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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#101 DSF
August 14 2012, 08:02PM
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Seguin AND Eberle

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#102 The Soup Fascist
August 14 2012, 08:32PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

So is mine.

You look pretty animated when you are trying to make a point.

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#103 Archaeologuy
August 14 2012, 09:28PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

You look pretty animated when you are trying to make a point.

It's a condition. I don't like talking about it.

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#104 The Soup Fascist
August 14 2012, 09:34PM
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@Archaeologuy

Coincidentally watching Indy - Temple of Doom on showcase as we speak. By far weakest of the trilogy IMO (latest one doesn't count). Inside opinion Arch?

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#105 Archaeologuy
August 14 2012, 10:15PM
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@The Soup Fascist

Temple is definitely the weakest. (not counting Crystal Skull*)

*F+ck Aliens.

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#106 The Soup Fascist
August 14 2012, 10:34PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Temple is definitely the weakest. (not counting Crystal Skull*)

*F+ck Aliens.

Excellent. My world is almost in balance. Now if you will just concede Hall is going to be just that little bit better than Ebs in the "big" games ....

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#107 Smythyyy
August 15 2012, 01:21AM
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Eberle.

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#108 Reg Dunlop
August 15 2012, 02:45AM
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I see Hall and Ebs in the same way I saw Trottier and Bossy. In a 7th game, the game winner was going to be scored by Bossy, even if Trottier was the more valuable player. Eberle will be scoring the big goals for the oil.

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#109 Cheap Shot Charlie
August 15 2012, 03:51AM
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DSF wrote:

Seguin AND Eberle

DSF, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you've been cryogenically frozen for the last 3 years. The economy still sucks (everywhere but Alberta), the federal conservatives have a majority government, and the Oilers picked Taylor Hall. Sorry, I know this is hard to take. But one thing that is the same is "the Oilers will be better this year" is still what all the cool kids are saying.

I bet you could use a *HUG*

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#110 MattL
August 15 2012, 05:38AM
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Eberle.

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#111 j
August 15 2012, 08:19AM
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At this point in their careers, Hall gets the puck moving in the right direction with more consistency and conviction. He would be my current pick for game 7 as the puck will be on correct side of centre more often when he is out. I appreciate I am breaking the rules but man what a treat to have them both. On one shift the D and goalie are on their heels with Hall flying down the wings unleashing bullets. On the next shift the D get suckered into trying to poke check Ebs as he casually glides into the high slot and makes 3 subtle angle changes before going shelf on a frozen goalie. Beautiful x 2.

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#112 Mumbai Max
August 15 2012, 08:34AM
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tough one

eberle

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#113 Oil Dude
August 15 2012, 08:37AM
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Interesting debate.

I guess for me it comes down to this :

Would you rather have the most clutch GWG goal scorer in playoff history (Sakic) or the greatest pure leader in the NHL 's history (Messier)?

100% of the time I take Messier , or in this case Hall. Although having a Sakic on the line is a pretty good thing as well.

Hall for sure. Eberle is good though. Either way whichever one would score the goal you do know that RNH would be in on the assist.

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#114 Old Retired Guy
August 15 2012, 10:27AM
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When your Old and Retired you have time for things.....

Page Count:

Page One: Hall 29 Eberle 15 Page Two: Hall 21 Eberle 17 Page Three: Hall 1 Eberle 4

Overal Count: Hall 51 Eberle 36

Winner is: OILER FANS!!!

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#115 harp
August 15 2012, 11:57AM
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Is this even a question?

HALL

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#116 Milhouse Van Ched
August 15 2012, 12:13PM
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Eberle

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#117 Wax Man Riley
August 15 2012, 12:37PM
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Well, the nation will speak in a week or so. TSN's Who's Better? looks to be Jordan Eberle vs. Taylor Hall as the best under 25 player in the league.

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#118 match16
August 15 2012, 01:01PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Well, the nation will speak in a week or so. TSN's Who's Better? looks to be Jordan Eberle vs. Taylor Hall as the best under 25 player in the league.

I would take Hall. But i think Eberle will get more votes because most of the voters don't actually watch oiler games and watch the highlights (which eberle is on constantly)

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#119 Milli
August 15 2012, 01:20PM
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Hall

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#120 G Money
August 16 2012, 01:02AM
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I'm just psyched that we can have this debate about two incredible young players and THEY'RE BOTH OILERS!

As to the question, I guess I would go with HEADS! ooops, I mean HALL!

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#121 rob
August 16 2012, 09:26AM
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Taylor freakin hall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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