Taylor Hall, Opportunity and the 2014 Olympics

Jonathan Willis
December 10 2013 08:14AM

Yesterday, TSN’s extremely well-connected Darren Dreger listed five players at left wing on his projected Canadian Olympic depth chart. After those five names, he listed four other players as left wings fighting for a spot on the team. That’s nine names total; Taylor Hall’s wasn’t even mentioned.

It’s pretty unlikely that Dreger just pulled those names out of thin air. Anybody who follows hockey knows that he has sources, and given the number of NHL people involved in the Hockey Canada selection process it’s a pretty good bet that he’s given us a decent look at what the management group is thinking.

Hall’s Chances

Despite Hall’s well-publicized lapses in the defensive zone, there’s no doubt that he stacks up extremely well against the nine guys on Dreger’s list offensively. Even if we stack the deck against Hall – starting the clock in his rookie season and giving no weight to his improvement since then – he shows very well:

Player G/82 A/82 PTS/82
Eric Staal 28 48 76
Patrick Sharp 34 40 74
Taylor Hall 32 40 72
Jamie Benn 26 44 70
Chris Kunitz 32 38 70
James Neal 35 34 69
Patrick Marleau 33 34 67
Logan Couture 33 32 65
Matt Duchene 27 35 62
Milan Lucic 26 35 61

If we nix Hall’s rookie year, he’s seventh among Canadian forwards in points-per-game since 2011.

It’s more than scoring, too. Hockey’s a game of what a team creates versus what it gives up, and Hall was incredible in that regard last season. With Hall on the ice in 2012-13, the Oilers out-shot the opposition 36-32; with him on the bench those numbers fell to 23-32. That’s an insane tilt, the mark of a true difference-maker, one of the very best players in the entire world.

Is it frustrating that Hall sometimes cheats for offence, or occasionally turns the puck over while making plays? Yes, it is, because he could be an utterly dominant player and instead he’s just a very, very good one. It’s probably going to cost him an Olympic spot, even if it shouldn’t.

But it’s also an opportunity for Edmonton.

Coachable Moment?

It’s a pretty good bet that Hall wants to play for Canada. He represented his country at the World Championships last summer and he played in various international tourneys as a junior. Last year, of course, was marred by Lindy Ruff’s usage of Hall but if anything that should only go toward illustrating the same point.

People aren’t going to take Hall seriously as one of the game’s greats – even if he is one – until he’s as enthusiastic about work in his own zone as he is about putting points up on the board. He’s already shown an ability to adapt his game, focusing on being more aware of hits and improving his play-making; he can make another shift to be a more responsible two-way player.

Self-preservation likely helped motivate the first change. Getting his proper due can help motivate the second. And ensuring that Hall makes that jump is one of a bunch of challenges facing Dallas Eakins.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#101 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 01:01PM
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@Zarny

Sorry bud but it does all tie together.

Bud? Really?

Yes, players who have the puck a lot turn it over a lot. Players who make the Olympics, however, go get it back. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Getzlaf...everyone you named but Kessel does just that. Hall doesn't. Period.

Yet Hall has a solid record of drastically outchancing the opposition. How has he managed this with so many turnovers and without any ability to acquire the puck I wonder.

It also matters where you turn the puck over. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Getzlaf etc almost never turn the puck over at either blue line.

This is false. Most turnovers by puck possession players occur at the blue line. As I said to someone earlier - if you can prove to me that Datsyuk is more prone to dumping in the puck than Hall I will listen to this argument. Otherwise it's just the shrill noise from fans of a losing team reaching for answers.

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#102 Zarny
December 10 2013, 01:06PM
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Citizen David wrote:

He has a better Career Points per game than everyone on that list except Crosby and Stamkos.

Whoopty flippin doo.

Over the last few years Spezza is actually behind Crosby, Stamkos, St. Louis and Giroux and tied with Neal and Tavares for pt/gm.

Oh...and you get a whopping 0.2 pt/gm more than the guy in 25th place.

Meanwhile, the chances Spezza gives up a game-winning goal in the last 10 minutes is about 200% higher compared to Toews, Getzlaf, Staal, Couture, Sharp and about 10 other forwards.

Like I said, whatever offense you "might" get from Spezza is marginal at best compared to the drop in defense play.

Which is why he has a 0% chance of going to Sochi.

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#103 Citizen David
December 10 2013, 01:08PM
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Zarny wrote:

Whoopty flippin doo.

Over the last few years Spezza is actually behind Crosby, Stamkos, St. Louis and Giroux and tied with Neal and Tavares for pt/gm.

Oh...and you get a whopping 0.2 pt/gm more than the guy in 25th place.

Meanwhile, the chances Spezza gives up a game-winning goal in the last 10 minutes is about 200% higher compared to Toews, Getzlaf, Staal, Couture, Sharp and about 10 other forwards.

Like I said, whatever offense you "might" get from Spezza is marginal at best compared to the drop in defense play.

Which is why he has a 0% chance of going to Sochi.

Last season he played 5 games in which he had 5 points. The one before he was in the top five in NHL scoring with 84 while Getzlaf had 58.

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#104 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 01:09PM
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S cottV wrote:

Not necessarily true. Mixing it up, keeps the defensive alignment guessing. Hall is way too predictable and opposition d men, pretty much know he is going to carry, even 1 on 3. So - no need to back off him, in case he dumps and chases it, play him tight and look to separate him from the puck = turnover. Same with his tendency to throw the puck east west vs pushing it north, where a line mate can skate into it or start an effective pressure forecheck. The defensive alignment cheats up rather than back and will often pick off these lame passes, in very sensitive areas.

With Halls speed - in an NHL rink, dumping and regaining control through effective forechecking with his linemates - needs to be part of the arsenal to mix in with possession hockey. The one opens up opportunities for the other and visa versa.

The score - the time remaining, the position of his line mates on the ice relative to where he is in possession, the defensive alignment, who your playing against -etc etc, would determine when best to possess vs dump and forecheck. Even factoring in his speed and ability to carry - Hall needs to dump and chase - way more than he does. Hell - with his speed, he would be first to the puck many times anyway, or force an immediate opposition turnover.

Almost impossible to create an odd man rush against you - with a dump in - and 200 foot away turnover. Whereas - very possible to create an odd man rush against, with an errant east west pass or trying to stickhandle through the opposition in the neutral zone and into the attack zone.

Sorry but lets not compare Hall - who has a lot to learn to - Datsyk and Zetterberg. Those guys are veteran proven winners, who have earned their spurs and no how to play - when to pick their spots.

It has been proven quite definitively that dumping the puck results in much less offense.

As for your last paragraph - try reading through the thread again. Maybe you'll catch the point somewhere along the line.

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#105 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 01:12PM
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Citizen David wrote:

Last season he played 5 games in which he had 5 points. The one before he was in the top five in NHL scoring with 84 while Getzlaf had 58.

Spezza is really in tough at center

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#106 Rob F
December 10 2013, 01:12PM
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Some other guy wrote:

Well, it sucks for Oiler fans that they won't have any of their own in the olympics. Thats why I'm especially excited to watch Darnell Nurse in the world juniors.

yakupov......no respect.....

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#107 Zarny
December 10 2013, 01:14PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
Sorry bud but it does all tie together.

Bud? Really?

Yes, players who have the puck a lot turn it over a lot. Players who make the Olympics, however, go get it back. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Getzlaf...everyone you named but Kessel does just that. Hall doesn't. Period.

Yet Hall has a solid record of drastically outchancing the opposition. How has he managed this with so many turnovers and without any ability to acquire the puck I wonder.

It also matters where you turn the puck over. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Getzlaf etc almost never turn the puck over at either blue line.

This is false. Most turnovers by puck possession players occur at the blue line. As I said to someone earlier - if you can prove to me that Datsyuk is more prone to dumping in the puck than Hall I will listen to this argument. Otherwise it's just the shrill noise from fans of a losing team reaching for answers.

Good grief, you should try making a point instead of just driveling on.

And learn to read.

I didn't say Datsyuk is more likely to dump the puck. He's simply less likely to turn the puck over at the blue-lines.

If you need proof go watch any of Detroit's 82 regular season games. Pavel Datsyuk is a perennial Selke trophy candidate.

Finally, even if Hall and Datsyuk turn the puck over in the exact same spot on the ice Datsyuk repeatedly gets the puck back far more often than Hall.

Thus, preventing the opposition from getting a scoring chance.

Hall? Not so much. He's much more likely to be the forward 5th back into the d-zone and just creeping into the screen as the opposition scores.

It's not a coincidence that of all the LW being mentioned for Canada Hall is virtually the only negative in plus/minus.

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#108 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 01:22PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Talk about not getting it.

Magical attributes like "balls," "heart" and "truculence," which I distribute randomly based on the assortment of narratively packaged out-of-town clips I watch on occasion tell me who is good and who is not.

I will not be contested in this way of thinking which is somehow both rigid and subject to wild, sweeping changes!

I Will Not!

"balls," "heart" and "truculence,"

Those things are known as intangibles.They don't show up on your spreadsheet.They do however win hockey games.

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#109 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 01:24PM
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Some other guy wrote:

Well, it sucks for Oiler fans that they won't have any of their own in the olympics. Thats why I'm especially excited to watch Darnell Nurse in the world juniors.

Ummmm Nurse did not even make the short list for the WJC

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#110 S cottV
December 10 2013, 01:28PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Sorry Tiger - but you really have no clue. Try analyzing golf....

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#111 SpydyrIsALoser
December 10 2013, 01:36PM
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@Spydyr

#Sarcasm

in response to Rob F, I forgot about the guy. That actually got me pumped up to watch the tourney all over again!

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#112 Puck_In_Throat
December 10 2013, 01:37PM
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Using the stats as they currently appear for the 2013/2014 NHL season, this is why Taylor Hall isn't part of the convo:

Giveaways per 82 games

Eric Staal 63

Patrick Sharp 15

Taylor Hall 120

Jamie Benn 76

Chris Kunitz 46

James Neal 31

Patrick Marleau 70

Logan Couture 68

Matt Duchene 26

Milan Lucic 76

Taylor Hall is a giveaway machine. If you think that leads to bad results in the NHL, just imagine how much worse it is when you are turning the puck over to perennial all-stars and snipers.

Patrick Sharp, by contrast, gives the puck away almost ten times less. Even the most giveaway prone guy on the list after Hall only give the puck away half as much.

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#113 boxman
December 10 2013, 01:51PM
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Zarny and Spydyr you seem pretty impressed with hearing yourselves but I would urge you both to say less, much less. Your endless drivel only confirms that you both played hockey and football without a helmet and that narcissism is an unattractive quality.

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#114 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 01:52PM
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Spydyr wrote:

"balls," "heart" and "truculence,"

Those things are known as intangibles.They don't show up on your spreadsheet.They do however win hockey games.

Perhaps.

Unfortunately, such "measures" are rife with bias, bogus narratives, moving goalposts, arbitrariness and post hoc rationalization. All of which, makes them hard to take very seriously.

What they do do, however, is give people without much insight lots to say.

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#115 S cottV
December 10 2013, 01:58PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Ok - well take your case to Hockey Canada and good luck - because even with his lack of defensive play to fit in a bottom 6 role, too many turnovers, is on a next to last place team with leadership in question - etc etc, i would still like to see him play in the Olypics. You may be his and our best hope to change their minds. Go get em - Tiger...

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#116 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 02:19PM
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@Zarny

Plus/minus?

#pennerforsochi

Re: Datsyuk - I've explained this twice now. I'm not doing it again for your benefit. I will do my very best to "learn to read" however. Grow up "bud".

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#117 Sidney
December 10 2013, 02:27PM
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No chance does not play a 200 ft game.

They already have players that are fast and can score.

I guess if a number of players get injured before the Olympics he has a chance.

Also Hall has never played in the playoffs he does not know pressure at the NHL level

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#118 Oiler Al
December 10 2013, 02:43PM
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When Hall, learns to play the "team game" then he can be considered for National teams. They are called TEAM for a reason.. and not ME.

Lacks defensive skills, and as mention way to many turnovers... there is no room for error on the Olympic teams.

I think many of Oilers struggles stems for to many guys playing the ME game.. Hall, Eberle, Yak, Gagner, Hemsky, Schultz Jr... Time to gel boys.

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#119 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 02:55PM
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boxman wrote:

Zarny and Spydyr you seem pretty impressed with hearing yourselves but I would urge you both to say less, much less. Your endless drivel only confirms that you both played hockey and football without a helmet and that narcissism is an unattractive quality.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to our endless drivel.

Or you could just not read our comments.

No one is making you except you.

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#120 boxman
December 10 2013, 03:20PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to our endless drivel.

Or you could just not read our comments.

No one is making you except you.

It is true that I don't have to read your comments but skipping around your drivel takes time. If you and Zarny insist on caterwauling back and forth without intelligent thought or even a sense of humour the kind thing would be brevity.

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#121 Johnnydapunk
December 10 2013, 03:34PM
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I don't envy the selection committee in any way as no matter who they pick, if Canada doesn't get gold, it will be wrong, no pressure or anything...

With considerations like the international sized ice (which wasn't used in 2010) and IIHF rules (which are a lot more strict on hitting) it is really hard to judge who would be the best to play for Canada as how they play in the NHL is of course a factor, but trying to figure out if their style of play is suited to the international game and how quickly they can become a "team" is huge here.

I would have thought that the closest replication to playing on a larger ice surface would be when teams play 4 on 4 so maybe that is a small factor in team selections.

I would think that maybe a player like Hall would be good for the Olympic team as his skating ability and speed would be a huge asset on the big ice. His decision making I think is maybe his downfall, as well as his defensive work which is not horrible horrible, but could be better and may be with time. There's time for him and he will eventually be on an Olympic team. I'm sure he will be on the World Championship team at least, though sadly will be probably gonna be one of the least cared for WCs since 2010 :-)

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#122 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 03:49PM
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boxman wrote:

It is true that I don't have to read your comments but skipping around your drivel takes time. If you and Zarny insist on caterwauling back and forth without intelligent thought or even a sense of humour the kind thing would be brevity.

What you fail to realize is that you have no control over anyone or anything on this board.

Now tell me who is being narcissistic?

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#123 S cottV
December 10 2013, 04:33PM
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@Johnnydapunk

In some ways the big ice favors Hall and in other ways it doesn't.

Similar to 4 on 4, big ice puts more of a premium on possession hockey because the straight dump and forecheck does not work as well, as opposition d men have more time and space to work the puck out.

Teams that dump it have to be more selective about where its dumped, to have a line mate be first to the puck or to be right on the opposition d man who retrieves.

While possession is at more of a premium, which favors Hall - turnovers that cause odd man rushes are even more dangerous on big ice -which doesn't favor him. You have to have some patience and pick your spots, or its in the back of your net. More dangerous because a 3 on 2 or 2 on 1 yields more time and space than normal and is much harder to defend.

Bottom line - there are guys better suited at this point in time, to do what has to be done on the 3rd and 4th line. Play responsibly - limit opposition chances, chip in with some timely goals, and let the top 2 lines do the bulk of the scoring. Doesn't sound like a Hallsey assignment to me.

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#124 Zarny
December 10 2013, 04:40PM
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Citizen David wrote:

Last season he played 5 games in which he had 5 points. The one before he was in the top five in NHL scoring with 84 while Getzlaf had 58.

Wow...5 pts in 5 games.

Gagner got 8 pts in 1 game 2 years ago. Should he go to Sochi?

You can cherry pick stats however you want.

Giroux had 91 pts to Spezza's 84 pts. In 2010-11 Spezza only had 57 pts in 62 games. Getzlaf had 76 pts in 67 games.

And this year Getzlaf has 37 pts compared to Spezza's 27 pts.

The reality is any offense you gain with Spezza is marginal. Literally, fractions of a pt per game.

The increased defensive liability he brings is a lot more than that.

If Spezza was 3rd in league scoring this year he might have had a shot. He isn't. Tied with Brian Little for 19th.

Zero chance he makes this squad.

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#125 Zamboni Driver
December 10 2013, 04:45PM
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Anyone sticking to/with the idea that Hall should be in Sochi.

Ask yourself this.

Who has been the best player on the Oilers this year? Keeping in mind that the Edmonton Oilers are, what? third-last in the NHL! (hurry stats nerds correct me)

The fact is there would be a debate between Hall and Perron. And actually I'd side with Perron as the best Oiler to date.

In 19 billion years no one is talking about Perron going to the big Dance. So why in the world would Hall be considered this time around?

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#126 Zarny
December 10 2013, 04:57PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Plus/minus?

#pennerforsochi

Re: Datsyuk - I've explained this twice now. I'm not doing it again for your benefit. I will do my very best to "learn to read" however. Grow up "bud".

Nope.

You literally didn't make a point. Just driveled on about dumping the puck for no apparent reason.

The fact you even try to compare Hall and Datsyuk regarding turnovers is laughable.

Fun stats:

Giveaways this season:

Taylor Hall: 35 Tied for 4th most in the NHL

Pavel Datsyuk: 14 Tied for 138th most in the NHL

Takeaways this season:

Taylor Hall: 19 Tied for 55th most in the NHL

Pavel Datsyuk: 40 Literally has the most takeaways in the NHL.

Turnover plus/minus:

Taylor Hall: -19 16th worst in the NHL.

Pavel Datsyuk: 26 The 2nd best in the NHL.

When Taylor Hall gives the puck away, he should literally watch and do what Pavel Datsyuk does.

He doesn't and it's not even close.

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#127 camdog
December 10 2013, 05:13PM
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@Johnnydapunk

"I would have thought that the closest replication to playing on a larger ice surface would be when teams play 4 on 4 so maybe that is a small factor in team selections."

Did you forget that Hall played in the World Championships last season? Did you see the 2 turnovers he made in the neutral zone that lead to 2 goals against? On the large ice Hall failed last season. This failure is the reason why he is not getting any consideration for the Olympic team.

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#128 pkam
December 10 2013, 05:28PM
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Zarny wrote:

Nope.

You literally didn't make a point. Just driveled on about dumping the puck for no apparent reason.

The fact you even try to compare Hall and Datsyuk regarding turnovers is laughable.

Fun stats:

Giveaways this season:

Taylor Hall: 35 Tied for 4th most in the NHL

Pavel Datsyuk: 14 Tied for 138th most in the NHL

Takeaways this season:

Taylor Hall: 19 Tied for 55th most in the NHL

Pavel Datsyuk: 40 Literally has the most takeaways in the NHL.

Turnover plus/minus:

Taylor Hall: -19 16th worst in the NHL.

Pavel Datsyuk: 26 The 2nd best in the NHL.

When Taylor Hall gives the puck away, he should literally watch and do what Pavel Datsyuk does.

He doesn't and it's not even close.

Why do we compare Hall to Datsyuk?

Datsyuk is the best two way center at the moment, can you tell me one center who is better than him?

The whole argument should be comparing Hall to the wingers that TSN suggested.

If defensive game is key to why Hall is not considered for Team Canada, then why Kunitz and Lucic are in the conversation?

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#129 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 05:43PM
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@Zarny

You went hard for the straw man. Why should I bother when you choose not to characterize my position accurately?

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#130 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 05:44PM
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pkam wrote:

Why do we compare Hall to Datsyuk?

Datsyuk is the best two way center at the moment, can you tell me one center who is better than him?

The whole argument should be comparing Hall to the wingers that TSN suggested.

If defensive game is key to why Hall is not considered for Team Canada, then why Kunitz and Lucic are in the conversation?

Because I pointed out that good players turn over the puck due to the fact that they have it a lot and Datsyuk was one of the names I mentioned. Zarny has glommed tightly on to this.

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#131 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 10 2013, 06:07PM
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The Team Canada selection committee is doing us a huge favour.......they are sending a message to Hall, Ebbs and others that they need to become more well rounded players if they want to represent Canada........that's a message that is not yet getting through via the Oilers coaching staff.

If they heed the advice, Hall, Ebbs and RNH could ALL make the next Team Canada in 2018.

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#132 Johnnydapunk
December 10 2013, 06:20PM
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camdog wrote:

"I would have thought that the closest replication to playing on a larger ice surface would be when teams play 4 on 4 so maybe that is a small factor in team selections."

Did you forget that Hall played in the World Championships last season? Did you see the 2 turnovers he made in the neutral zone that lead to 2 goals against? On the large ice Hall failed last season. This failure is the reason why he is not getting any consideration for the Olympic team.

I agree that he was not so good in the WC last year, I think it is more to do with his decision making and his lack of a defensive game as he would be playing 3rd/4th line ish if he was to make the team (I'm aware he won't of course, but hypothetically) . If/when he becomes a more complete player, he would be considered, but there are players currently available for Olympic duty that would be better at the role he is playing for the Oil (first line minutes etc) if that makes sense.

If his game improves, he may one day be a serious Olympic consideration, he has time on his side and barring any crazy injury there is still the potential of 3 Olympics still for him.

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#133 pkam
December 10 2013, 06:22PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Because I pointed out that good players turn over the puck due to the fact that they have it a lot and Datsyuk was one of the names I mentioned. Zarny has glommed tightly on to this.

You should have mentioned Lucic since he is not only in the Olympics conversation, he is a player that most Oilers fan would like to acquire. 28 GA and 8 TA, so -20.

If turn over the puck is such a big problem, why do we even want to add Lucic?

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#134 Johnnydapunk
December 10 2013, 06:24PM
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S cottV wrote:

In some ways the big ice favors Hall and in other ways it doesn't.

Similar to 4 on 4, big ice puts more of a premium on possession hockey because the straight dump and forecheck does not work as well, as opposition d men have more time and space to work the puck out.

Teams that dump it have to be more selective about where its dumped, to have a line mate be first to the puck or to be right on the opposition d man who retrieves.

While possession is at more of a premium, which favors Hall - turnovers that cause odd man rushes are even more dangerous on big ice -which doesn't favor him. You have to have some patience and pick your spots, or its in the back of your net. More dangerous because a 3 on 2 or 2 on 1 yields more time and space than normal and is much harder to defend.

Bottom line - there are guys better suited at this point in time, to do what has to be done on the 3rd and 4th line. Play responsibly - limit opposition chances, chip in with some timely goals, and let the top 2 lines do the bulk of the scoring. Doesn't sound like a Hallsey assignment to me.

I agree completely. Like I just replied to another fine chap, he needs his game to develop and in time he may be Olympic quality, just not this time. Hope he sees that and realises he needs to work harder on his game.

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#135 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 10 2013, 06:53PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Perhaps.

Unfortunately, such "measures" are rife with bias, bogus narratives, moving goalposts, arbitrariness and post hoc rationalization. All of which, makes them hard to take very seriously.

What they do do, however, is give people without much insight lots to say.

Not perhaps.....for sure.

And what is unfortunate is that "statistics" are rife with bias, bogus narratives, moving goalposts, arbitrariness and post hoc rationalization. All of which makes them hard to take seriously.

What they do do, however, is give people with zero insight lots to say.

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#136 Saytalk
December 10 2013, 07:28PM
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What's lost in the discussion is the fact that the Olympic team does not roll 4 scoring lines and 4 powerplay units. They need some of those skilled guys to play checking roles and kill penalties, which is why there is a bias towards players with at least some defensive skill (i.e. a 200-foot player).

Hawerchuk was known for accepting a more defensive role for Team Canada in the 80's; Yzerman in the 90's. It's unfortunate that Hall will not be put into a situation where he can be clearly assigned a defensive role on a team full of all-stars and feel peer pressure to live up to that role (he has no true peers on the Oilers to pressure him the same way). Of course, Hawerchuk and Yzerman showed better at the Worlds when they had that chance early in their careers.

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#137 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 10:47PM
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Your team is up by a goal with under six minutes to play.Hall coughs the puck up at your blue-line. The other team scores the tying goal.

That play tonight is why Hall is not in the conversation for the Olympics.

Could you imagine that happening in the Gold medal game?

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#138 oilerman53
December 11 2013, 02:15AM
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I think Halls play as of late is raising eyebrows but the guy needs to use his teammates a lot more. He could easily be the fastest guy on the Olympic team but he needs to realize he isnt the best option on a rush. Hall is an absolute bulldozer on the ice most nights and is just going to get better. When he figures out the complete game hes going to be unstoppable. There arent enough lunch pail players on the Oilers right now ie: powerplay. With all of this being said being a citizen of Canada and watching the Olympics will be nice and hoping Canafa gets a gold which I don't think they will. Having a rested team isnt a half bad thing when all of the top players come back on the wrong side of 60 plus games already played this season including a ten hour flight and time change both ways.

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#139 john
December 11 2013, 03:45AM
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Let those guys go over play in the olympics, they get tired and jetlagged coming back here. All the Oilers players are well rested and make the run for the playoffs next spring in the second half.

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#140 Cowbell_Feva
December 11 2013, 05:15AM
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Anyone arguing that Taylor Hall should be on Team Canada needs to take a step back, remove the Oiler-goggles, and put down the Kool-aid. He has speed. Some nights he has heart. His raw physical attributes are second to none.

However, his mental side of the game is brutal. I think that is why he ends up getting crunched nearly every game, tries to stick-handle through 3 NHL defenseman, and turns the puck over shift, after shift, after shift.

He has the physical tools most people would die for, but his hockey IQ needs to be upped 100 points if you want to even mention him for the Olympics.

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#141 Benhur
December 11 2013, 09:09AM
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Puck_In_Throat wrote:

Using the stats as they currently appear for the 2013/2014 NHL season, this is why Taylor Hall isn't part of the convo:

Giveaways per 82 games

Eric Staal 63

Patrick Sharp 15

Taylor Hall 120

Jamie Benn 76

Chris Kunitz 46

James Neal 31

Patrick Marleau 70

Logan Couture 68

Matt Duchene 26

Milan Lucic 76

Taylor Hall is a giveaway machine. If you think that leads to bad results in the NHL, just imagine how much worse it is when you are turning the puck over to perennial all-stars and snipers.

Patrick Sharp, by contrast, gives the puck away almost ten times less. Even the most giveaway prone guy on the list after Hall only give the puck away half as much.

Exactly. That is the reason Hall is not in consideration..too many turnovers! Sharp and Duchene are the two I would be pushing.

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#142 dawgbone
December 11 2013, 12:06PM
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Puck_In_Throat wrote:

Using the stats as they currently appear for the 2013/2014 NHL season, this is why Taylor Hall isn't part of the convo:

Giveaways per 82 games

Eric Staal 63

Patrick Sharp 15

Taylor Hall 120

Jamie Benn 76

Chris Kunitz 46

James Neal 31

Patrick Marleau 70

Logan Couture 68

Matt Duchene 26

Milan Lucic 76

Taylor Hall is a giveaway machine. If you think that leads to bad results in the NHL, just imagine how much worse it is when you are turning the puck over to perennial all-stars and snipers.

Patrick Sharp, by contrast, gives the puck away almost ten times less. Even the most giveaway prone guy on the list after Hall only give the puck away half as much.

Do you know who leads the NHL in giveaways (raw and per 82)? Erik Karlsson.

Do you know who else is in the top 10 amongst F?

Phil Kessel Joe Thornton Ryan Getzlaf Logan Couture.

Giveaways are a great stat, until you realize they are counted differently in every single rink.

Edmonton has played 15 home games and 17 road games this year.

At home they have 220 giveaways (14.7) and on the road they have 134 giveaways (7.9/game).

The guy in the Oilers rink counts giveaways at nearly twice the rate of the other buildings. So the question then becomes, how much of an impact does that have?

Hall has played 12GP at home and has recorded 26 giveaways (2.2/game). He's also played 13GP on the road and has 11 giveaways (0.8/game).

If you want to use the giveaway/takeaway stat, you have to use road only.

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#143 Rama Lama
December 11 2013, 05:08PM
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Perhaps I'm dating myself, but I remember a time when guys like Messier, Anderson and Gretzky use to routinely cough up the puck.

Yea none of those players were any good, should have traded those bums the first year, instead we had to endure 10 year of them!!!

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