- There’s a lot of chatter about Taylor Hall and the Olympic team these days, and I think it’s time we had a chat about what’s fact and what is fiction in this developing story.
If the men choosing the Canadian Olympic team choose to pass over Taylor Hall this time, I believe it would mean Hall is having a mediocre season. I seriously doubt that happens, the young man has his health, is brimming with confidence after a stellar year and spent another season pushing the river on an otherwise poor hockey club. Taylor Hall’s inability to get his name placed on Team Canada probably has more to do with the team he plays for than any sins of his own (real or imagined). There is an old timey hockey belief that if Hall can’t get his team to the playoffs he can’t be that good, which is crazy, but that line of thinking remains based on the decisions we see every year.
No, unless Team Canada’s decision makers are Pakleds (and they are not–these are smart hockey men) Hall’s prominence in league doings this fall and winter will make him an obvious choice.
During the RE series (here) I wrote the following:
- You keep saying he’s going super nova? WHEN? Well, Hall’s 5×5/60 this season was 3.15 and that ranked him 6th in the NHL among forwards who played 30 or more games. That number was second in the western conference behind Jonathan Toews (3.19). This is good company he’s keeping. And he was 2nd among LW’s in that category, behind Pittsburgh’s Kunitz who had a linemate pushing the river. If Taylor Hall doesn’t get one ounce better–and I believe he will get better–that’s an outstanding player, the best Oiler player in 20 years.
That’s pretty much it, there’s a gap between progress made and the world adopting it as such, and that’s the bubble we’re in right now. Much of the msm is balking at the idea of Hall being named to the team, but that’s just the lag between levels of ability being reached and our brains accepting them as fact; John Tavares is getting a lot of positive chatter in regard to the Olympic team, Hall not so much. That one year lag is the issue in my opinion.
It isn’t the only one, however.
This is the kind of ‘old manning’ that hockey men have been doing for ages and ages, and is something that has been endured by youth since Garry Unger bunked with Don Cherry and before. If you understand shot differential, then you understand that “what Taylor Hall is leaving” is a grand trail of positives. He is a young player, and there’s every chance he will not play on the 1PP, but the idea that Taylor Hall isn’t among the 25 best Canadian men for this Olympics is laughable.
Even the Pakleds looked for things to make them go and I know Mike Babcock is a lot smarter than the Pakleds. Let’s see how this story rolls out over the winter, and let’s see who the detractors of young Hall are as we slide into October and November. And, should it come to pass that Taylor Hall is not on the Olympic team, we have a grand nickmame for the decision makers for Team Canada.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Busy show today with a variety of subjects. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk Olympics, Gagner as captain, Omark and the stars.
- Neal Livingston, Tend the Farm. Programs, programs! You won’t be able to tell your Barons from the other team without a program! We’ll talk about changes in OKC and the large number of hockey fans from that area catching a certain Finn’s hockey team via online streaming.
- Alex Stieda will tell us about Tour of Alberta and the best way for fans to catch the action.
- Scott Cullen from tsn: We’ll talk baseball, fantasy football and Olympics.
- Rob Soria from Oil Drop: Ryan Smyth on the PP, Gagner as captain and the Omark signing.
@Lowetide_ on twitter and then 10-1260 via text. Hope you can tune in, your comments and questions are welcome!