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

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 j
December 10 2013, 08:39AM
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Very few players on Canadian Olympic teams play on terrible NHL teams. Most players come from successful organizations and are part of a winning culture. The Canadian Olympic brass have more than enough players to choose from without taking a chance on a thoroughbred without structure. They don't need to take that chance. And you really can't blame Hall for the player he is or isn't. He is the product of the organization i.e. unstructured, chaotic, lost in the desert. Hopefully there is time to turn this around for all the young talent on the team but it will take iron will from MacT and Eakins to do it.

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#2 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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#3 Lowe Expectations
December 10 2013, 08:19AM
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To be considered for the Olympics, every player must excel in all areas of the ice. Taylor Hall has very little concept of defensive zone coverage (where to go, how to react). Skating a zillion miles an hour down the wing to float the puck on the net is not the stuff of Olympians.

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#4 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 08:25AM
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"Taylor Hall’s wasn’t even mentioned." This is not surprising anywhere outside of Edmonton.

Learn to play a complete game Taylor.You have four years to the next chance.Make the most of that time.Making the playoffs might help.Winning a Cup definitely would.

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#5 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 08:40AM
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Clarko wrote:

Interesting that Taylor Hall's numbers are better than both Neal and Kunitz. Imagine what Hall's numbers would be if he got to play with Crosby and Malkin.

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.

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#6 Clarko
December 10 2013, 09:15AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Winning in the NHL is harder then winning in junior.Winning at the Olympics is even harder still.

Hall at the last Worlds was benched because of his give aways , play without the puck and defensive liabilities.

The Olympic team is much, much harder to make then the Worlds team.That is why he is not even in the conversation outside of Edmonton.

The people picking the Olympic team take into account your play at the Worlds.

If you offered Taylor Hall straight up for any player on that list today, you could basically have any one of those players. Especially Kunitz who will probably make the team.

If you wouldn't trade Hall straight up for Kunitz, then you are full of crap when if anyone says Kunitz is an all-round better player than Hall.

The ONLY reason Kunitz makes this team is because he plays with Crosby. If Hall plays with Crosby, he makes this team every time all day long...there wouldn't even be a question.

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#7 Clarko
December 10 2013, 08:35AM
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Interesting that Taylor Hall's numbers are better than both Neal and Kunitz. Imagine what Hall's numbers would be if he got to play with Crosby and Malkin.

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#8 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 09:43AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Kunitz has won the Cup he has a history with Crosby he is a more mature player.

Sweet. Does this mean Penner gets to go? He has a couple of cups as well and has a history with Getzlaf.

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#9 Clarko
December 10 2013, 09:17AM
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Spydyr wrote:

He could be playing with the best defence in the NHL.A give away at either blue line is still a give away at the blue line.Until Hall removes that from his game he will not be in the Olympic conversation.

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.

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#10 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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#11 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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#12 Clarko
December 10 2013, 08:45AM
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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.

I mean all of the above. Look at Pittsburgh's organization, structure, coaching consistency, winning culture, and surrounding players.

Would Hall not benefit in not only points, but also from having a very good coach, a consistent system to play under, and the benefit of being sheltered by Crosby, Malkin, Letang, etc.?

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#13 OilClog
December 10 2013, 08:47AM
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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.

Because Kunitz and Neal are known for their defensive game... Lololol

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#14 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:10AM
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Citizen David wrote:

Hall makes my Olympic team any day. Gets a spot in the top six. Absolutely fantastic player.

And that is why you are not in charge of picking the team.

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#15 D
December 10 2013, 10:03AM
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Hopefully the fact that Hall isn't even in the Olympic team conversation should send a nice message to Oiler management.

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#16 vetinari
December 10 2013, 09:22AM
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Before the season started, I was hopeful that both Hall and Eberle would get some consideration but after the mess of the first couple of months, it was obvious that they are not (yet) Olympic material. They need to work on their team and defensive play and get their consistency up.

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#17 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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#18 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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#19 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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#20 Clarko
December 10 2013, 09:43AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Kunitz has won the Cup he has a history with Crosby he is a more mature player.

I guess we can agree to disagree on this one.

Today (without any consideration to future potential and age), I still would rather have Hall on my roster.

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#21 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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#22 K_Mart
December 10 2013, 09:25AM
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Hall deserves to be in the mix, no question

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#23 Walter Sobchak
December 10 2013, 09:30AM
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Lowe Expectations wrote:

To be considered for the Olympics, every player must excel in all areas of the ice. Taylor Hall has very little concept of defensive zone coverage (where to go, how to react). Skating a zillion miles an hour down the wing to float the puck on the net is not the stuff of Olympians.

Hall's defensive laps are not as bad as you think they are.

Hall turns the puck over mostly because he's the only option left and try's to do too much, not because he has no "concept"

You do realize that Hall would be playing on international ice right, flying down the wing would be an understatement.......Try blowing past people who had really no idea how fast the kid really is.

You still need to score goals to win.

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#24 Guy Lafleur
December 10 2013, 09:36AM
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Its gonna be the same as before , they are taking guys having bad seasons , Staal , Giroux and Nash and expecting them to find thier game ..how has that worked before , remember the Friends of Gretzky Olympics ..how did that work out ? Canada always way overthinks its national team ..lets do like Russia and the Americans do the players playing best GO , if Nash gets replaced by Kunitz fine , If Giroux doesnt make it so sad too bad .Take the guys who are playing good NOW !! World Juniors same thing , last year the best goalie in junior hockey Laurent Broissoit but everyone knew Malcolm Subban was starting .This year same thing no Darnell , its a joke . PK SUbban ..how is he on the outside looking in , the old boys club dont like him is that it //NO GOLD for either team!!!

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#25 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 08:56AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Hall's destiny should still be at centre. His apologists tried to blame his horrible lapses on being out of position, but they continued when he moved back to wing. If he could get his game together and be responsible, his perceived worth around the NHL would skyrocket as a C/LW.

Hall stated he did not want to go to centre but would for the good of the team.He was weak at centre. What makes you think he should be a centre?

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#26 Clarko
December 10 2013, 09:01AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Sure, but who wouldn't. You could say that about any player on a losing team.

That's my point. Hall's offensive numbers are already better without two of the best players in the game playing center with him. He would crush Kunitz and Neal in points playing with Crosby.

And to your earlier comment about heart, I would argue that Hall has plenty of that with a winning attitude. He has a history of winning, but the Oilers organization has a way of beating that out of their players.

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#27 Mikey
December 10 2013, 09:12AM
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Clarko wrote:

That's my point. Hall's offensive numbers are already better without two of the best players in the game playing center with him. He would crush Kunitz and Neal in points playing with Crosby.

And to your earlier comment about heart, I would argue that Hall has plenty of that with a winning attitude. He has a history of winning, but the Oilers organization has a way of beating that out of their players.

Or, what if he had an actual NHL D corp behind him? His defensive game would look a lot better.

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#28 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:08AM
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Clarko wrote:

That's my point. Hall's offensive numbers are already better without two of the best players in the game playing center with him. He would crush Kunitz and Neal in points playing with Crosby.

And to your earlier comment about heart, I would argue that Hall has plenty of that with a winning attitude. He has a history of winning, but the Oilers organization has a way of beating that out of their players.

Winning in the NHL is harder then winning in junior.Winning at the Olympics is even harder still.

Hall at the last Worlds was benched because of his give aways , play without the puck and defensive liabilities.

The Olympic team is much, much harder to make then the Worlds team.That is why he is not even in the conversation outside of Edmonton.

The people picking the Olympic team take into account your play at the Worlds.

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#29 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:15AM
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Mikey wrote:

Or, what if he had an actual NHL D corp behind him? His defensive game would look a lot better.

He could be playing with the best defence in the NHL.A give away at either blue line is still a give away at the blue line.Until Hall removes that from his game he will not be in the Olympic conversation.

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#30 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:29AM
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Clarko wrote:

I agree with that statement...and also, Malkin's turnovers are often in his own zone and at the offensive blue line.

I like Malkin a lot, but he turns over the puck quite a bit.

Malkin has won the Cup and a Conn Smyth. Played at the Olympics.All things Hall has never even remotely come close to doing.He has never even played a playoff game in the NHL. There is no comparison between the two players.

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#31 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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#32 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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#33 Clarko
December 10 2013, 09:29AM
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Spydyr wrote:

This about picking the Olympic team not making trades.They are two completely different balls of wax.

But my argument is that Hall is a better all-round player than Kunitz. Sure, Hall has some deficiencies in his game (I think they are a little overstated), but I would rather have Hall on my team than Kunitz. Doesn't matter if I'm the GM of the Penguins, Oilers, or Team Canada.

If you take Hall over Kunitz as GM of both the Pens and Oilers, why wouldn't you take him over Kunitz as GM of Team Canada?

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#34 geoilersgist
December 10 2013, 09:45AM
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j wrote:

Very few players on Canadian Olympic teams play on terrible NHL teams. Most players come from successful organizations and are part of a winning culture. The Canadian Olympic brass have more than enough players to choose from without taking a chance on a thoroughbred without structure. They don't need to take that chance. And you really can't blame Hall for the player he is or isn't. He is the product of the organization i.e. unstructured, chaotic, lost in the desert. Hopefully there is time to turn this around for all the young talent on the team but it will take iron will from MacT and Eakins to do it.

Nash played for a horrible Columbus team forever and is now playing for a Rangers team that can't get it together yet he is a shoe in for Canada... it all makes so much sense now....

I would argue that Hall is more useful on that large ice than Nash

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#35 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:54AM
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confused clarence wrote:

@spydyr, pleasse stop making sense. I'd really like to avoid giving you props...

Man, I really like Hall as a player. His speed his puck handling his shot .He has the chance to be a special player one day. He is just not there yet.The team he plays for has not helped his development. In fact I would dare to say they have hindered it.

This is a very, very hard time to be an Oiler fan with this "braintrust" in place.

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#36 TigerUnderGlass
December 10 2013, 09:55AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Well many fans here thought he should of went to the last Olympics.

I didn't and still don't lazy player.

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

He should be automatic!

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#37 Clarko
December 10 2013, 10:01AM
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cccsberg wrote:

Crazy, crazy homer comment, but its good to be a fan and support your guys, even if its crazy. Hall right now is a big fish in a little pond. His defence is terrible, selfish play and turnovers galore... but, since Edmonton hasn't got anything better, and because the Oilers turned the team over to the prima donna youth (way too early) they can't bench him or try some other things and he doesn't have to listen, and he continues to get primo minutes to rack up the misleading stats. LOL on him learning and getting the message. Everyone else on that list are team players, and Kunitz for instance is good is because he can work with Crosby and they make a great unit. Putting Hall with his me-first attitude and sloppy play with Crosby is a huge down-grade on what they already have.

LOL...if you called up Pittsburgh and said that you want Kunitz and would offer Hall straight up for him, Kunitz would be on a one-way ticket to Edmonton within the hour.

Does Kunitz not get the "primo" minutes that you are talking about. What is it about Hall's points are "misleading" and what is it about Kunitz's points that his points more legitimate? Other than the fact that he plays on a line with the best player in hockey?

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#38 Zarny
December 10 2013, 10:19AM
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Perception is often reality.

Right now the perception with Hall is similar to Spezza and Mike Green.

Whatever increase in offense you get is marginal compared to the increased defensive liability. Right or wrong that is the perception.

Despite what Dreger reports Hall's name will at least be mentioned in the conversation. His speed on the big ice is too tempting not to be.

With his struggles at the World's and his tendency for turnovers and to cheat for offense Hall isn't going to make the team on the 3rd or 4th line. HC will go with Marleau, Couture, Sharp or a LW more suited to being a role player.

Which means Hall's only chance to go to Sochi is on the top 2 lines.

Personally, I think the debate comes down to Kunitz or Hall on Crosby's LW.

Kunitz has the established chemistry and I think is a bit under-appreciated; but I also think there are questions as to whether he can hang with the world's best on big ice.

One factor could be Stamkos. If he plays it's likely on Crosby's RW. In that case I suspect HC goes with Kunitz on LW to bring some tenacity and defense.

If Stamkos can't play I won't be surprised to see Bergeron on Crosby's RW. They have history playing well together at the World Jr's. And with one of the best defensive forwards in the world on RW HC may be tempted to put Hall on LW.

There are going to be 15-20 very, very good players who don't go to Sochi. If Hall is passed over I agree it is a "coachable moment" and hopefully one Hall takes to heart.

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#39 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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#40 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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#41 Clarko
December 10 2013, 09:26AM
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Spydyr wrote:

All skill players give the puck away.That is a given.It is the turnovers at both blue lines that hurt a team.

I agree with that statement...and also, Malkin's turnovers are often in his own zone and at the offensive blue line.

I like Malkin a lot, but he turns over the puck quite a bit.

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#42 Smokey
December 10 2013, 10:06AM
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Every Olympics someone great gets left off. In 2010 Stevie Y left off his own player, Steven Stamkos, who ended up leading the league in goals that same year. Hall is not going, I accept that. I think its just one of those things.

I just hope they take guys that are playing well.

I wonder who from the Oilers is going to the Olympics...

Bryzgalov, Belov, Yakupov, Hemsky, Smid (should be an Oiler), Joensuu (well probably the big finn, he has pretty narely in the world championships)????

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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:20AM
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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.

All skill players give the puck away.That is a given.It is the turnovers at both blue lines that hurt a team.

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#48 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 09:34AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Hall's defensive laps are not as bad as you think they are.

Hall turns the puck over mostly because he's the only option left and try's to do too much, not because he has no "concept"

You do realize that Hall would be playing on international ice right, flying down the wing would be an understatement.......Try blowing past people who had really no idea how fast the kid really is.

You still need to score goals to win.

Hall has to learn to get the puck deep when he runs out of options and sometimes getting the puck out is the best thing.Not a pass over a couple sticks.Last time he played on the big ice he was benched.

You have to stop goals to win.

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#49 -30-
December 10 2013, 09:57AM
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After watching Hall execute a few "Gagneresque" passes this weekend it's not a surprise that he isn't in the running to play for the Olympic team.

Maybe this will motivate him to play a complete 200ft game?

-30-

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#50 Kr55
December 10 2013, 10:09AM
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I think it's good for Hall to be off the list. Should give him the kick in the pants he needs to develop his 2-way game.

I personally completely agree with not having him on the team in 2014. Would annoy me to no end watching him play bad D and throwing pucks away with bad plays for team Canada and potentially costing us, or just being benched or sat out all the time and having him confidence chipped away.

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