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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#1 BurkeTheTurd
August 14 2012, 10:32AM
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Both

....I guess Hall if i had to choose

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#2 Jeremy
August 14 2012, 10:38AM
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Hall. No question.

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#3 Archaeologuy
August 14 2012, 10:39AM
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Eberle. No question about it. If the book can be out on Ovechkin, it can be out for Hall. Add more later.

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#4 Banger
August 14 2012, 10:39AM
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Eberle

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#5 Freelantz
August 14 2012, 10:40AM
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My first thought was Eberle, but I see Hall more in a leadership role, and I think it's important to have your leaders on the ice on crucial minutes. I pick Hall.

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#6 AutoOiler
August 14 2012, 10:42AM
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Halls more clutch than I had thought. I like Eberle. But I must choose the man with the sickest hands I ever saw on a giant. None other then Andy Sutton. And yes Andy I am an expert.

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#7 Ralph
August 14 2012, 10:43AM
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Hall, easily. Maybe there's a debate in the final two minutes but what Hall does in the first 58 I think is more likely to get that go-ahead goal earlier rather than later. No need to have those last-minute heroics if those goals came in the 2nd period.

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#8 glenn schwarz
August 14 2012, 10:47AM
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Eberle

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#9 Shifty203
August 14 2012, 10:47AM
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Eb's, hands down.

While I have no doubt Hall will be a great player, and probably score more points overall than Eb's, I see Eb's as a more complete player.

Obviously both are capable of the clutch game winning goals, but I have more faith in Eb's defensive play, and ability to get the puck moving back in the right direction after a turnover.

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#10 me
August 14 2012, 10:48AM
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Tough call but going to pick Eberle by the tiniest of margins.

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#11 the big GRIGowski
August 14 2012, 10:49AM
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Eberle. Hall ain't helping us from the ice bath.

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#12 Mysteriousburgos
August 14 2012, 10:53AM
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Hall

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#13 Jonathan Willis
August 14 2012, 10:57AM
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Pick the best overall player. Hall.

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#14 Pat Hughes ruled
August 14 2012, 10:59AM
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Eberle is smarter, less likely to injure himself, a better interview, and less likely to cause a mistake in crunch time. Hall was smart enough NOT to get his shoulder operated on sooner. Give me the thinking man's scorer not the trainwreck.

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#15 oilers2k10
August 14 2012, 11:00AM
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Yakupov..

Between Hall and Eberle...Hall..

Above all...RNH

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#16 Truth
August 14 2012, 11:03AM
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Hall. I believe he would actually cut off one of his arms to win a Stanley Cup

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#17 OilDoug
August 14 2012, 11:05AM
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I don't have to choose...........right now both are under contract to the Oil and they along with Nuge and Yakupov will eventually give us 4 game breakers for a game 7 scenario.

That's my choice and I'm sticking to it!

Go Oil!

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#18 Tony Montana
August 14 2012, 11:08AM
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If I had to pick who, Game 7, to score the big goal: Eberle. History cannot be igonred.

Most likely to score the big goal to win a series: Eberle

Most likely to finish 1-2 in Conn Smythe Voting: Hall/Nuge

Most likely to lead Western Canada in jersey sales, any of Hall, Ebs, Nuge.

What I am saying is I am glad we have all 3, because they all bring attributes that championship teams need.

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#19 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
August 14 2012, 11:09AM
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Hall. 2 mem cup MVP's along with his nose for the net especially in overtime do it for me.

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#20 Minister D-
August 14 2012, 11:09AM
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At the risk of having to turn in my Queen City Kids membership card in disgrace, I'd take Hall.

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#21 Cowbell_Feva
August 14 2012, 11:13AM
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Eberle, without a doubt. Hall would be out with a different injury by the time the Oilers made it to Game 7.

Willis- not sure how you figure Hall is the better overall player. If you mean better at skating 100 mph into the other teams body checks, rather than spin off them like Eb's, then sure.

I wish Hall had half the vision of Ebs and RNH because if he did he would be a perennial Hart Candidate. Rather we watch him blaze around with the blinders on and cringe everytime the other team gets near him. Something tells me if he wasn't an athlete, his IQ wouldn't have him working at NASA.

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#22 bdiddy18
August 14 2012, 11:13AM
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Eberle aka "clutch" - it can't be taught - you are born with it.

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#23 Bigdawg
August 14 2012, 11:14AM
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Well Nuge Hall Yak and Ebs should all be on the ice in the last few min if we need a goal... But since i have Hall as my next Captain for this team i go Hall..

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease no lock out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im hurtin enough already

OILERS!!!!!!

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#24 Oiler Al
August 14 2012, 11:15AM
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Hall, he will charge his way down the left side and blast one past the goal keeper. Eberle is great around the net, but Hall is more involved in all areas of the ice.

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#25 Gitagrip
August 14 2012, 11:16AM
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HALL. That kid can bring it and deliver it. Sorry Wanye, the Baby Bull takes this one.

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#26 justDOit
August 14 2012, 11:17AM
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Making decisions based on history can prove to be flawed. Show me Eberle's 'clutch bucket', and tell me how full it is, and only then can you say that he's the better player for a game 7.

Having said that, I would pick Eberle - no question, but not because he is 'clutch'. A lot of Hall's play is driven by force (not a bad thing at all), while Eberle does it with a blend of intelligence and skill. So if I had to choose either/or for a game 7, Eberle it would be.

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#27 Shredder
August 14 2012, 11:25AM
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It's been a while since I posted, but this is a debate I must chime in on.

My vote: Hall.

While Eberle is just awesome, and can create his own offense and lead a rush, nobody leads a rush like Hallsy. Nobody competes as hard and wants to win as bad as Hall. He scares the crap out of defenders with his speed, he's willing to hit and do whatever it takes to win. Eberle is one of my favorite players, no doubt, and he's fantastic finisher, and can dangle better than 99% of NHL'ers (including Hall). But Hall is an underated passer and if the shot isn't there he'll set someone up as good as anyone on the team (except the Nuge of course). Hall WILL get the puck into the zone and make sure it stays there. And Hall's wrister and slapper are harder for sure. I don't believe Ebs has the more accurate shot, I'd actually give that to Hall.

But let's all face it, if it were up to anyone on the team, Nuge could give Smid an easy tap in with a second left to go(and towards the end of the year one of Smid's goals actually came off a sweet feed from the Nuge).

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#28 a lg dubl dubl
August 14 2012, 11:25AM
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If Hall can change his game just abit so he doesnt leave himself so prone to injuries, Ill take Hall. The kid is a beast!!

Eberle as slick as he is will have an even bigger target on his back after what he did last year, maybe its his turn to get all the sh!t and abuse*

* PLEASE HOCKEY GODS DONT MAKE IT SO!!!

Either way having one or the other on the ice in the last 2 minutes of game 7 in the SCF is a cant miss.

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#29 Erny Beckett
August 14 2012, 11:26AM
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It is the Gretzky/Messier debate all over again and without question, I go with Petr Klima.

Ok, that won't work but either of them are more than capable of making someone else the fleeting hero.

I will take Hall.

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#30 jr_christ
August 14 2012, 11:31AM
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Eberle was awesome but without RNH feeding him passes I thi k he scores half his goal total this year.

Taking hall

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#31 I tried it at home
August 14 2012, 11:32AM
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Eberle. Easy answer.

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#32 Bar Qu
August 14 2012, 11:36AM
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Hall is the better player, easily.

Eberle will have a longer career and likely get more points over Hall in the end (fewer injuries) but in a tight game, with only one to pick?

No question. Hall.

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#33 DaveChamp
August 14 2012, 11:38AM
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Taylor Hall creates magic every shift he's on the ice. If you are down one with 2 minutes left, it's Hall who will burst through the defense and give you the best opportunity to score.

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#34 Dman09
August 14 2012, 11:44AM
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Eberle, hes just like a silent assasin man he just seems come out of nowhere and get the job done. Hall is like watching a cannon ball heading straight for you.

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#35 Will
August 14 2012, 11:45AM
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I have to take Hall. His ability to drive the play forward and create space for other attackers is second to none. He may not score the clutch goal, but I bet damn sure he had something to do with making the opportunity happen.

Don't get me wrong, if I had to choose who had the better shot I'd take Ebs as his 18% scoring percentage is an indiction the guy is a finisher, but once Hall dials in that top corner rocket he loves to attempt, he is going to be lethal in all areas of the game.

Hall for sure in game 7.

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#36 Mantastic
August 14 2012, 11:48AM
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Hall, he'll be pushing the whole game, even if he's injured.

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#37 ubermiguel
August 14 2012, 11:50AM
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Eberle. Sorry, but all those NHL OT and late 3rd period goals for Hall are in pretty much meaningless games. Eberle + WJC (twice). He is cool under extreme pressure. Hall might be, but I haven't seen it at that level of pressure yet.

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#38 DrPow
August 14 2012, 11:56AM
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Hall.

Once RNH enters this conversation I'll take him every time.

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#39 Old Retired Guy
August 14 2012, 11:58AM
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Today....Game 7....Eberle (his play making abilities and vision elevate those around him)

Three years from now Nuge.

But Hall still gets the C.

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#40 The Soup Fascist
August 14 2012, 12:00PM
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Isn't it nice to have to discuss this? Four years ago (2008-2009) our leading scorers: Hemsky / Souray / Horcoff and Tom Gilbert.

With all due respect to these veterans, the subject question would better be phrased - which pocket knife would you like to take to the gunfight?

Now there are a number of guys that are skilled and have enough history in clutch times (granted not yet in the NHL) that we can have a spirited talk about who "the guy" is and as Gregor mentioned, there is no wrong answer. And RNH and hopefully Yak are going to be in the conversation.

Hall - I see a lot of Glenn Anderson's game there (sans all the off-ice weirdness, I hope). Andy was as CLUTCH as anyone and Hall is cut from the same "pedal to the metal" cloth.

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#41 RyanCoke
August 14 2012, 12:01PM
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Hall, he creates more offense all around him.

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#42 Cody anderson
August 14 2012, 12:05PM
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Actually the stats you put up surprised me. If you had not mentioned breaking up the gaem that is exactly what I would have done as everyone calls Ebs clutch for some of the big timely goals he has scored.

If you look at the game winners. Hall has way more that were in 1 goal differential games, more in the third period, and more in OT. Obviously from their time in Oilers silks thus far Hall has scored more clutch goals.

The rest of the game Hall is our best forechecker, and is better defensively. This is an easy decision for me. I choose Hall over any other player on our roster.

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#43 Pistol Pete
August 14 2012, 12:06PM
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Hallsy

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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 Word
August 14 2012, 12:16PM
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Smid. Wait, what was the question?

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#48 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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#49 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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#50 Cheap Shot Charlie
August 14 2012, 12:28PM
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Posting as DSF:

I pick Crosby. The Oilers really screwed up by not winning the lottery in 2005. I blame the whole organization. Hall and Eberle both suck. Look at these numbers.

Crosby 2739, Hall 23, Eberle 22,

Obviously, Crosby the the way to go.

*note: numbers have no actual value.

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