At some point we’re going to need to have the conversation. How does it go? Well, it starts with one of us mentioning Taylor Hall’s latest injury and then a frank discussion about how much we’re going to be able to count on him in the future. It is, ladies and men, a big damn deal.
GO TO HELL!
Hey, I understand completely. This isn’t a fun conversation, in fact it’s brutal. Maybe it helps to review the facts of the situation, beginning with Taylor Hall’s injury history:
- March 5, 2011—suffers ankle injury and misses the remainder of the season.
- November 2011—left shoulder injury, misses 7 games.
- January 2012—head injury, misses two games.
- March 18, 2012—concussion, misses the remainder of the season.
- March 2013—hamstring injury, misses one game.
- November 2013—left knee injury, misses 7 games.
- November 3, 2014—sprained mcl (right knee), misses 6 games.
- January 27, 2015—takes puck off leg in practice, ankle injury.
- February 8, 2015—Flies home to have another look at that ankle.
- February 10, 2015—Gone for several weeks, ankle.
That’s a whole lotta crappy for one athlete and Taylor Hall’s style (reckless abandon) doesn’t lend itself to good health. Folks, I’ve seen this from Orr to Wendel Clark and back again and when a player starts losing 30 games a season to injury it’s an issue. After awhile, we subconsciously pencil in ‘Hall, 50 games’ and pretty soon it’s accepted.
We are NOT there yet. It is a concern.
TAYLOR HALL PLAYER CARD
Hall is not playing at previous levels and this is a big item. He’s entering the period where the boxcar numbers (goals, assists, points) should spike through age 25 or 26. Going DOWN at this age? Major issue. Hall’s shooting percentage is part of the issue but not the entire gap. Those 5×5/60 numbers in 2012 and 2013 are stunning, just wonderful. This is a terrific talent, when healthy.
THIS YEAR’S INJURY AND ITS IMPACT
Early this year, Hall was flying. Then came the November knee injury and the before/after numbers are sobering:
- Boxcars before injury: 11gp, 6-4-10 (.909)
- Boxcars after injury: 31gp, 5-15-20 (.645)
- Shooting Percentage before injury: 16.67 (6 goals on 36 shots)
- Shooting Percentage after injury: 5.5 (5 goals on 91 shots)
Dire. It’s clear the injury had an impact but it’s important to remember this has happened before with Hall. As we sit here today, the Oilers have played 349 games since Hall was drafted, with No. 4 playing in 288 of them. That’s 82%, or 68 games per 82 games.
I’m officially concerned.