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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#51 Zarny
December 10 2013, 10:28AM
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Citizen David wrote:

Looking at Dregers list:

Stamkos probably won't be back. He has Bergeron and St.Louis on the outside looking in at the moment. Those two should be locks. I've ranted enough about Spezza I won't do it again but I can't believe how hockey Canada ignores him.

Yeesh, enough about Spezza.

What does Spezza bring that you don't get with Crosby, Toews, Tavares or Getzlaf?

Nothing..except he's more of a defensive liability.

Spezza certainly sits behind Crosby on the depth chart and you would never play him on the 3rd or 4th line. He's not a candidate to play the wing which means the only spot he could possibly play is 2C.

Thanks but the smart money says Toews, Tavares or Getzlaf are better picks. Whatever increase you may get from Spezza is marginal compared to the increased risk and defensive liability.

Hall is in the same boat. The extra 5 pts a year doesn't make up for the increased turnovers or flying the zone cheating for offense.

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#52 Greasy Goal
December 10 2013, 10:33AM
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Why is Giroux projected on the second line? He's had a horrid season(20 points in 30 games). Is team Canada going after reputational players, producing players, or are they going after a weird combination of both which could leave people scratching their heads? I believe thats called the 'political' aspect of choosing.

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#53 Zarny
December 10 2013, 10:37AM
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Clarko wrote:

Watching the Pens game last night, I saw Malkin give the puck away several times throughout the game...he actually turns over the puck quite a bit. I imagine there is no conversation to leave him off the Russian team.

No.

Because Malkin has won a Stanley Cup, an Art Ross and a Conn Smythe trophy.

You saw Malkin give the puck away several times in 1 game.

Hall gives the puck away several times every game.

I'm a big Taylor Hall fan. IMO he's by far Edm best player. But he isn't Evgeni Malkin. Not yet anyway.

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#54 Dawn
December 10 2013, 10:38AM
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International gold is a pipe dream for Canada as long as HC is more about politics than icing the best players available.

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#55 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 10:42AM
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The very idea of a top 6 and a bottom six made up of role players on the Olympic teams needs to be eliminated forever.

A hockey players "role" is to outscore the opposition.

The reason these "role players" exist in the NHL has to do with financial constraints, not a quest for some magical mix of players.

If you can send a 4th line of Getzlaf-Perry-Nash, you don't send marginal players instead because they are better suited to some mythical "role". It's idiotic.

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#56 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 10:51AM
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Zarny wrote:

No.

Because Malkin has won a Stanley Cup, an Art Ross and a Conn Smythe trophy.

You saw Malkin give the puck away several times in 1 game.

Hall gives the puck away several times every game.

I'm a big Taylor Hall fan. IMO he's by far Edm best player. But he isn't Evgeni Malkin. Not yet anyway.

The entire Giveaway argument is idiotic.

Turnovers are a measure of how often someone has the puck, nothing more.

Regulars among the turnover leader board include Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel, Tavares...

People need to stop it.

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#57 Zamboni Driver
December 10 2013, 10:53AM
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Good lord the inferiority complex in this City is equaled only by the level to which we overvalue our players.

The point of the Olympics is to win.

I think the guys in charge "know a little something about winning"TM (except that unlike Six Cups they do since they, you know, won last time)

Hall will get a serious look in four years.

A guy who is clueless in his own zone. Played next to no time in the World Championships (and NOT because the coach was a big meanie and anti-Oilers) Doesn't hit anybody, and just skates around real fast does not make the Olympic team.

Kunitz gets in because he plays with Crosby. Probably yeah, he does. Simple as that. It's a short tournament - the point is to win.

Edmonton fans remember winning, right?

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#58 Pajamah
December 10 2013, 10:53AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The very idea of a top 6 and a bottom six made up of role players on the Olympic teams needs to be eliminated forever.

A hockey players "role" is to outscore the opposition.

The reason these "role players" exist in the NHL has to do with financial constraints, not a quest for some magical mix of players.

If you can send a 4th line of Getzlaf-Perry-Nash, you don't send marginal players instead because they are better suited to some mythical "role". It's idiotic.

Propped.

This. All F'n Day.

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#59 rindog
December 10 2013, 10:54AM
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Spydyr wrote:

By numbers you mean points right?

Points alone do not make the player.

A complete game a great attitude a big heart and above all winning makes the player.

Chris Kunitz has twice as many give aways as he does take aways. Hall is a little bit better than that.

Just becasue Hall has more turnovers overall doesnt mean he is worse than Kunitz defensively. It simply means he has the puck more and therefore turns it over more.

Would you rather have a guy that makes less mistakes because he gets involved less or a guys that drives the play and makes a differene?

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#60 Zarny
December 10 2013, 11:12AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The entire Giveaway argument is idiotic.

Turnovers are a measure of how often someone has the puck, nothing more.

Regulars among the turnover leader board include Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel, Tavares...

People need to stop it.

Umm no...you argument is idiotic.

Those regular leaders on the turnover board...Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel and Tavares are also on the leader board for players who get on their horse to get the puck back when they turn it over.

Hall...not so much.

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#61 Citizen David
December 10 2013, 11:13AM
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Zarny wrote:

Yeesh, enough about Spezza.

What does Spezza bring that you don't get with Crosby, Toews, Tavares or Getzlaf?

Nothing..except he's more of a defensive liability.

Spezza certainly sits behind Crosby on the depth chart and you would never play him on the 3rd or 4th line. He's not a candidate to play the wing which means the only spot he could possibly play is 2C.

Thanks but the smart money says Toews, Tavares or Getzlaf are better picks. Whatever increase you may get from Spezza is marginal compared to the increased risk and defensive liability.

Hall is in the same boat. The extra 5 pts a year doesn't make up for the increased turnovers or flying the zone cheating for offense.

I'm not sure what qualifies some centers to be able to switch to wing and not others. I also missed the class that says Spezza is a defensive liability. In my mind this defensive liability thing has become a boogeyman. Like Tigerunderglass says if you carry the puck more you'll have more turnovers just like if you don't have the puck much you'll have more hits and blocked shots. But having the puck is what we want. To win in hockey you have to score more than the other team. Spezza is better at getting points than almost anyone on that roster.

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#62 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 11:19AM
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Zarny wrote:

Umm no...you argument is idiotic.

Those regular leaders on the turnover board...Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel and Tavares are also on the leader board for players who get on their horse to get the puck back when they turn it over.

Hall...not so much.

What does that have to do with turnovers?

If you want to say he doesn't hustle back enough for you, fine, but that isn't the argument people are making when they say he turns it over too much.

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#63 Zarny
December 10 2013, 11:19AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The very idea of a top 6 and a bottom six made up of role players on the Olympic teams needs to be eliminated forever.

A hockey players "role" is to outscore the opposition.

The reason these "role players" exist in the NHL has to do with financial constraints, not a quest for some magical mix of players.

If you can send a 4th line of Getzlaf-Perry-Nash, you don't send marginal players instead because they are better suited to some mythical "role". It's idiotic.

Not actually that argument is idiotic too.

The Olympics is not an all-star game. The 3rd and 4th lines and bottom pairing D do not get equal ice time.

And part of outscoring the opposition is preventing goals; not just scoring them. Winning 2-1 is better than losing 5-4.

When you get to the 3rd or 4th line the offense you gain with many players is marginal at best compared to the increased liability and risk you get on defense.

"Role players" at the Olympics are not guys like Colton Orr.

They are guys like Bergeron; literally one of the best defensive forwards in the world. Or Mike Richards. Or Patrick Sharp.

What's idiotic is thinking the Olympics is an all-star game you're going to win 9-8.

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#64 Rama Lama
December 10 2013, 11:20AM
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The criticism for Hall " Cheating for Offence", by various pundits is laughable!!!

If you were playing on the Oilers, and no one around you could do ANYTHING that resembles offence.......might I suggest you would do exactly the same thing.

I remember a day when Gretzky, would almost always cheat for offence......the difference was back in those days we had defensemen that could actually get him the puck.

Our issues are not offence, strictly the absence of defencemen that can actually move the puck. The closest thing we have in that regard is Philip Larsen.

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#65 Zarny
December 10 2013, 11:28AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

What does that have to do with turnovers?

If you want to say he doesn't hustle back enough for you, fine, but that isn't the argument people are making when they say he turns it over too much.

It all ties together.

Hall is a chronic turnover case. As you pointed out though he's certainly not the only one.

However, those other players are voracious at getting the puck back and correcting their mistakes (with the exception of Kessel).

So if Hall turns the puck over and isn't going to get it back he becomes a defensive liability.

When Datsyuk turns the puck over the odds are he gets it back. It also helps that he's one of the best defensive forwards in the world.

When Hall turns the puck over the odds are the other team gets a scoring opportunity. It's the same story with Spezza and Mike Green (not as much anymore).

HC is about mitigating risk. Sure, you might get a few extra points from players like Hall but that's a marginal increase in offense compared to the increase in likelihood he coughs the puck up and causes the game-winning goal.

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#66 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 11:29AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

But...history....great season....cups....tall...heavy....

He should be automatic!

Not if you take into account skating ability, heart (he has been known to float) and defensive play.

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#67 Spoils
December 10 2013, 11:31AM
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The turnover/DZone argument is not entirely unfair, but I just believe his upside out weighs that.

If Hall played on Boston or Montreal he would be a lock. 7th highest Canadian scorer and he will be better on the big ice.

Big miss for Canada. Big miss for us, because the confidence he would return with would be infectious.

Go 2018!

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#68 Zarny
December 10 2013, 11:31AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

The criticism for Hall " Cheating for Offence", by various pundits is laughable!!!

If you were playing on the Oilers, and no one around you could do ANYTHING that resembles offence.......might I suggest you would do exactly the same thing.

I remember a day when Gretzky, would almost always cheat for offence......the difference was back in those days we had defensemen that could actually get him the puck.

Our issues are not offence, strictly the absence of defencemen that can actually move the puck. The closest thing we have in that regard is Philip Larsen.

1) Taylor Hall is not Wayne Gretzky

2) You don't see Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, Sharp or Couture etc cheating for offense. Not like Hall.

I agree a substandard D is part of the problem and that includes Larsen. Moving the puck is nice but stopping opposing players is even better.

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#69 50 in 39
December 10 2013, 11:33AM
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All turnovers are not created equal. Getting double teamed along the boards and giving up the puck is not even close to being equal to sending wishful cross ice passes.

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#70 Rob F
December 10 2013, 11:35AM
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Although I dont agree with Neal and Kunitz, I also do not think Hall earned a spot on this Olympic team.

Olympic prediction....

Gold medal game Russian Vs. Canada

Nail Yakupov gold winning goal....assited by Anton Belov

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#71 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 11:35AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The entire Giveaway argument is idiotic.

Turnovers are a measure of how often someone has the puck, nothing more.

Regulars among the turnover leader board include Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel, Tavares...

People need to stop it.

A giveaway that ends up in the back of you net does matter.It costs teams games.

Turning the puck over trying to make a offensive play 180 feet from your net is not the same as turning it over at your blueline trying to pass it over a couple sticks. Lots of times because your teammates are going the wrong way that turnover ends up in your net.

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#72 Clarko
December 10 2013, 11:38AM
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Zarny wrote:

1) Taylor Hall is not Wayne Gretzky

2) You don't see Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, Sharp or Couture etc cheating for offense. Not like Hall.

I agree a substandard D is part of the problem and that includes Larsen. Moving the puck is nice but stopping opposing players is even better.

Crosby is only +3 despite being on the ice for the most goals for in the entire league. He is not a very good defensive center despite what the biased Canadian media tries to sell us.

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#73 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 11:41AM
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Brownsie wrote:

So if you agree with his point then why argue with him? You don't always have to play devils advocate.

I'm not always trying play the devils advocate. As much as I love the Oilers I have the ability to see things through non-Oiler colour glasses.

Watching hockey for over forty-three years and playing for over thirty-five gives me the ability to judge hockey without the hometown bias.

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#74 Rama Lama
December 10 2013, 11:41AM
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Zarny wrote:

1) Taylor Hall is not Wayne Gretzky

2) You don't see Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, Sharp or Couture etc cheating for offense. Not like Hall.

I agree a substandard D is part of the problem and that includes Larsen. Moving the puck is nice but stopping opposing players is even better.

I suspect on your team Coffee, Bourque, Niedermyer, McInnis, Doughty etc........would never play on your team.

Since you are so much smarter than the rest of us, give me some names you would accept on your team.

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#75 pkam
December 10 2013, 11:46AM
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Zarny wrote:

Umm no...you argument is idiotic.

Those regular leaders on the turnover board...Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel and Tavares are also on the leader board for players who get on their horse to get the puck back when they turn it over.

Hall...not so much.

Then why are Chris Kunitz and Milan Lucic over Hall?

Don't these two players have less ppg and worse GA vs TA ratio than Hall?

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#76 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 11:52AM
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Zarny wrote:

Not actually that argument is idiotic too.

The Olympics is not an all-star game. The 3rd and 4th lines and bottom pairing D do not get equal ice time.

And part of outscoring the opposition is preventing goals; not just scoring them. Winning 2-1 is better than losing 5-4.

When you get to the 3rd or 4th line the offense you gain with many players is marginal at best compared to the increased liability and risk you get on defense.

"Role players" at the Olympics are not guys like Colton Orr.

They are guys like Bergeron; literally one of the best defensive forwards in the world. Or Mike Richards. Or Patrick Sharp.

What's idiotic is thinking the Olympics is an all-star game you're going to win 9-8.

Put those straw men away and try again.

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#77 Clarko
December 10 2013, 11:52AM
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Spydyr wrote:

I'm not always trying play the devils advocate. As much as I love the Oilers I have the ability to see things through non-Oiler colour glasses.

Watching hockey for over forty-three years and playing for over thirty-five gives me the ability to judge hockey without the hometown bias.

Giving your credentials doesn't make your argument any more or less convincing. I've played, coached, and watched hockey for 30 years...doesn't mean I'm always right. It also means that two people who love hockey and have a lot of experience in the game can still disagree with one another.

Also, providing an argument for Hall to make the Olympic team doesn't necessarily mean you are biased just because you cheer for the Oilers. Most of us can see that this team is terrible and will call out players, coaches, and management. However, it doesn't mean every piece of the team is rotten. Hall, in my opinion, is one of the few bright spots and deserving of serious consideration to make the Olympic team (again, just my opinion). You can choose to disagree.

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#78 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 11:53AM
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Zarny wrote:

It all ties together.

Hall is a chronic turnover case. As you pointed out though he's certainly not the only one.

However, those other players are voracious at getting the puck back and correcting their mistakes (with the exception of Kessel).

So if Hall turns the puck over and isn't going to get it back he becomes a defensive liability.

When Datsyuk turns the puck over the odds are he gets it back. It also helps that he's one of the best defensive forwards in the world.

When Hall turns the puck over the odds are the other team gets a scoring opportunity. It's the same story with Spezza and Mike Green (not as much anymore).

HC is about mitigating risk. Sure, you might get a few extra points from players like Hall but that's a marginal increase in offense compared to the increase in likelihood he coughs the puck up and causes the game-winning goal.

No it doesn't "tie together". Players who have the puck a lot turn it over a lot. Period.

If you have a different argument then make it.

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#79 pkam
December 10 2013, 11:55AM
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Zarny wrote:

Umm no...you argument is idiotic.

Those regular leaders on the turnover board...Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel and Tavares are also on the leader board for players who get on their horse to get the puck back when they turn it over.

Hall...not so much.

Do you really think Kessel is one of the leaders who gets the puck back when he turns it over?

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#80 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 11:56AM
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Spydyr wrote:

A giveaway that ends up in the back of you net does matter.It costs teams games.

Turning the puck over trying to make a offensive play 180 feet from your net is not the same as turning it over at your blueline trying to pass it over a couple sticks. Lots of times because your teammates are going the wrong way that turnover ends up in your net.

When you show me proof that Datsyuk or Zetterberg are more likely to dump the puck than Hall I will accept this argument.

Unfortunately we know that carrying the puck in creates way more offense than dumping it so...

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#81 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 12:02PM
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Clarko wrote:

Giving your credentials doesn't make your argument any more or less convincing. I've played, coached, and watched hockey for 30 years...doesn't mean I'm always right. It also means that two people who love hockey and have a lot of experience in the game can still disagree with one another.

Also, providing an argument for Hall to make the Olympic team doesn't necessarily mean you are biased just because you cheer for the Oilers. Most of us can see that this team is terrible and will call out players, coaches, and management. However, it doesn't mean every piece of the team is rotten. Hall, in my opinion, is one of the few bright spots and deserving of serious consideration to make the Olympic team (again, just my opinion). You can choose to disagree.

I like your attitude.

Of course we can agree to disagree that is what makes this board great. If we all had the same opinion that would be boring as hell.

With the devils advocate.I was not just commenting on this article but the many, many discussions that take place here.

More often then not my opinion here is trashed as it is not the popular fan-boy opinion. Two recent players that come to mind are Dubnyk and Gagner. Never been a fan of either player. there was lots of negative responses to my assessment of those players in the past. Time did show the light to many.

You thinking Hall is ready does not bother me in the least .That is your opinion and you have every right to be wrong.Just kidding.

Myself I feel he is just not there yet and their are better options for this Olympics.

I hope him not making it this time drives him to be a better player and in next Olympics he is a automatic pick and might even be a leader on that team.

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#82 pkam
December 10 2013, 12:11PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I like your attitude.

Of course we can agree to disagree that is what makes this board great. If we all had the same opinion that would be boring as hell.

With the devils advocate.I was not just commenting on this article but the many, many discussions that take place here.

More often then not my opinion here is trashed as it is not the popular fan-boy opinion. Two recent players that come to mind are Dubnyk and Gagner. Never been a fan of either player. there was lots of negative responses to my assessment of those players in the past. Time did show the light to many.

You thinking Hall is ready does not bother me in the least .That is your opinion and you have every right to be wrong.Just kidding.

Myself I feel he is just not there yet and their are better options for this Olympics.

I hope him not making it this time drives him to be a better player and in next Olympics he is a automatic pick and might even be a leader on that team.

I too think Hall is not ready for this Olympics, but I'll be pissed if Kunitz and Lucic make it when Hall doesn't.

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#83 All Hail the Pancake Lord
December 10 2013, 12:12PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

#PENNERFORSOCHI

IN THE BLEAK COMMUNIST TUNDRA ONLY ONE MAN CAN SAVE THE PEASANTS FROM THE PANCAKE DESPISING KREMLIN, AND THAT MAN IS DUSTIN PENNER!

But for real, if Claude "Invisible for the first 25 games" Giroux is in the mix, then how the hell can Hall not be?

And what about the injured, overvalued Nash? Ryan Smyth has more points than him and Thornton, and Smytty needs a walker to get to the rink these days.

There are too many questionable picks for Team Canada right now, which seem to be based on "what guys used to be" instead of the young drive and passion in guys like Hall that seems to get overlooked.

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#84 A-Mc
December 10 2013, 12:16PM
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It's too bad Hall wont make the team. It would do the Edmonton Oilers a LOT of good to have him on that team this year.

If Hall is the C of the future for the Edmonton Oilers, what better experience is there than to be a member of the freaking Canadian Olympic team. Every guy on that roster could wear a C and is Hugely significant in every way. Hall could learn so much from those guys and it's really a shame that he wont be able to be a part of it.

Could you imagine Hall making the team and then Canada winning Gold? It could very well plant the seed in him that drives him to be the player the Oilers need him to be. Getting a taste of winning could prove to be of huge benefit to the Oilers Hockey club.

I'm not disappointed that the Player wont make the team; I'm disappointed in the lost opportunity for the Edmonton Oilers.

*Sad Panda*

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#85 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 12:20PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Not if you take into account skating ability, heart (he has been known to float) and defensive play.

2 Cups = Heart. Isn't this what your argued previously?

Penner - +18. Kunitz - +13.

BTW - I love that you're arguing this as though I really want Penner on the team.

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#86 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 12:21PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The entire Giveaway argument is idiotic.

Turnovers are a measure of how often someone has the puck, nothing more.

Regulars among the turnover leader board include Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel, Tavares...

People need to stop it.

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!

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#87 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 12:21PM
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All Hail the Pancake Lord wrote:

#PENNERFORSOCHI

IN THE BLEAK COMMUNIST TUNDRA ONLY ONE MAN CAN SAVE THE PEASANTS FROM THE PANCAKE DESPISING KREMLIN, AND THAT MAN IS DUSTIN PENNER!

But for real, if Claude "Invisible for the first 25 games" Giroux is in the mix, then how the hell can Hall not be?

And what about the injured, overvalued Nash? Ryan Smyth has more points than him and Thornton, and Smytty needs a walker to get to the rink these days.

There are too many questionable picks for Team Canada right now, which seem to be based on "what guys used to be" instead of the young drive and passion in guys like Hall that seems to get overlooked.

#PENNERFORSOCHI

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#88 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 12:23PM
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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!

Can't argue with that.

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#89 BIngBong
December 10 2013, 12:28PM
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Hall is still learning to play 200ft. He'll be on the Olympic team 4 years from now.

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#90 Some other guy
December 10 2013, 12:36PM
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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.

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#91 Zarny
December 10 2013, 12:42PM
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Citizen David wrote:

I'm not sure what qualifies some centers to be able to switch to wing and not others. I also missed the class that says Spezza is a defensive liability. In my mind this defensive liability thing has become a boogeyman. Like Tigerunderglass says if you carry the puck more you'll have more turnovers just like if you don't have the puck much you'll have more hits and blocked shots. But having the puck is what we want. To win in hockey you have to score more than the other team. Spezza is better at getting points than almost anyone on that roster.

Missed the class? More like the last decade.

Spezza routinely gets caught deep in the offensive zone and/or on the wrong side of the puck. He has games where he floats instead of back-checks and frequently he's the forward to coming into the top of the screen as the opposition scores on a 3-1 from a Spezza giveaway.

When you are trying out for the Olympic team your defensive capabilities aren't compared to Tyler Pitlick. They are compared to guys like Toews, Richards and Sharp who literally have some of the best defensive games in the world.

As for C able to switch to the wing it includes positional play, ability to play on the boards and the corner, specifically the ability to play physical on the boards and the corner.

Compared to the best in the world Spezza is not very good at any of it. Go watch the work Toews and E. Staal have done against Chara in the playoffs. Spezza can't do that.

Scoring more than the other team is not only about offense.

Even if it was, Spezza is not better at getting points than almost anyone on that roster.

He's light years behind Crosby and Stamkos. And right now he's sitting behind Getzlaf, Perry, Thornton, Tavares, Kunitz, Couture, Marleau, Seguin, Little, St. Louis and Sharp.

He is tied with Jonathan Toews; who unlike Spezza is literally one of the best defensive forwards in Canada.

So again, other than a nifty toe-drag what does Spezza bring that you don't get from 15 other Canadian forwards?

Because most of them bring a lot that Spezza doesn't have.

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#92 K_Mart
December 10 2013, 12:44PM
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BIngBong wrote:

Hall is still learning to play 200ft. He'll be on the Olympic team 4 years from now.

Definitely.

http://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/player-turnover-plus-minus/2013/

If hall eliminates his turnovers at the opposition's blue line that will be a huge step for him. That is where he has the most problems in my opinion.

As Eakins said, Hall has done well learning to slow down in his own end and playing in the d zone, and I'd have to agree ( save for him flying the zone a little early at times).

His offense far outweighs his defensive deficiencies in my opinion.

Offensively, Hall is with the elite Canadians

Sidney Crosby 68gp 99pts 1.46p/g Martin St. Louis 77gp 87pts 1.13p/g Ryan Getzlaf 73gp 85pts 1.16p/g Chris Kunitz 80gp 83pts 1.04p/g Steven Stamkos 65gp 80pts 1.23p/g John Tavares 78gp 79pts 1.01p/g Eric Staal 79gp 76pts 0.96p/g Jonathan Toews 79gp 75pts 0.95p/g Taylor Hall 69gp 75pts 1.09p/g

Points aren't the be all end all, but they're something. And he deserves to be in the conversation.

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#93 GiveandTake
December 10 2013, 12:44PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The entire Giveaway argument is idiotic.

Turnovers are a measure of how often someone has the puck, nothing more.

Regulars among the turnover leader board include Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Zetterberg, Kessel, Tavares...

People need to stop it.

The takeaway/giveaway stat is often useless. But the takeaway/giveaway argument is not useless. The Oilers in general (including hall, but not pointing fingers) make absolutely embarrassing giveaways all game long. If you actually watch the games, these things are important and noticeable.

The stat may be useless, but the giveaway argument is not. The oil make too many garbage giveaways and they need to stop it.

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#94 Zarny
December 10 2013, 12:47PM
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pkam wrote:

Do you really think Kessel is one of the leaders who gets the puck back when he turns it over?

Nope.

I included (with the exception of Kessel) in another post.

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#95 K_Mart
December 10 2013, 12:48PM
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Zarny wrote:

Missed the class? More like the last decade.

Spezza routinely gets caught deep in the offensive zone and/or on the wrong side of the puck. He has games where he floats instead of back-checks and frequently he's the forward to coming into the top of the screen as the opposition scores on a 3-1 from a Spezza giveaway.

When you are trying out for the Olympic team your defensive capabilities aren't compared to Tyler Pitlick. They are compared to guys like Toews, Richards and Sharp who literally have some of the best defensive games in the world.

As for C able to switch to the wing it includes positional play, ability to play on the boards and the corner, specifically the ability to play physical on the boards and the corner.

Compared to the best in the world Spezza is not very good at any of it. Go watch the work Toews and E. Staal have done against Chara in the playoffs. Spezza can't do that.

Scoring more than the other team is not only about offense.

Even if it was, Spezza is not better at getting points than almost anyone on that roster.

He's light years behind Crosby and Stamkos. And right now he's sitting behind Getzlaf, Perry, Thornton, Tavares, Kunitz, Couture, Marleau, Seguin, Little, St. Louis and Sharp.

He is tied with Jonathan Toews; who unlike Spezza is literally one of the best defensive forwards in Canada.

So again, other than a nifty toe-drag what does Spezza bring that you don't get from 15 other Canadian forwards?

Because most of them bring a lot that Spezza doesn't have.

Would you trade Hall for Couture, seguin, or kunitz? If your answer is yes, there is no hope for you.

If Hall was playing on San Jose or Pitt there is no question he would be on the team.

The fact that the oilers are struggling, and that his turnovers are always on the highlight reel are the reasons he isn't on the team.

EDIT: Should have read your post. I agree with everything you said about Spezza

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#96 Zarny
December 10 2013, 12:52PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

No it doesn't "tie together". Players who have the puck a lot turn it over a lot. Period.

If you have a different argument then make it.

Sorry bud but it does all tie together.

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.

So when you turn the puck over and don't get it back you become a defensive liability.

It also matters where you turn the puck over. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Getzlaf etc almost never turn the puck over at either blue line. Their giveaways rarely lead to immediate scoring chances.

Hall? Quite frequently his turnovers lead to immediate scoring chances for the opposing team.

If this is too confusing for you then perhaps you should go watch some more hockey.

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#97 another guy
December 10 2013, 12:55PM
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@K_Mart

nice link, note that Lucic is still lower down on the list than Hall.

Penner is higher up than Perrey too.

#PENNERFORSOCHI

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#98 Citizen David
December 10 2013, 12:57PM
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Zarny wrote:

Missed the class? More like the last decade.

Spezza routinely gets caught deep in the offensive zone and/or on the wrong side of the puck. He has games where he floats instead of back-checks and frequently he's the forward to coming into the top of the screen as the opposition scores on a 3-1 from a Spezza giveaway.

When you are trying out for the Olympic team your defensive capabilities aren't compared to Tyler Pitlick. They are compared to guys like Toews, Richards and Sharp who literally have some of the best defensive games in the world.

As for C able to switch to the wing it includes positional play, ability to play on the boards and the corner, specifically the ability to play physical on the boards and the corner.

Compared to the best in the world Spezza is not very good at any of it. Go watch the work Toews and E. Staal have done against Chara in the playoffs. Spezza can't do that.

Scoring more than the other team is not only about offense.

Even if it was, Spezza is not better at getting points than almost anyone on that roster.

He's light years behind Crosby and Stamkos. And right now he's sitting behind Getzlaf, Perry, Thornton, Tavares, Kunitz, Couture, Marleau, Seguin, Little, St. Louis and Sharp.

He is tied with Jonathan Toews; who unlike Spezza is literally one of the best defensive forwards in Canada.

So again, other than a nifty toe-drag what does Spezza bring that you don't get from 15 other Canadian forwards?

Because most of them bring a lot that Spezza doesn't have.

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

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#99 Zarny
December 10 2013, 12:57PM
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K_Mart wrote:

Would you trade Hall for Couture, seguin, or kunitz? If your answer is yes, there is no hope for you.

If Hall was playing on San Jose or Pitt there is no question he would be on the team.

The fact that the oilers are struggling, and that his turnovers are always on the highlight reel are the reasons he isn't on the team.

EDIT: Should have read your post. I agree with everything you said about Spezza

Seguin and Kunitz...no.

Right now Couture is a more complete player. I wouldn't make the trade because I think Hall has more offensive upside and you can teach him defense; but Couture will make the Olympic team and Hall won't specifically because Couture plays a better 200 ft game today.

And there is no question Couture benefits from being supported by Marleau and Thornton.

That is one of the fundamental flaws in the Oilers rebuild. It isn't surprising when young kids make mistakes.

Not having skilled vets to back them up and teach them is an organizational weakness. Look what David Perron has done for the Oilers.

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#100 S cottV
December 10 2013, 12:58PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

When you show me proof that Datsyuk or Zetterberg are more likely to dump the puck than Hall I will accept this argument.

Unfortunately we know that carrying the puck in creates way more offense than dumping it so...

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.

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