Looking at the comments after the game on varous sites, Oilers observers have identified Taylor Hall as someone who has to play better.
Comments ranging from Ribs saying “Hall trying to do it all again. He’s going to need some reigning in if we don’t want the sophomore slouch to kick in. He looks frustrated and it’s just going to get worse” to Woodguy’s “4 tried to do it all himself every shift. He draws 2-3 guys to him every time he has the puck, he needs to use that his advantage and use his team mates more.”
I think Hall’s playing style is always going to be prone to “do it all yourself” comparisons when things are going awry, just as Ales Hemsky is often in line for the same criticism. While true he struggled against some strong checking last night (Hall got a lot of attention whenever he was near the puck) it’s also true that he was a big part of his line’s goal in game one. I believe the RNH-Hall-Hemsky line has tremendous possibilities, but also believe that adding Lander to the line last night basically shut it down.
It’ll be interesting to see if Gagner gets a push now that Hemsky is hurt (we’ll find out how badly today), and there’s always the fallback line of Horcoff-Hall-Eberle if things go sideways.
Taylor Hall will rebound from a subpar start (he certainly did last year), but the length of time between his current struggles and when we see the swagger is probably directly connected to coach Renney finding a line with chemistry. But he’s always going to want the puck, I don’t think we should look for him to be a different player based on a couple of early season games.