Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall “on a mission” for Edmonton


While the Edmonton Oilers haven’t been good lately — they’ve lost 15 of their last 19 games — the same cannot be said of sophomore sensation Taylor Hall. The 20-year-old notched seven points during Edmonton’s recent seven-game road trip and is riding a four-game goalscoring streak.

His play caught the eye of many, including head coach Tom Renney.

“He was on a mission this trip, showing the passion you need in order to win in this league,” Renney told the Edmonton Journal. It seems the Oilers bench boss not only recognized Hall’s level of play — he milked it for all it was worth. Renney played Hall 20:16 in New York, 21:37 in Buffalo, 22:33 against Dallas and a season-high 24:18 in Vancouver.

“Taylor wanted the puck all the time,” Renney continued. “He wanted the responsibility of his team’s performance, never mind his own. That’s where champions start.”

A big part of this recent success was avoiding injury and playing through pain. Hall missed 25 games in his first season-and-a-half at the NHL level but was a warrior on the trip, shrugging off a high stick to the face from Minnesota’s Nate Prosser (“looked like he’d been stung by a bee, his lip swelled so badly,” wrote the Journal’s Jim Matheson) and another errant stick from St. Louis’ Roman Polak. The latter cost Hall two shifts and 10 stitches on his earlobe, yet he still managed to score his 13th goal of the season.

All told, Hall now has 29 points in 32 games and had it not been for November’s shoulder injury, would be in the neighborhood of 40 points. Considering fellow sophomore Jordan Eberle is already there (he leads the Oilers with 43 points) and rookie phenom Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t far behind (35 points in 38 games),Edmonton’s woes should be put in perspective. Sure, the Oilers are losing now…but if the big three keep progressing like this, the future will be filled with wins.

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.

Good news: Colaiacovo traveling with Sabres

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It was a scary sight.

Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).

Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.

After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.

“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”

“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”

The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.

According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.

It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.