Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall says his rehab is ahead of schedule

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The Edmonton Oilers are nearing the “seriously, start winning already” stage of their development. If they want to get there, they’ll need a great season from Taylor Hall – who’s approaching the first contract year of his career.

Recovering from shoulder surgery will be one of Hall’s biggest hurdles but he told Dan Tencer that things are going well so far. Hall said his rehab is “a little ahead of schedule,” allowing him to at least attempt to play in some pre-season games for 2012-13.

The 20-year-old forward improved on both his goals (27 from 22) and assists (26 from 20) despite playing in four fewer games in his second season. Either way, it’s a bit unsettling that his first two seasons in the NHL ended early because of injury issues.

Hall’s sturdiness is far from the only concern for a very flawed Edmonton team primed to make the first selection in a third consecutive entry draft, but it wouldn’t hurt to have him around for more than 65 games next season.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.