It’s pretty hard to believe that a franchise that employed Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Paul Coffey never had a No. 1 overall draft pick until they selected Taylor Hall in June, but that’s exactly the case.
Hall got his first taste of Edmonton this week – and regardless of what Dany Heatley and other people who spurned the market would say – he received quite the royal treatment.
As much fun as that might be, you have to wonder if Hall will be able to handle the pressure that comes with leading a fledgling franchise to turn things around. He’s at least saying all the right things, as Terry Jones of Canoe.ca captured.
“I guess it’s how you treat things and how you look at things. You can take it as pressure. Or you can take it and have fun with it. For me it’s really, really been fun.
“I wouldn’t trade my position with anybody else.
“I don’t think the spotlight is going to be so bright here that I can’t be me. I think it’s going to be just right. I’m going to enjoy it. I’d like to think I’ve worked hard for it. And when I leave here and go home I’m going to work even harder and make sure I’m going to be focused on making the team when I return for training camp.
“I know that I now have to be careful where I go and what I do, especially as an 18-year-old.”
The Oilers have a long way to go before they will be the toast of the town, but drafting Taylor Hall is a good start. It should be interesting to see how the young winger will handle being under the microscope.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”