be the defense on the other team with either of them bearing down. Eberle would beat you with a slick move to make you look silly but Hall's determination is unmatched and he is probably the best player. It's a nice problem to have and I'll take Hall.

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#54 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
August 14 2012, 12:15PM
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Why just one? Why can't they play together?

I actually don't understand these types of questions, because there is no reason we have to pick. Now if it was who would you want to take a penalty shot with 10 seconds left in game 7, then yourself a reasonable question.

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#55 OilClog
August 14 2012, 12:20PM
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My choice.. The great Hallberle.

100mph charging bull with the stealth of a vampire bat, precision of a viper, and the 6th sense of a saw fish.

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#56 Reality Check to the head
August 14 2012, 12:22PM
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This is the way I see it. Hall would score two goals on route to a 2-2 Overtime game, but Eberle would score the OT winner.

How do you choose?

Hall by a whisker, because without his 2 goals in the reg time, then Ebs would never have had a chance to score the winner.

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#57 Cheap Shot Charlie
August 14 2012, 12:28PM
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Btw, good debate.

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#58 mayorpoop
August 14 2012, 12:31PM
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surprised i'm typing this....Hall.

with riches like we have tho why can't we all just get along?

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#59 ItsTheBGB
August 14 2012, 12:31PM
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Taylor Hall. It's not close. As soon as the other team hard matches Eberle he isn't the same player. Hall will crush anyone at anytime on anyday.

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#60 HallFever
August 14 2012, 12:39PM
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Hall. His passion and dominance pushes him over the top.

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#61 oilabroad
August 14 2012, 12:42PM
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I have to wander if Eberle's magic translates to game 7 against the biggest and best defenders in the world... I would go Hall for this reason alone, his strength and speed will give him the room he needs, not sure Ebs gets that space

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#62 Bob
August 14 2012, 12:45PM
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"No fence sitting."

"Today I will take Hall, by the slimmest of margins."

I don't think you are completely off the fence when you phrase it that way.

I choose Hall.

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#63 Justout624
August 14 2012, 12:46PM
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Hall

He sets the pace for the whole shift and fires up his line mates in the process. Without hall the whole team looked flat and uninspired last year. In the playoffs this emotion will be multiplied by 100 and hopefully result in GWGs.

Great debate by the way. Guaranteed some people will take it too seriously though.

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#64 jonny94
August 14 2012, 12:47PM
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Taylor Hall, he's a very exciting player to watch already. I can only imagine how determined he would look to win a Game 7 Stanley Cup Final.

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#65 Steven
August 14 2012, 12:48PM
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While both are definitely great players, if you look at the advanced stats, Hall is pushing the play in the right direction more often, and its all about playing the percentages. Assuming good health, its Hall as of right now.

If you are asking who will have the better career overall, I think it will be Eberle, based on health, and the fact he doesn't rely on his athleticism quite as much, which will allow his game to age better, unless hall is one of those freaks who doesn't lose a step until he is 40. Man I hope so!

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#66 gcw_rocks
August 14 2012, 12:57PM
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I take Eberle. I like Hall's overall game better, but if we are talking who closes the deal better, I think that's Eberle.

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#67 Ryan
August 14 2012, 01:01PM
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Gotta take my guy ebs....... close but i can't wipe saskatoon and ottawa outta my head. might be different if i had cheered for the spitfires

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#68 Hammers
August 14 2012, 01:15PM
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Sorry even at this time I would take RNH . He will be the key player in the years to come.

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#69 Pucker
August 14 2012, 01:20PM
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Hall.

It was obvious to me how much he contributes after seeing how the Oiler's game changed when he was out of the line up. His speed combined with strength really gets the defense backing up - creating space everyone else on the ice.

Though if I was to pick who was most likely to score with 10 seconds left in a game, I'd go with Ebs.

Fun question. Anyone keeping score?

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#70 MrCondor
August 14 2012, 01:23PM
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Hall.

The guy is willing to block a shot with his face in a regular season game - I can't wait to see him in the play offs.

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#71 Guggenheim
August 14 2012, 01:30PM
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Hall.

For what others have already posted before: the way he drives play, sheer speed and determination, and he's the guy I can see putting the team on his back and carrying them. Most likely will be why he's the next captain.

It's great to finally be able to have arguments of this nature with the Oil, it's been too long. When would have been the last 2 players held in this high regard playing together? Arnott/Weight? And with (hopefully) two more players factoring into this kind debate in the very near future.

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#72 French Toast Mafia
August 14 2012, 01:37PM
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Hall. I like ebs but Hall can take over a game by himself. Freak injuries have cost him a lot of games and people think that this means he won't be able to have as good a career. It'll all be good.

I also believe Mr. Anderson needs to put a shirt on. Regardless of how wide he thinks his chest may be "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan would still beat him up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9e8nPkT3rg

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#73 Pouzar99
August 14 2012, 01:39PM
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I'll take Eberle today, but Hall very soon. Two terrific players with massive hearts and clutch skills. Eberle has a little more of a complete offensive game right now but Hall should be even better within two years. I still think in the end, Nuge will be the best.

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#74 Ben
August 14 2012, 01:48PM
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Eberle, he just needs the puck for half a second in a shooting position and there is a high chance that he is scoring.

Hall is a beast, but he's goals seem to take so much more work. Eberle gets the puck near the net and it's in. In game 7 you want quick goals at key times, that falls right into Eberles specialty.

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#75 dessert1111
August 14 2012, 02:00PM
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ebs

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#76 Bucknuck
August 14 2012, 02:18PM
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@Archaeologuy

The question is who you would rather have in a game seven, not who should get traded. If both are able to play, then we just assume that in this hypothetical situation both are healthy.

Since that is the supposition we are operating from, I believe I will take a healthy Hall over a healthy Eberle in that game. I must add, that like Mr. Gregor I believe there is a slim margin between the two.

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#77 bmac
August 14 2012, 02:28PM
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I choose c). Zach Stortini

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#78 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 14 2012, 02:30PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

The question is who you would rather have in a game seven, not who should get traded. If both are able to play, then we just assume that in this hypothetical situation both are healthy.

Since that is the supposition we are operating from, I believe I will take a healthy Hall over a healthy Eberle in that game. I must add, that like Mr. Gregor I believe there is a slim margin between the two.

Are we commenting on display pictures? Bucknuck, yours looks like Van Gogh's self portrait, but without the hat.

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#79 Shredder
August 14 2012, 02:43PM
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I said Hall before, and while I'll stick with that for now, it depends entirely on who Nuge passes to.

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#80 Old Time Hockey
August 14 2012, 02:46PM
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Remember when Messier called that game in Chicago and MacT dubbed the game Msrk Messier night, and then again in Game #6 against Jersey? Hall reminds me of The Moose...in game #7 I take Hall.

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#81 smiliegirl15
August 14 2012, 02:50PM
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EBERLE!!!

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#82 Quicksilver ballet
August 14 2012, 02:51PM
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Couldn't find their posted clutcheyness based numbers/factor statistics anywhere. I looked everywhere Jason. Capgeek,Hockey DB,HF boards....even Ecklund. It has to be a credible statistic because it was in my NewAge Systems guide to re-inventing hockey.

Put me down for an Eberle. Captain snowy pants is still a keeper. I did spell clutcheyness right though, didn't i?

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#83 Walter Sobchak
August 14 2012, 03:04PM
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I'm taking Hall. Back to back MEM cups back to back MVP. The guy gets it done in big game's.

For those who think Hall would get hurt come playoff time, you have zero evidence that will happen.

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#84 Jayo1808
August 14 2012, 03:05PM
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Gotta be Eberle. Hall is great, but Ebs has the magic.

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#85 Lochenzo
August 14 2012, 03:30PM
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Hmmm...I can see Hall being dominant and pushing the pace of the game, gunning for the GTG in game 7. But Eberle has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, and somehow defenders are never watching him at these moments.

I pick Eberle. Somehow, it's the cheesy goals that get scored late in games or in OT. I can see Eberle coming out of nowhere to score a big goal in one of those instances.

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#86 yawto
August 14 2012, 03:34PM
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I would have to pick Hall but agree it is by the slimest of margins. Good thing for us is that unless ST does something really dumb, we aren't going to have to choose the next time the oilers are in a game 7.

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#87 Archaeologuy
August 14 2012, 03:46PM
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@Bucknuck

I'm not talking about trading either. Even IF everybody's healthy I'm taking Eberle. He brings it.

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#88 Asian on Oilers Nation
August 14 2012, 03:46PM
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I think I'd rather have Hall, by the slimmest of margins. But can you all imagine? Game 7 SCF and we are down by a goal... Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, J.Schultz, Klefbom all on the ice to try and score that game-tying goal.. Scary.

But of course, we'll be up by about 5 goals in reality :)

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#89 Oilers4ever
August 14 2012, 03:49PM
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Hall...by the slimmest of margins ;)

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#90 Pilgor09
August 14 2012, 03:50PM
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Hall.

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#91 thebiggestmanintheworld
August 14 2012, 03:58PM
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Eberle over Hall.

But I would trade everyone of em before the Nuge.....

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#92 OILERSORDEATH
August 14 2012, 04:05PM
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Glad as hell that both will be on the ice for a game 7, but if I HAD to pick one I gotta go with Ebs 51% to 49%.

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#93 Hoodlum
August 14 2012, 04:18PM
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I don't even think we're having this debate if Hall were without injury the past 2 seasons and also the fact that he's coming off a shoulder injury and likely going to be a slow starter in the upcoming season. They both bring very terriic, very different dynamic features, Ebs is so smooth and Hall is so in your face. I go with Hall, I just think there is more upside, he's got a "lead by example" game anywhere on the ice

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#94 Bucknuck
August 14 2012, 04:31PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Are we commenting on display pictures? Bucknuck, yours looks like Van Gogh's self portrait, but without the hat.

My display pic is of me, for good or for ill.

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#95 Dog Train
August 14 2012, 05:36PM
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I'll take Hall. Eberle has the ability to make the most of his opportunities but Hall makes something happen just about every shift.

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#96 Mutt Heatly
August 14 2012, 05:44PM
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Eberle. How much more does the kid have to do?

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#97 Word
August 14 2012, 05:57PM
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Word wrote:

Winning all the sports.

Speaking of which, can one of the photoshop wizards put Hall's face on the guy in the old spice commercial when he's got a jockey on his back and winning the horse race?

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#98 toprightcorner
August 14 2012, 06:54PM
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Tough choice,

Hall is more likely to make things happen to create a scoring chance to win the game.

Eberle is more likely to cash in on a scoring chance when he gets one.

Hall will create more scoring chances for himself with his speed and drive for the net.

Eberle will create more scoring chances for other players with his play making ability

That being said, The are both very close when it comes to scoring goals but Eberle has more ability in setting up others to finsih the game. I would rather have a guy that can not only score the winning goal but also has a better chance at setting up the winning goal.

Eberle by the slimmest of margins

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#99 Archaeologuy
August 14 2012, 07:22PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

My display pic is of me, for good or for ill.

So is mine.

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#100 Bucknuck
August 14 2012, 07:55PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

So is mine.

Nice try, Harrison!

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