I just spoke with a source who said, nothing broken, but Hall is likely out for a few weeks at least. Severe sprain, possibly the dreaded high ankle sprain, if so, a return this year is doubtful.
Taylor Hall scored his 22nd goal, added his 20th assist and then surprised many when he dropped his gloves with Derek Dorsett for his first NHL fight. Hall started the fight. Dorsett had given him a few extra shots after Hall delivered a nice open-ice hit moments earlier and Hall finally had enough and went after him.
In the middle frame as Hall tossed his gloves the crowd roared, Dorsett only landed one really good shot, but Hall sprained/twisted his ankle when he fell awkwardly to the ice at the end of the fight. Hall skated off on his steam, and even picked up his own gloves in the process, but you could tell his ankle was bothering him.
The next time we saw Hall, he had a walking boot on his left ankle as he was addressing the media in a post-game scrum.
Prior to hearing from Hall the debate was on about Hall fighting. Many fans were saying he shouldn’t be fighting, or someone should have stepped in. Some even tweeted me that his injury proves why fighting should be banned from the game; I’m not lying.
I completely disagreed.
You can’t ask a player not to play with emotion, and while fighting Dorsett, a known pugilist, wasn’t the smartest move it showed how much Hall cares. We had spoke last week about how he was getting sick of guys trying to take liberties with him, but didn’t mention that he was going to fight. In fact, he told Ryan Rishaug from TSN this morning that he didn’t think he would ever fight in the NHL. I guess he underestimated himself.
Here is what Hall said after the game.
"After the fight, I kind of fell over and tweaked it (ankle) a bit. There is nothing in your contract that says you can’t fight or defend yourself. It is bad luck that I had to leave the game because of the fight, but I’d probably do it again if I had to…. There comes a time when you have to (fight), and there is nothing wrong with stepping up for yourself and just trying to defend yourself. Eventually if you keep getting hit, and people keep coming in for you, it is not a great feeling when you are that guy that keeps getting rescued."
Tom Renney had this to say about his 22-goal rookie.
"We drafted character, so you better expect character to show up and it did. We’ll deal with the consequences, that’s what a team does…Good for him. Scraps happen, that is part of the deal and clearly he had had enough."
How can rip Hall because he doesn’t want to be a player that needs to be rescued?
I don’t agree for a second with the argument that Hall shouldn’t fight, because for most fans had Hall not injured his ankle they would be raving about his heart, skill and character. Many are still raving about it, as they should be.
Do you remember how jacked Oiler fans were when Sam Gagner dropped the gloves with Ryan Kesler. No one was saying he shouldn’t be fighting, and he was their star first round pick at that moment.
It sucks that Hall got injured, but does it really impact the big picture? The Oilers aren’t in a playoff race. He was in the hunt, but not the leader, for the Calder, and his injury might cement their chances of finishing 30th.
Suggestions that his teammates should have jumped in are inaccurate, because it is clear Hall doesn’t want to be the guy who can’t fight, literally, his own battles. Plus it happened very quickly, and since he wasn’t getting destroyed in the actual fight there was no reason for someone to jump in.
I’m sure next time he might choose a more even opponent, but I will never rip a player for playing with heart, passion and a willingness to stand up for himself.
I think Hall should be applauded for his first Gordie Howe hat-trick, not ripped because of an unfortunate injury.