OKC V PEORIA 11.12.12

Peoria, Illinois is famous for a few things. It is often considered to be an “average American city” and “will it play in Peoria?” has been a famous phrase since vaudeville. Peoria has all kinds of obscure things that make it famous, like the mouldy cantelope that allowed isolation of Penicillium chrysogenum in 1942. The Richard Speck murder trial was moved to Peoria in April 1967, the girl who sang ‘Sunday will never be the Same’ is also from Peoria:

Richard Pryor came from Peoria.

A conversation below about Taylor Hall brings up a storm that’s been brewing among us recently about #22. It seems as though there’s a growing portion of the fanbase that is souring a little on Hall. I call that the “Hemsky” scenario, where people see a guy get so many chances they wonder why he doesn’t score 3 a game.

  • GR8ONEDon’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a bust or a bad player, but I do fear that a lack of creativity could hold him back from being a truly great player instead of just an above average one. It just would be nice to see him use all of that space he creates a little more effectively sometimes…dish it off and go to the net, take it TO the net a little more…something…anything…but to my eye his play is just so damned predictable lately.
Here’s what I think: Taylor Hall flies SO MANY sorties into the opposition end that we come to expect brilliance all of the time. The same damn thing happened to Hemsky a decade earlier–remember the fuss over turning the puck over at the blueline? I’ve long felt Taylor Hall’s nickname should be “Chance” because he’s a chance machine–an absolute marvel. Now, we know he’s still a kid and we know he’s coming off injury and isn’t yet 100%, so there are some factors impacting his game currently.
However, because we only remember the recent past and value what our eyes see beyond all, Taylor Hall lacks creativity. This after getting 1 assist in 2 weekend games. We’ve already forgotten that in his previous 6 games, Hall scored 10 points, and we’ve sure forgotten his 11-12 Oiler season.
One final note: my thanks to GR8ONE for his post, I used it because it was articulate and his pov was well-framed. I hope we get a civil and productive dialogue going on the subject and expect lots of comments from both sides. Please respect each other’s opinions.
Thanks.

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93 Responses to "OKC V PEORIA 11.12.12"

  1. sliderule says:

    I have only seen two games but it looks like Hall is staying on his feet more.

    He is playing a little more careful and smarter along the boards.

    I don’t think he will score as many goals as we would like because unlike the great goal scorers he doesn’t look at net when he shoots.He puts his head down and fires.His shot is hard and quick and he will get his share and probably pile up the assists..

    The one thing that drives me nuts is on shootouts and breakaways he tries to get cute and runs out of room.Just shoot the puck Taylor.

  2. blackdog says:

    The most spoiled fanbase in hockey. I guess it goes back to the 80s and it makes sense – five Cups and probably the best team in history – but I can’t believe what seems to be a collective mindset that is happy to run guys out of town at the drop of the hat and, further, find fault with any one who comes down the pipe once they’re over 19.

    That’s just unreal.

    Maybe the kid gets derailed by injuries. Maybe one of the other kids, maybe more, surpass him in the long run.

    But he drove the play the right way in the NHL at 19 years old playing on a garbage team with very little protection. And playing with a bad shoulder.

    He’s the straw. But yeah lets pick pick pick at him.

  3. Henry says:

    To my eye, the thing with Hall is that on an average to poor night (for him) he is a terrific puck possession player that can fly but doesn’t use his teammates until he is out of options. When he is playing well, he sees and uses his linemates while he is skating and the points come.

  4. oilswell says:

    Many were impressed with Landeskog’s rookie season, even over Nuge’s because he did so much heavy lifting so early. Points per game, so the argument went, was not a perfect measure of player impact. The responsibilities and game importance of strength up the middle sometimes did little to sway opinion for the impact of Nuge playing centre rather than Landeskog’s left wing.

    Yes, the games lost to injury clouds the issue for that Calder race, but we’ve seen this kind of argument between player types seems recurring and always seems to boil down to how one measures player value. Towes versus Kane. On and on it goes.

    Certainly, the ability to create scoring changes, the ability to enter the zone with the puck, the acumen to push the puck in the right direction are all important details. But, ultimately, the puck needs to end up out of your net and into theirs. Scoring chances relate to that but (and this is just this poor slob’s opinion) are not identical to it. I find it perfectly reasonable to believe that some players put up more points than other players not merely because they find more scoring chances on the ice. For me, in my mind I still align player impact with goal differential weighted by difficulty of the ice. I want players that opposing coaches spend the icetime of their most potent players on, and I want our players to win that goal differential battle handily. And kill at the powerplay because it is so valuable time and individuals can have heightened impact.

    And I think Hall has a great game for that. Hard to imagine any of the other Oilers nascent stars to do more in these early years.

    Is it reasonable to believe that great players can learn alot from each other if you get them to play on the same team for a while? If so, I’m liking how different each of Hall, Nuge, and Eberle play.

  5. dessert1111 says:

    I don’t think anyone thinks Hall is a bad player. I think most are agreed that he is very good to elite. And he does many things better than his teammates. The particular argument about his creativity though I think is absolutely fair to cite: he doesn’t have the hands or vision of RNH, Schultz or Eberle. Is he a worse player than them? It depends what you value, I suppose. I think they are all excellent players, but I have more fun watching the hands.

    The only thing that has been bothering me about Hall lately is that he seems to be shooting more from low percentage areas, especially off the rush when his teammates are trailing. On similar plays, Eberle will buy time and let the play develop, letting his teammates set up. Putting the puck on net more isn’t a bad idea, especially in the AHL, but I haven’t seen many goals like that happen so far this year.

    I’m sure we’re all just cranky. Watching good players is fun and Hall is a good player.

  6. Radman says:

    Since pre-novice, the guy has likely been the alpha dog on every team he has played on. He will learn that at this level, he can’t do it alone most nights. Hemsky never had the luxury of playing with the finishers that Hall will play alongside. Hemsky had to do it on his own, or at least try.

    Hall plays with fire and will soon wear the C me thinks. He will be the guy that gains the zones and backs off defenders with speed. With maturity hopefully he learns to use his linemates more than Hemsky did/could.

  7. nelson88 says:

    Spent a couple of days in Peoria ealier this spring. First time and not a bad little place at all. The drive from Chicago reminded me of the many, many road trips i have taken across the SK and AB prairies. Lots of time for reflection and listening to public radio (ie. not very exciting).

  8. OilClog says:

    Hall is a bull in a china shop getting shit done

  9. Clay says:

    To put it in a form that is (or was?) pretty popular in these parts, the fact that there is a section of Oiler fans souring on Hall says a lot more about the fan base than Hall…

    I’m not surprised, really. For us, any play maker who doesn’t equal Gretzky, or any power forward who doesn’t equal Messier, or any offensive D who doesn’t equal Coffee, etc, etc, will always draw some level of criticism. Hall can’t finish like Kurri you say? Bah! Trade him for magic beans, please! Stop winnin’ for MacKinnon!

    All that said, Hemsky still turns it over at the blue line too much for my taste…

  10. Reg Dunlop says:

    1st off, did anyone else notice that Spanky looks like a young Ozzy Osborne and our gang all look like Basil Fawlty?

    2nd, I recall oil fans ready to run Messier out of town his first couple seasons when he was skating around aimlessly in a coke haze. He turned out ok as will Taylor Hall.

  11. delooper says:

    I’m not very connected to what’s going on in Edmonton but I haven’t been hearing anything negative about Hall. By and large all I ever hear is people fussing about his health. It seems the puck always goes the right way when he’s on the ice. Players like him inevitably find themselves in the Stanley Cup finals, I just hope he’ll be on the Oilers when it happens.

  12. Ducey says:

    I don’t hear anyone complaining about Hall.

    The guy just turned 21 and has 17 pts in 14 games coming back off major surgery and a long layoff.

    People bitched about Gretzky. People ain’t smart.

    I note that OKC is dead last in average attendance at just over 3000 people a night. League average is over 5000. Anyone know who takes the loss (I am assuming there will be one)? Is it Katz?

    If they can’t get at least league average with the wunderkids playing there, I think the Oilers will be looking to move their farm team. Maybe that was the real point of the trip to Seattle?

  13. VOR says:

    Delooper,

    The argument, and LT is right you hear it more and more, is that Hall isn’t creative. Eberle and Hopkins create from nothing and Schultz appears to be another player in that same mode. For that matter so does Yakupov. Hall is the answer to the Sesame Street question, “which of these things isn’t like the others?” He just goes up and down his wing carrying the play but not getting much done relative to the chances generated.

    I think the concern arises because there is a tendency by many in these parts to try to slot the Oilers young guns into the Boys on the Bus V.2. That leaves Hall being compared to Messier or sometimes Glenn Anderson. Those are big skates to fill and while there are similarities in Hall’s game to both of those Oiler greats he isn’t really that much like either of them.

    Thus, Hall isn’t creative like many of the current Oiler core and he isn’t a dominant physical force like the two guys usually used as comparables. For one thing he lacks the junk yard dog personality of Messier and the flat out (and extremely dirty) kamikaze style of Anderson. In other words he suffers by comparison.

    On the other hand if you use a more apt comparable you can well argue that Hall is tracking to be a truly great player for the next decade plus. For example, the one I like is Taylor Hall = Jarome Iginla. Taylor is ahead of Jarome at the same age.

    Who knows which side of the debate is correct but I think LT is right that it may well, if there is ever NHL hockey, become a major divide amongst Oiler fans.

  14. Bar_Qu says:

    The issue isn’t bad fans or poor players or warts in a game or any of that. Its distance.

    We as fans, committed to watching, analyzing and observing all parts of all games see everything. And just like in a marriage that is observed too closely, you start seeing the things not done well more often than the things done well (aka human nature).

    But, if you take a step back, you start to see the good things standing out – like how you notice your friend’s wife seems less difficult than your own significant other. Fans outside the team rightly rave about the talent up front on the Oilers, while we hear each other question niggling flaws in each player’s game (Eberle’s shooting %! RNH is a beanpole! Hall is a philistine with the puck!)

    I dunno, but I am not willing to be hard on a fan for wanting a player to be more. I disagree with them, but I get where it comes from. And that’s the value of a discussion like this because it helps me and others get a perspective on what we personally miss or helps us get untracked from whatever bugaboo we focus on.

  15. Melman says:

    There is, and always has been this kind of criticism leveled at an elite player. I distinctly recall folks complaining about Gretzky when he’d go through a spurt (for about 5 games) where he was only getting 1 pt/game…and heaven forbid they were just apples.

    I wonder if that’s the same for fan bases from other cities or if it’s more of an Edmonton or hockey thing? Or is it more prominent in cities where the teams have had tremendous success. One could look at how Montreal and Calgary differ to answer the latter question.

  16. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    ” He just goes up and down his wing carrying the play but not getting much done relative to the chances generated.”

    Long overdue for advances stats for the drink stirrers. Would also love to know what becomes of outside shots from the guy bring the puck into the offensive zone. How often do rebounds from that generate chances on the kill floor for the skill guys?

  17. Jesse says:

    I agree with the assertion that Hall has not been as creative as I have seen him in the past so far this season. It was similar to the beginning of last season. In the first month or so of 11-12, Hall would regularly try and get it done all by himself, blasting through the neutral zone only to try and beat two or three guys alone and allowing the play to die on his stick. I’m not sure if it was coaching or self-assessment, but before long he tweaked his game and things started to get even better. I think that’s where I sit: Hall is obviously amazingly talented, but he can, and has, played better when he mitigates the tendencies to hog the puck.
    I disagree with the argument that people get impatient with Hall simply for the fact that he COULD have score three a night and that’s why people get frustrated. I think it’s more rooted in the belief that he COULD generate more scoring chances instead of trying to beat 3 guys by himself.
    This, of course, is coming from an armchair coach so take it for what it’s worth.

  18. ashley says:

    I’m one that has been banging on this drum. I don’t apologize for my opinion.

    As it stands, he is a good player. He has potential to be great with a bit of fine tuning.

    He doesn’t have Eberle/RNH hands, but that was never his style. He’s not here to dazzle. He’s a straight away threat. A rocket. I don’t knock him for his hands.

    However, he needs to be aware of his teammates on the ice. As cited above, he ignores his trailers, gives no thought to how a play might develop, takes low percentage/off balance wrist shots when his linemates are just entering the zone rather than standing near or in front of the net.

    Those kinds of shots are really not much better than a turnover. The defense is going to get the puck either way. On rare occasion, a low percentage shot goes in rewarding bad behaviour. There is no chance for a rebound (where the money is) because the shot happens as soon as Hall enters the zone way ahead of everyone else.

    As he plays now, I see Mike Gartner. Gartner never saw a shot he didn’t like. No shame in Mike Gartner, to be sure. HHOF and all that. However, anyone old enough probably remembers Gartner’s teammates quietly grousing about his lack of ice vision.

    With Taylor, there is so much potential with just a little more awareness, knowing when to slow things down a notch or two, getting his head up reading the defense and goaltender, and make use of all that space he creates when he comes into the zone and attracts 2-3 defenders to hit the wide open trailers.

    Will he ever get there? I dunno. After a while, a player is who he is. That’s not to say I’m not thrilled to see him in Oiler blue. But I think the criticism so far in this thread is very fair.

    Falling in love is dangerous since love can be blind. Especially true for lovable hockey personalities like Taylor Hall.

  19. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    “Those kinds of shots are really not much better than a turnover. The defense is going to get the puck either way.”

    Anyone know of anyone quantifying what happens after a low percentage shot on net?

  20. Wolfpack says:

    Hall is a good player and could be elite if he stays healthy and continues to develop.
    The concern that I have had in the past is that he falls down a LOT. How such a srong scorer could have such poor balance is beyond me. I’ll bet of all the Oilers he spends the most time lying on the ice each game, and he is not down there to block shots. I hope that is something that the Oilers’ find a way to work on, because his chances of scoring are a lot higher when he is on his skates. Please note, I don’t have the stats to back up that assertion… so I could be getting myself into trouble on this blog by making such a claim. :)

  21. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    “How such a strong scorer could have such poor balance is beyond me”.

    Wolfpack,

    There’s a guy in Calgary that might be able to figure it out:

    http://www.edgeschool.com/our-facilities/duckett-performance-centre/dpc-staff?view=employee&id=35

    ” hockey guys were, puffing up their pecs and ballooning their thighs like they were preparing for beefcake contests. Much of this stemmed from a basic misunderstanding of hockey’s unique effects on the anatomy, according to O’Brien. As a sport played on metal blades across a low-friction surface, the game demands work from body parts never really meant for the job. While running or jumping sports use muscles meant to produce vertical force, skating requires horizontal exertion from those that provide stability – the outer quadriceps, the lateral hamstrings and a pair of gluteal muscles called the piriformis and the medias… O’Brien happened to be moving to Halifax, so the year Crosby turned 14, he was on hand to oversee the youngster’s daily workouts at the St. Mary’s University athletic centre. The pair spent hours working on Crosby’s posture, using exercises unlike anything hockey players did at the time: the teenager would jump, skip, sprint, duck under hurdles, even do somersaults on mats while O’Brien studied his movements – all with a view to correcting mechanical flaws in his hip extension or coordinating the angles of his knees and ankles. Then came exercises aimed at building balance and stability. Crosby would teeter, see-saw style, on a piece of plywood balanced on a length of pipe while O’Brien surveyed his movements. “I’d hit him with all the force I could to try to knock him off,” recalls O’Brien, “or I’d throw a medicine ball at him. As he became more efficient, we tried to create inefficiency in his environment so he could continue to progress.”

    (canadian encyclopedia)

  22. VOR says:

    Ashley,

    As is probably clear from my previous comment, I hear where you are coming from. Often Taylor Hall frustrates the crap out of me. However, I have learned here to try to put things in context.

    Ever since I first saw these concerns in the comments section of an earlier LT post, I have been looking at all of Taylor Hall’s advanced stats. I figured we know the guy is a corsi whiz but how does he compare with the rest of the NHL?

    In an attempt to answer this question (and perhaps my approach is flawed) I compiled a list of forwards and centers who put up similar corsi numbers (on ice and relative) in 60+ games last year. That actually is quite a short list (fifty). Then I looked at the corsi quality of competition, relative corsi of competition, and plus/minus QC. I simply weighted all three factors equally in determining the quality of competition Hall faced. Then I compared him to the other guys on the first list. That took me down to 17 – in no order – Ryan O’Reilly, Eric Stall, Jordan Stall, Martin Hanzal, Corey Perry, Ray Whitney, Ryan Getzlaf, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Franzen, Pavel Datysuk, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thorton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, and Vinny Prospal. These guys do some amazingly heavily lifting while putting up great corsi numbers.

    Next, I looked at points per 60 at EV strength only and there were six players from this list who out performed Hall in this category. Then I looked at quality of teammate measures using the same criteria as above. Hall plays with the best players on the Oilers, but that still put him quite a way down the list of players named above. Now there were only two players in the entire data set who played against tougher competition with worse teammates and produced better overall corsi and point per 60 at EVS results: Jordan Stall and Pavel Datysuk.

    In other words it seems based on advanced stats that Hall is already a superstar.

    Now don’t get me wrong, that is not the player I see on the ice. However, it does imply that he gets the job done better than might be obvious from his boxcars. I suspect one day the on ice play and the advanced stats will show the same player.

    In the meantime I don’t think we are wrong to expect more of him – this is definitely a massively talented player. Taking a breath and waiting for the play to unfold (the advice Jean Beliveau gave to Guy LaFleur) is a key skill for Taylor Hall to master. For many players it comes with experience, that ability to find the sweet spot in time.

  23. sweetroll says:

    If the worry is how many points Hall will get (for the record I think he will get lots) why don’t we use his strengths now which is driving the play. My thought is play him with Horcoff and Hemsky against other teams top lines. This line will break even or better against most top lines on most nights. That lowers the goals against a great deal. I know it means tough zone starts but with the way these guys drive the play I think they can handle it to close to breaking even (which would be huge for the oilers). Then that leaves Gagner, Smyth, and Yakupov (which I think will work well against medium to soft competition) along with Ebs, RNH, and Hartikainen also against medium to soft competition. I think those two lines will outscore the other teams second and thirds buy a lot. Then you have Belanger with Jones, Eager, Pettrel, and Hordichuk for the fourth line depending on play and opponent. As long as the defence holds (I know big if) and Dubnyk is solid you have a playoff team which is the goal for this team. The only issue I see with this is getting Hall some power play time while still taking on the toughs (usually first line out after penalty).

  24. wuthering says:

    Every fan-base has a segment that turns sour on key players. It’s possible that Edmonton is worse than others, but how is this measured? It’s the tendency for high-profile players to be over-scrutinized, and when one combines this with the fact that everyone born in Canada thinks they know everything about hockey, these kids all-too-often get an unfair shake. One of the most obvious examples of this was the reaction to the Moroz pick, and the ensuing discussion. Maybe Edmonton fans are in fact worse, and do need to check their egos at the door. Perhaps, however, it’s more revealing of the condition of our general culture and that we all need to lose our hockey-narcissistic tendencies and start cheering these kids on for what they do bring, and can bring.

  25. dessert1111 says:

    wuthering:
    Every fan-base has a segment that turns sour on key players.It’s possible that Edmonton is worse than others, but how is this measured?It’s the tendency for high-profile players to be over-scrutinized, and when one combines this with the fact that everyone born in Canada thinks they know everything about hockey, these kids all-too-often get an unfair shake.One of the most obvious examples of this was the reaction to the Moroz pick, and the ensuing discussion.Maybe Edmonton fans are in fact worse, and do need to check their egos at the door.Perhaps, however, it’s more revealing of the condition of our general culture and that we all need to lose our hockey-narcissistic tendencies and start cheering these kids on for what they do bring, and can bring.

    I think that part of it is from the increasing availability of information we all have in this rapid-paced age of globalization. You can learn a lot about hockey from reading, watching, discussing and thinking about the game, and for the interested consumer, it is super easy to do all of that. I can do all of that (aside from watching) from work, for example. So although there might be collective arrogance as a fan base, I think there is also a higher collective intelligence: we, as fans, have many tools that we can use to criticize decisions of GMs, coaches and players that were not as readily available even 10-15 years ago.

    To use a hyperbolic example, the difference between the knowledge of an educated, serious fan and an NHL GM today is not what I would suggest it was in the 1980s because of the information available. With that information might come arrogance, but I think it’s telling that many of the criticisms fans have are from statistical computations and well-supported arguments. There are excellent arguments put worth as to why Moroz was a poor value pick.

    Does that make us better GM candidates than Tambellini? Probably not. But I think we can engage in very meaningful discussion and offer fair criticisms, even if they are harsh. Hopefully, though, we don’t do this at the expense of enjoying watching the players and the game itself.

  26. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    dessert1111: I think that part of it is from the increasing availability of information…

    It goes way back:

    Plato: “I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do.”

    When coaches lean on a guy to do the heavy lifting and stir the drink they know something that wart hunters miss. Of course there are parts of his game that will get better and parts that won’t. If comment increases the view of the actual player, fine.

  27. godot10 says:

    Taylor Hall tilts the ice. He creates space and opportunity for his teammates. Lowetide is right with the “chance” machine. Tyler Seguin doesn’t tilt the ice. Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t tilt the ice. I doubt Yakupov will tilt the ice.

    Will Taylor have elite boxcars? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter. He is more “Messier” than “Gretzky”.

    Hall’s strengths aren’t as evident in a less structured and less skilled AHL game. One is seeing a lot of NHLers “under-performing” at the AHL level.

  28. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Hall is not a Messier. He won’t be a Messier. But for all the differences they both are Heavy Lifters. Drink Stirrers. Ice Tilters. Back Breakers.

    I like our chances with Chance. The other guys might get Connies but Hall gets one first.

    “These are the saddest of possible words:
    “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
    Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
    Tinker and Evers and Chance.
    Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
    Making a Giant hit into a double –
    Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
    “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

  29. wuthering says:

    dessert1111,

    This is a fair comment, though I’m not sure that all this information leads to obvious pats on the back or indictments of GMs. One can say that it’s just another loser move by a loser; another label it as part of a winning strategy–and both base it on the same information. I just happen to think that humble attitudes toward our hockey knowledge would lead to more fruitful discussion and a greater degree of respect for players. I’m still learning this myself. I was not a Gilbert fan. Looking at his numbers helped me to “see him better,” if that makes sense. Maybe if we had more willing ears we wouldn’t want to run good players outta town?

  30. spoiler says:

    Hall doesn’t use his backhand enough. And there was that time he let a check go, can’t remember the game but I saw it with my own eyes! Why doesn’t he improve his angles on his shots? Why doesn’t he stickhandle more? And let me tell you, there were many many times when the lob shot over the goalie was there and he didn’t take it! Not once!!

    This thread is madness. I’m going to put it down to the human proclivity towards “mistake” bias.

    My god. People watching from a narrow one camera on-line video stream are criticizing his vision while he’s racking up assists faster than Bubba Clinton racked up interns.

  31. rickithebear says:

    Forwards U24:
    Centers
    #1 Giroux 1.19PPG
    #2 Stamkos 1.18
    #3 Tavares .99
    #4 Toews .97
    #5 RNH .84
    #6 J. Staal .81
    #7 Henrique .69
    #8 O’Rielly .68
    #9 Gagner .63
    #10 Stepan .63

    Wingers
    #1 Eberle .97PPG
    #2 Benn .89
    #3 Hall .87
    #4 Seguin .83
    #5 Pacioretty .82
    #6 Couture .81
    #7 P. Kane .80
    #8 E. Kane .77
    #9 M. Lucic .75
    #10 D. Perron .74

    We have 3 of the top 8 young scorers.
    1 that was top 30

    yakupov? maybe 4 of 10?

    And likely hartikainen who was top 20 point pace when playing with Gagner-Hemsky and RNH-Eberle.

    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    Hall-XXX-Yakupov
    Harti-Gagner-XXX
    is a basis for 3 of the ten besty young lines in hockey.

    Heck :
    Harti-RNH-Eberle
    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov

    So quit the hall Analysis.
    3rd best young winger and most productive with Horc facing firsts.

  32. rickithebear says:

    wuthering: dessert1111, I was not a Gilbert fan. Looking at his numbers helped me to “see him better,” if that makes sense. Maybe if we had more willing ears we wouldn’t want to run good players outta town?

    Dubnyk
    With Petry and Smid top pair was a .930 Goalie.
    Dubnyk
    With Smid -Gilbert top pair (till his trade) was a .908 Goalie.
    Dubnyk
    With Petry and Smid as top pair after gilbert trade was a .930 goalie.

    I see gilbert better cause he is not on our team!

  33. OilLeak says:

    It’s official, Hall is the next Horcoff and he’s overpaid, trade him and Gagner for the next 1st overall pick. Hurry! there is no time to waste.

  34. ashley says:

    I’m not sure why a good debate like this (and it was good for the first 25 posts or so) has to degenerate into mockery. Is it not possible to provide an argument without mocking? What about respect for our fellow human beings? I expect more from the LT crowd.

    Some good points have been made about Hall’s considerable skill and achievement to date in spite of what my eyes tell me. I am taking those arguments under consideration.

  35. Lois Lowe says:

    Taylor Hall, the flop.
    Minnesota fans are right.
    Ruined by MacT.

  36. VOR says:

    Spoiler,

    It isn’t madness to wonder if and when Taylor Hall might emerge as a truly dominant NHL player. The underlying numbers suggest he is capable of handling very tough minutes and out chancing the opposition significantly. However, boxcars suggest he isn’t outscoring at EVS to the same degree. Apparently, as I said above, very few NHLers can do that.

    On the other hand Taylor Hall is a quite unique talent and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest he may be capable of more than we are seeing. If that is true, why hasn’t he yet produced at that level? He is in a very real sense the Oilers team leader. As he goes so will go the fortune of the Oilers.Thus, it seems fair to speculate on when he might put it all together and go from being good to being great.

    Veterans often learn to improve their outcomes by controlling what they leave as MacT would have said. Some super stars learn to find the zone as they mature. Some find the right team mates and put their health issues behind them. I could go on but my basic point is simple:

    It is human nature to wonder what might be and when it might be. Hall in his prime will likely be able to put the Oilers on his shoulders and carry them to the promised land. The question, “when?” seems perfectly fair. Sadly, in an age of instant gratification the truth, that all will be revealed in time holds very little appeal.

    To say that to ask the question is madness seems, well, mad.

  37. delooper says:

    I’m still not seeing it. Sure Hall’s game could use some tweaking, as every single Oiler is far from being a great player at present. But he’s the best the Oilers have at 5v5. Sure RNH is creative, but he needs a lot of time and space to implement that. Hall is one of the few players that buys RNH that time and space. No player on the Oilers has to be perfect. What matters is that they come together and be effective as a team. Hall brings a huge component of what the Oilers lack. To think he won’t improve and fill in the gaps that people are criticizing him on is a little over the top, IMO.

  38. sliderule says:

    I remember Messier when he was 19 over skating the puck and being a turnover machine at the blue line .
    There were a lot of people some of them on the oil who wanted him traded.

    You had to overlook his warts and focus on his passion for the game ,toughness and raw skill.

    I see all of that in Hall and I think I see although it’s early a big improvement in his awareness on the ice.He is staying on his feet and being less reckless.

    Hall will just be fine .

  39. hunter1909 says:

    It’s just a good feeling to know Oiler fans are mature enough to understand that it’s time to run Taylor Hall out of Edmonton, OKC or wherever else he tries to hide.

  40. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Next up. Lowetide’s low percentage shots. And can the old guy clean up his act. We wait.

  41. Lowetide says:

    ashley:
    I’m not sure why a good debate like this (and it was good for the first 25 posts or so) has to degenerate into mockery.Is it not possible to provide an argument without mocking?What about respect for our fellow human beings? I expect more from the LT crowd.

    Some good points have been made about Hall’s considerable skill and achievement to date in spite of what my eyes tell me.I am taking those arguments under consideration.

    exactly. Some great points before someone found the liquor cabinet. Great reading, thanks everyone!

  42. OilLeak says:

    ashley:
    I’m not sure why a good debate like this (and it was good for the first 25 posts or so) has to degenerate into mockery.Is it not possible to provide an argument without mocking?What about respect for our fellow human beings? I expect more from the LT crowd.

    Some good points have been made about Hall’s considerable skill and achievement to date in spite of what my eyes tell me.I am taking those arguments under consideration.

    Ashley,

    My intent was not too mock or even reference any specific comment made on this thread. The intention was a lighthearted jab at the most fickle fans surrounding the Oiler fan base surrounding Hall. There were many on twitter outlining possible trades with Hall as the centerpiece last season, without valid reasoning behind their proposals.

    The points made here surrounding Hall certainly have merit, but I’m not overtly concerned at the moment. Hall appears to be easing himself back into game shape, which is smart considering that sacrificing his health at the AHL level right now just doesn’t make any sense. Hall is exactly what the Oilers need, someone who is hard to play against, someone that will pin the opposition in their own zone for minutes at a time. We could use more players like Hall.

  43. oilersfan says:

    I want to start this by saying the Taylor Hall is right now my favourite Oilers. That being said, I wonder if they should have picked Seguin. The single thing that bothers me the most about Hall is that he is not the pure goal scorer I would have expected from a first overall pick. Off the top of my head, it seems to me that 90% of his goals are the “Ryan Smyth” type of goals where he goes to the net and deposits garbage. I can think of very few goals of the Eberle variety, where a wicked wrist shot goes top shelf, or a great move in close deaks out a goalie.

    The only really nice goal I can remember was his hat trick goal against Chicago in the first home blowout in November last year, where RNH got 5 assists. Hall’s third goal he came across the blue line, used the dman as a screen, and ripped a shot between the dman’s legs and went top shelf. The goalie didn’t have a chance.

    I know all the goals count, but it would be nice to see more natural talent in that sense.

    I still love him as a player and am thrilled he is an Oiler, I just wonder about the natural goal scoring ability. Seguin has almost a goal a game in Switzerland this year, where Thornton and Nash barely have a point per game…Hall has 5 goals in 14 games in the AHL. Maybe the A is better than the Swiss pro league but if Thornton and NAsh are only getting a point per game, I don’t think it is that easy to score over there either.

  44. leadfarmer says:

    Ahhh Peoria, you make Thunder Bay look like paradise.

  45. delooper says:

    I’ve got pretty vivid memories of plenty of highlight reel goals, with a cross-ice feed from RNH or Eberle to Hall near an end-zone faceoff dot.

  46. delooper says:

    Peoria has very diligent traffic officers. Drive away from a pub and they almost always stop you.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    #OKCBarons lines: Hall-Arcobello-Eberle, Paajarvi-Lander-Hartikainen, Hamilton-Green-Pitlick, Byers-VandeVelde-Cornet

  48. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    #OKCBarons D-Pairs: Schultz-Marincin, Fedun-Teubert, Deck-Henry. Olivier Roy in net

  49. JohnnyRocket says:

    I’m excited to see if Acrobello can keep up the pace. And if Green can help Pitlick and Hamlton gain some traction. On paper that line looks good.

    P.S.- Any good feeds for tonights game?

  50. crude says:

    Maybe I missed a bulletin, but what’s with the extended Plante hiatus? Is there an official reason or is it just shrewd bench management ?

  51. Rebilled says:

    This all comes from being our first number 1 pick of course. The Tyler vs. Taylor draft. I think it might be fair to say the Oiler brass didn’t like the cut of Seguins’ jib. I think they saw Hall as a leader and a guy that was gonna stick around.

    Hall partially convinced Schultz to play here. I don’t see Seguin taking that role.

    As VOR stated, he is tracking higher than Iginla, he’s just had some injury problems. I am really looking forward to seeing his numbers through a full season.

    Also looking forward to a season with Hall and Yak. Two guys with a lot of overdrive.

    I don’t see lack of creativity, I see slightly less creativity than RNH(wizard) and Ebs(sorcerer). I’ve seen a lot of no look backhand passes from the Hall and the NHL goals will follow.

    He’s been in the majors for two years. Ar nott we forgetting?

  52. Rebilled says:

    Hall & Schultz we trust.

  53. smokinmonkey8 says:

    anyone have the feed to this game? First row doesn’t seem to have one

  54. voxwah says:

    Goooaaallll!! Hall, lol

    It seems he read the post today…

  55. delooper says:

    Yet another Hall goal from the hash marks…

  56. Rebilled says:

    So, was that a garbage goal?

  57. Lowetide says:

    Hall (Arcobello, Schultz)

  58. Jesse says:

    Hhaha. Oh brother. All that talk about his release.

  59. delooper says:

    I hear Hall was the first guy off the ice during the pre-game warmup.

  60. Lucinius says:

    Even the Baron’s t-shirt gun fizzles.

  61. sliderule says:

    After saying Hall buries his head and shoots he looks right at net and buries it.
    My shame

  62. delooper says:

    Lazy play by Hall there on the delayed offside. I think he was slouching on the way back to the bench, too.

  63. Lucinius says:

    That entire first PP unit needs to remember to KISS at times.

  64. oilersfan says:

    I said above he scores mostly garbage goals. didn’t see this one, was it nice?

    He has a laser of a shot and a quick release. The problem is as I see it, he mostly misses the net trying to pick the corner.

  65. delooper says:

    It was a one-timer off a cross-ice pass, with Hall near the right o-zone faceoff circle. I think Hall went high near side. We’ve seen a dozen goals like this from Hall in the past couple years as far as I can remember.

  66. Rebilled says:

    oilersfan,

    Not this time. He does get his fair share of greasy goals though.

  67. Rebilled says:

    *meaning he didn’t miss the net this time.

  68. Rocknrolla says:

    Was nice to hear John Short’s voice on the radio this aft. He co hosted with Gregor. Still has the gift that guy…

  69. Lucinius says:

    Not overly thrilled with what I’ve seen from Deck this game. A couple dead giveaways, couple times with passes that hamstring the recipient, etc..

    Anything good from this guy?

  70. Lowetide says:

    If I were a young man, I’d fly down to OKC at least once this season. Lots of adventure!

  71. gr8one says:

    One more item checked off the ol’ bucket list…quoted by LT in a blog post!!! woot!! lol

    I honestly didn’t realize there was were storms a brewin’ regarding this subject, and after reading some of the others thoughts on the subject I must say I am totally guilty of being spoiled in the past and perhaps having too high of expectations.

    I must stress though that by no means do I think Hall is anything less than an incredible young hockey player that will only get better. I guess my original thoughts on the matter could be framed a little more even, and that is that any “faults” I see in Taylor Hall’s game isn’t so much that he isn’t a great player it’s that I think I may have in fact been guilty of believing(hoping?) that he would be one of those Elite talents, Maybe not quite Crosby, but close…and so my perceived thoughts on his not having that Elite creativity is about the only thing that i see in his game that’s holding him back from being THAT good.

    I guess to put it in a crude analogy, in my mind, Hall may not be the flawless diamond set in platinum I thought he was might be but I’ll still sure as hell take that same flawless diamond set in 24K white gold.

    And of course, having said all of this, watching that first period he shows me up by showing some of that creativity while gaining the zone that I thought he’d been lacking!! I chalk that up to him reading this blog and seeing my comments.

    When he becomes ELITE I will take full credit. :)

  72. delooper says:

    Which team is Chorney playing for? I’m guessing the Rivermen but I haven’t seen the lineups…

  73. gr8one says:

    Lowetide,

    I was thinking that too…Still kicking myself for not paying closer attention to when they were in Charlotte(2.5 hour drive from where I reside), damnit!

    Lockout or not, I will certainly be seeing them the next time they’re in Charlotte, and if the lockout does kill the whole NHL season I may yet visit OKC later in the season.

    Back on Taylor Hall for a moment…I absolutely love that goal I’ve seen him score on numerous occasions now…you know, the one where he one times it top shelf with his howitzer at that ridiculously impossible angle from just above the goal line. Beauty.

  74. Lowetide says:

    That’s why Peckham remains ahead of Teubert imo. Lost his positioning on the PK–can’t do that.

  75. Lowetide says:

    Another bad play by Teubert.

  76. delooper says:

    OKC’s PP is getting too dependent on Schultz. Pass to Schultz. Pass to Schultz… Heh, just as I type…

  77. striatic says:

    that looked intended for redirection the moment schultz loosed it.

  78. Lowetide says:

    Hartikainen (Schultz, Hall)

  79. delooper says:

    If half of Schultz’s offense translates to the NHL he’s going to be way more than fine.

  80. Lucinius says:

    Plus side for Baron fans in attendance; your odds of winning anything are fantastic given how few people go to the games.

    Hall kinda screwed up on his breakaway (Arcobello wasn’t expecting to get a pass, I think) and then followed it with a penalty, heh. Guy is chaos; thankfully its primarily positive. I think Seguin will outscore him over their careers but that Hall will outscore him for the first 5-6 years before he suffers a severe injury (which, as an Oiler, could be from something like picking up a plate and slipping every disc in his back…. or stepping on a banana peel and shattering his tail bone.. or…)

  81. JohnnyRocket says:

    The 26 fans in the stands don’t know have good they have it, with those cheap beers and great hockey.

  82. Lucinius says:

    Nevermind the fact they get tons of room! Get to stretch your legs and everything.

    Other fans are why I never see games in person.

  83. JohnnyRocket says:

    Someone forgot to tell Lander that Movember is over.

  84. Lowetide says:

    Teubert is a mess.

  85. JohnnyRocket says:

    Nice play off the wall by Lander.

  86. Dipstick says:

    That Nordic line has been pushing the puck in the right direction.

  87. Lucinius says:

    If this team keeps losing when I watch I’m going to start taking personally!

    Ugh, come on, tie it up!

  88. Lowetide says:

    Rookie defensemen. You can’t hide all of them.

  89. JohnnyRocket says:

    I’ve never seen so many behind the play line changes in a televised hockey game.

  90. JohnnyRocket says:

    Hmmff, The Oile…Barons sure could use a top four defenseman.

  91. spoiler says:

    VOR: Spoiler,It isn’t madness to wonder if and when Taylor Hall might emerge as a truly dominant NHL player. The underlying numbers suggest he is capable of handling very tough minutes and out chancing the opposition significantly. However, boxcars suggest he isn’t outscoring at EVS to the same degree. Apparently, as I said above, very few NHLers can do that. On the other hand Taylor Hall is a quite unique talent and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest he may be capable of more than we are seeing. If that is true, why hasn’t he yet produced at that level? He is in a very real sense the Oilers team leader. As he goes so will go the fortune of the Oilers.Thus, it seems fair to speculate on when he might put it all together and go from being good to being great. Veterans often learn to improve their outcomes by controlling what they leave as MacT would have said. Some super stars learn to find the zone as they mature. Some find the right team mates and put their health issues behind them. I could go on but my basic point is simple: It is human nature to wonder what might be and when it might be. Hall in his prime will likely be able to put the Oilers on his shoulders and carry them to the promised land. The question, “when?” seems perfectly fair. Sadly, in an age of instant gratification the truth, that all will be revealed in time holds very little appeal. To say that to ask the question is madness seems, well, mad.

    Because in my eyes futile speculation is madness. And speculating on why a player who is obviously out-performing his peers hasn’t more out-performed them seems like incredibly futile speculation to me, JMHO.

  92. DeadmanWaking says:

    Нинтендо⁶⁴,

    Nice. I envy your discipline. I would have misquoted the poem as “Thinker to Ebers to Chance”. Gonfalon makes me wonder if Vonnegut pinched his Cat’s Cradle granfalloon from this poem. Perhaps this was intended to be obvious heraldric self-mockery, with roots in Dante rather than Cervantes.

    From The ninth circle of hell:

    The poets see a huge structure in the distance, which Dante mistakes for a windmill because a freezing wind is coming from that direction. Chilled by a blast of wind, Dante seeks protection behind Virgil. As they approach the large structure, Dante realizes that it was not a windmill but the body of Satan himself.

    Oh look, Dante is more than two centuries senior. Who knew? After my mother’s input on the eternal retribution awaiting my petty childhood misdeeds, Dante wasn’t a second opinion I was keen to seek out. Willful blind spot. These literary types, they borrow shamelessly.

    The expression [Tinker to Ebers to Chance] is still used on occasion today, to characterize any process that happens with smoothness and precision, as a near-synonym to expressions such as “like clockwork” or “a well-oiled machine.”

    Sadly, the best I can come up with is the TEC-Tac line. Here’s to the boys making a signature move of the whipsaw touch pass. I don’t even Arnie wanted to become known as the “oiled-well” so we’ll forgo the reciprocal rub.

    From Simply the best:

    There is something almost inexplicable about Donovan Bailey. How he runs so fast and starts so slow. Maybe it’s because, as a sprinting nation, we’ve been honed on Ben Johnson, who burst like a race car out of the blocks. Bailey comes out of the blocks like a child learning to walk for the very first time, his arms and legs flailing, not necessarily in the same direction. But once it happens, once he reaches stride, it’s over.

    I have a vague recollection of listening to an interview with Bailey’s coach explaining that they worked hard to keep his start slow and under control using shorter strides to set up his explosive acceleration ten strides out. This after many critics weighed in that speeding up his start was the only way for him to break through as the top guy. The interviewer didn’t force the coach to fully explain how stretching out too soon subverted powering through his top two gears. I never forgot of an interview a failure to go the distance. I suspect balance. Probably balance.

    To better employ his linemates I think Hall would need to cool his jets, as the situation warrants. His low percentage shots before his linemates get deep don’t seem to be hurting the team at the other end of the ice. I wonder how many of those glorious high-percentage shots missed (even high percentage shots off the rush are 1 in 5) convert into up-tempo break-outs the other direction.

    My dimming mind also vaguely recalls Lindros relating advice received from Gordie Howe about arriving with truculence: don’t waste it on a battle to reach the puck you know you’re going to lose by half a step before taking your first stride. Trade in the rocking coal cars for poise and control. Pick your spots.

    These are the small adjustments a player like Hall needs to make. Pour on the rooster-tailed jets of hell when you catch the defenseman scrambling. Shorten the strides a bit for time and balance and peripheral vision when the passing lanes entwine with escapement shafts of daylight.

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