Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers

Oilers’ Hall had ‘trepidation’ about playing center

No one will sensibly argue Taylor Hall’s skill, but now his versatility is being tested.

Hall, one of four Edmonton Oilers stars-in-the-making, has been moved from the wing to center during training camp, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still working back from off-season shoulder surgery.

“I am enjoying (center) a lot more than I probably thought I would. I had some trepidation coming into it, but I’m feeling good,” Hall told the Edmonton Journal.

“It’s just a timing thing when I really get my timing down there’s a lot of holes on the ice.”

Hall moving to the middle has been a point of discussion for about the last two weeks, even though his offensive contributions have come while playing on the wing.

Playing primarily on left wing last season, Hall averaged more than a point-per-game, with 50 points in 45 games.

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.