Tag: Taylor Hall

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

Hot Oilers trying to prove they’re moving in right direction


Back in December, Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish got a little heated while trying to defend the woeful Oilers. Less than a week later head coach Dallas Eakins was fired. Edmonton didn’t see an immediate or dramatic uptick once Todd Nelson took over as the team’s bench boss, but they have an opportunity to finish on a high note thanks to their current 5-1-1 stretch.

“First and foremost, it’s a pride thing, so it doesn’t matter where you are in the standings, losing is never fun. There are a lot of guys playing for contracts, playing for a lot of different things,” goaltender Richard Bachman noted to the Edmonton Journal. “We want to show people we are coming together as a team and that we are trending in the right direction.”

Bachman, along with fellow Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth, is among those that are scheduled to test the unrestricted free agent waters this summer. There certainly are plenty of players on Edmonton playing for contracts or trying to make a strong impression to help themselves ahead of the 2015 training camp. Beyond that though, as Bachman said, there’s also a need for Edmonton to prove that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. That breaking up this core isn’t the franchise’s only possible path to success.

Not that they can accomplish that with a handful of strong weeks at the end of the season. The Oilers have struggled for far too long to get the benefit of the doubt by going on a winning streak long after they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. Still, the Oilers seem upbeat and perhaps that’s a start.

“I feel that the atmosphere in the dressing room has changed since I was last in here,” defenseman Brandon Davidson said, who was previously summoned in December. “That’s a big part of it. Guys are having fun doing things the right way.

“We don’t have a playoff, but for us, this is everything, especially for most of us going into next year.”

Whether or not this is a sign of things to come for Edmonton in 2015-16, one thing we can say is that this hot streak has hurt their chances of winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

“I’m sure there’s a whole group of fans hoping for us to lose, but we’re having fun winning,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. “Game 1 or Game 75, it is still fun to go out there and win — and we’re playing good teams, teams that have full lineups and teams that are chasing playoff spots. … I know I’m having a really good time with (Miller and Anton Lander). We play hard and we play with energy.”

Contrast that with where he was three months ago when he wondering what he did wrong after watching yet another one of his coaches get fired. Or against captain Andrew Ference calling out his teammates over their lack of pride.

Maybe times have changed. Then again…


In Edmonton, Yakupov’s future seems bright again

Video: Taylor Hall’s first goal in more than two months chases Varlamov

Carolina Hurricanes v Edmonton Oilers
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The last time Taylor Hall scored a goal prior to Wednesday was back on Jan. 9. Yeah, it’s been a while, as a foot injury kept him out of the Edmonton Oilers lineup for 23 games.

On Wednesday, he came racing down the left side and ripped a wrist shot that somehow found its way by Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, giving Edmonton a 3-0 lead in the first period.

Varlamov was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots in the first 9:36 of the opening period.

Hall returns to the Oilers lineup vs. Flyers

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall will return to the Oilers lineup tonight when Edmonton plays host to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Hall has missed 23 games due to a foot injury.

The 23-year-old is expected to begin tonight’s game on a line with Anton Lander and Andrew Miller. He is also expected to see power play time alongside Nail Yakupov and Derek Roy.

Hall also missed five games in November due to a knee injury.

In 42 games this season Hall has 11 goals and 30 points.

Philadelphia won the only other meeting between the two clubs 4-1 on Nov. 4.

Hall may play again this season for Oilers, also eyes World Championships

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall has seen another season marred by injury issues, but we may see him play again before 2015-16.

Hall told the Edmonton Journal that he’s hoping to play in the upcoming world hockey championships and may even return for the Edmonton Oilers before this season is over.

“Going to the world championship would be good for me because I haven’t played much hockey this year and I haven’t played too much good hockey as well,” Hall said on Monday. “If I get invited (to wear the maple leaf), I’ll accept and hopefully we win a gold.”

The Edmonton Journal pointed out that he’d likely be joined by teammates Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, which would be an added bonus to playing in the summer.

Playing in that tournament makes sense, but it’s hard not to at least make the devil’s advocate argument regarding suiting up for the Oilers again. Considering where Edmonton ranks in the standings, some might wonder why Hall would risk aggravating his “bone injury” … again. Hall himself has admitted that he’s rushed back from injuries before, after all.

Even his comments regarding skating again raise a red flag for worriers in the audience.

“I practiced hard today, maybe too hard,” Hall said. “I’ll probably have to get my conditioning back before I can play.”

Taking a cautious approach would probably be wise, but for a player who’s never played a full season and missed at least 20 games three times at age 23, it’s understandable that Hall is also a little anxious to shake off some rust.

Oilers lose Fasth to knee injury (Updated)

Viktor Fasth

The Edmonton Oilers have been trying to at least end their disappointing 2014-15 campaign on a positive note and lately they’ve done okay in that regard with a 6-6-1 record following their loss to Tampa Bay on Jan. 15. Their task of staying competitive got even harder tonight though.

Goaltender Viktor Fasth suffered a knee injury while attempting to stop Blake Wheeler’s deciding shootout goal in Winnipeg’s 5-4 victory tonight, per the Oilers Twitter feed.

Edmonton was already missing netminder Ben Scrivens due to a hamstring injury, which means it might turn to Richard Bachman on Wednesday against Boston. Bachman, 27, has a 3.02 GAA and .901 save percentage in 36 career NHL contests. Before being called up by Edmonton, he posted a 2.30 GAA and .921 save percentage in 22 AHL games in 2014-15.

The Oilers are also missing forward Taylor Hall (leg) and defenseman Nikita Nikitin (shoulder).

Update: Edmonton might be able to start Scrivens after all on Wednesday, per Jack Michaels.