Taylor Hall is cast as the hero in our story. Breathtaking in flight, his presence on the ice signals a change in the weather. Hall is the central character in a tragedy that should explode in a spectacular crescendo of brilliant light, and make this journey worthwhile. Some sweet day.
TAYLOR HALL 10-11
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.78 (4th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.27 (8th among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: 10.3 (best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 52.0% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 51.2% (7th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 186/11.8% (4th among F’s>100 shots)
- Boxcars: 65gp, 22-20-42 (led the team in goals as a rookie)
TAYLOR HALL 11-12
- 5×5 points per 60: 2.07 (2nd among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 5.95 (2nd among regular forwards)
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 52.3 (+6.5 Corsi for Rel %)
- Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: best teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: 15.2 (best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 56.5% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 53.6% (2nd best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 207/13% (3rd among F’s>100 shots)
- Boxcars: 61gp, 27-26-53 (led the team in PP goals-13)
TAYLOR HALL 12-13
- 5×5 points per 60: 3.15 (1st among regular forwards, 6th in NHL, 2nd in WC)
- 5×4 points per 60: 5.74 (3rd among regular forwards)
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 50.4 (+8.6 Corsi for Rel %)
- Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards (top line opp)
- Qual Team: 2nd best teammates among regular forwards (top linemates)
- Corsi Rel: 20.3 (2nd best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 54.8% (easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 47.9% (2nd best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 154/10.39% (6th among F’s>70 shots)
- Boxcars: 45gp, 16-34-50 +5 (led the team in points)
TAYLOR HALL 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 2.91 (1st among regular forwards, 4th in NHL)
- 5×4 points per 60: 4.29 (4th among regular PP forwards)
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 44.4 (+0.4 Corsi for Rel %)
- Qual Comp: toughest among regular forwards (top line opp)
- Qual Team: 2nd best teammates among regular forwards (top line)
- Corsi Rel: 2.4 (6th best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 57.9% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 49.6% (2nd best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 250/10.8% (3rd among F’s>100 shots)
- Boxcars: 75gp, 27-53-80 (led the team in points)
Despite newly poor possession stats, our man Hall continues to crush it in the scoring race. He suffered with a dull as dishwater power play and a season long issue with getting him the puck in full flight, and it cost him and the team. Will the Oilers fix it?
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)
We see Hall getting the zone push here, and teams are sending their best men over the boards to fight the storm. If you’ve ever attended an Oiler game since Hall’s arrival, you know the opposition defense hits the ‘back’ button when our man makes his entrance. It’s funny, and one of the few truly great things about the Edmonton Oilers this century. Taylor Hall changes the equation. Now, let’s get him back to pushing the river, Mr. Eakins.
RE 13-14 REVIEW
|1.17||TAYLOR HALL 13-14 RE||70||37||45||82|
|1.07||TAYLOR HALL 13-14 ACTUAL||75||27||53||80|
RE 14-15 PROJECTION
|1.14||TAYLOR HALL 14-15 RE||73||33||50||83|
|TAYLOR HALL 14-15 ACTUAL|
- I thought you’d project him higher. The possession stats (as broken down by Dellow) have me hedging the bet. Hall’s impact on the score sheet while he was on the ice was phenomenal, but is it replicable? Is the flow of the river fixable under Dallas Eakins system? We need to see some proof.
- The boxcars are good. This is a thoroughbred. Taylor Hall was touched by God. And I’m counting on Ramsay to fix the power play a little here.
- Where did he finish league-wide 5×5/60 in 2013-14? Incredible player.
- We never did give him a grand nickname. Yes we did. Chance. It’s perfect, because the guy just delivers chance after chance after chance. He’s like a chance machine, every time he’s on the ice the audience is on their seat. He’s brilliant entertainment.
- What should the hockey encyclopedia say about him? Taylor Hall is an impact NHLer with an insane resume and a super nova future. At 21, he enjoyed a breakout season in the NHL, finishing ninth in scoring and second in the Western Conference in total points. At 22, he finished in a tie for sixth overall in points, and was the No. 1 point-getter in the entire league among LW’s. He’s ranked 4th (75GP, 20-42-62) in EV scoring—trailing only Crosby, Getzlaf and Perry. Taylor Hall finished four points behind Sidney Crosby in the discipline.
- That’s impressive. He’s magic. Taylor Hall, on a team with possession stats an AHL team could manage, finished second in even-strength assists in 2013-14 behind Joe Thornton.
- He should have made the postseason All-Star team. The PHWA makes the call on that, and the fact Hall hasn’t been named the last two seasons says more about the PHWA than it does about Taylor Hall.
- You’ve used that line a lot. Yes. Never better, though. Never better.
- Is there anything else about last year? What doesn’t kill you makes you strong, and proof of that was last season. It’s a damn shame to see these beautiful seasons being played in obscurity.
- Obscurity? The reason Hall isn’t winning awards is the team’s overall record. People can’t believe he’s this good on a team that bad, so they just assume he’s lucky or it’s a one-off. There are many hockey fans who are going to be shocked when Taylor Hall makes the playoffs and kills their team dead.
- So he’s a brilliant star in a sky no one sees? Yes, only many see him but most don’t pay close enough attention to know what’s going on here. He’s a modern Harlond Clift, but with more sustain and a better ending. We hope.
- How do you feel about the coming season? I feel the team will be better, but don’t believe we’ll see a strong enough march up the standings to talk playoffs.
- What are the positives? The heart of the cluster is a year older, they’ve added a pack of NHL veterans (Fayne, Nikitin, Pouliot, Purcell) and a coach with experience in Craig Ramsay. And I do believe Dallas Eakins will have learned a mountain of lessons from the first season.
- Really? Eakins talks like the players had to learn and he was wise all along. Eakins has an arrogance about him, but that doesn’t mean he’s a crappy coach. We have to be mindful of his actions and perhaps less focused on his irritating tendency to point at others. That’s a bad habit for a priest, but kind of superfluous for an NHL coach. When Eakins speaks about the game—strategy, handling of players, situations—he’s on point and highly creative. There’s a big old brain there, here’s hoping Edmonton can tap into it and also let’s hope Eakins doesn’t ass his way to ruining Yakupov. I’m certainly prepared to fly another sortie with this coach.
- And if he brains Yak? Hold back your water, we’re talking Hall right now.
- How good IS Hall? He’s matching Tavares, marching in lock-step. Taylor Hall is an impact player, a revelation and he’s doing it against the toughest division in the infantry. He’s all-world. I love the guy.
- Can he make his linemates better? Oh yeah, all day. ALL day.
- Why are the possession stats so bad? Dellow’s drilling all over the county on that, and it seems to come down to strategy and setup. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer on this stuff, but generally speaking Edmonton does well when Hall gains possession of the neutral and offensive zone, and are everyman or worse when playing dump and chase. They’re also addled on their set plays (this is all pure theft from Dellow, if you’re not reading him then you’re missing the plot).
- What’s a hockey IPP? Individual Points Percentage – The percentage of goals scored by players team while player is on the ice that the player had a point on. Source of definition: HockeyAnalysis.com.
- Why are people talking about Hall’s IPP? Because it’s so high, 98.1, and is the highest among NHL forwards who played 1000 or more minutes a year ago.
- Is it repeatable? One suspects that it is not repeatable at that level, that’s pretty much all of the points scored while he’s on the ice. In 2012-13, Hall’s IPP was 94.3, which was fourth among NHL forwards, and in 2011-12 it was 75%.
- Why would this be happening? In my mind’s eye, I recall Hall with the most under control sorties and Hall being the best at puck retrieval on that line. He’s also a brilliant passer and shot the puck 250 times. After that, I’m out, don’t know.
- But he pushes the river? Yes. When the Oilers have their most promising sorties, Hall is carrying the mail, the defensemen have their sphincters at full sail, and Ebs and the Nuge are looking for a place to be useful as well as ornamental.
- That seems incorrect, they should share the load. I welcome you to skip back up to the top of the page and check out Hall’s 5×5 scoring and where it ranks league wide.
- Maybe put him on another line? Hmm. I’m not against it, but the line itself delivered at even strength, why would you want to break it up?
- This IPP thing is a problem! Well, no. It’s not a problem per se, it just isn’t something the Oilers can count on year over year. There’s luck involved. What you want is for the Oilers to fix the Corsi for % at 5×5, to send more sorties the other way, to give Hall the situations in which he can push the river.
- As in the past? Yes. As in the past. Hall’s cashing in on a ridiculous number of his chances, and that isn’t (from what the experts say) a completely sustainable skill. So we get back to possession and having the ball on the other 20-yard line more often than the Oilers’ 20-yard line.
- We’re back to the Corgis? Back to the Corgis.
- The dogs were barking last year. The dogs were FLEEING last year.
- Why this song? Lots of reasons. The line “I wish I had a river I could skate away on” fits these seasons of frustration and turmoil. Plus it’s about being somewhere new and wishing you had the things from the old place. In Joni Mitchell’s case, she’s in California and who can complain, but it’s coming on Christmas and there’s no snow, no trees, no river to skate on, and she misses those things because they are dear to her. Hall? Well, he’s in the NHL and a brilliant player and who can complain, but it’s coming on five years, no playoffs, no playoff race, and a selloff every deadline, and he misses the playoffs and the OHL championship and the Memorial Cup and the World Juniors because that’s what drives him.
- So it’s depressing. Well, more desperate than depressing. Have you ever felt trapped under the weight of something hopeless? Like you’re in a relationship or a job, and begin to realize—several years into the relationship—that maybe the person you chose, or the destination you flew to, or the team that drafted you—has issues and miles and things you can’t overcome? And you’re committed to the goal, and failure is not an option, and yet there is just so much you cannot control and it’s a lot to deal with for you.
- So it’s depressing. Yes. Yes, I guess so.
- Anything else? The line in the song “Oh, I wish I had a river so long, I would teach my feet to fly.” What an incredible lyric. I think it fits Taylor Hall perfectly, he can fly.
- So, in summary, better seasons ahead? For player and team. MacT is digging out from the five years of neglect by hammering in nails and slapping on paint, and Taylor Hall and the boys are maturing and approaching their prime. And in Taylor Hall’s incredible case, he’s pushing the river even when the river overflows against him. Last season was incredible in an unusual way. Imagine what this young man would do on a good team. The river trembles.