Tag: Taylor Hall

Matt Hendricks

‘Things are looking up’ for the Oilers


That was Justin Schultz in the above video, saying how “things are looking up” for his Edmonton Oilers after three straight solid efforts on the road, including last night’s 4-3 overtime win in Montreal over the first-place team in the Atlantic Division.

Edmonton, playing without Taylor Hall for the fifth straight game, ended up outshooting the Habs, 38-26, in Thursday’s contest, one that left Montreal coach Michel Therrien to concede, “We were lucky to get one point.”

It wasn’t just a one-off either. The Oilers played the Islanders close Tuesday, despite losing 3-2, and they won the night before in New Jersey, 2-1, while holding the Devils to just 14 shots.

“That’s three good games in a row for us,” said coach Todd Nelson. “We just want to keep this thing going.”

Now, granted, the Oilers playing well at this point in the season may seem pointless. It may even seem counterproductive, given the incentive to out-terrible the Sabres, finish last overall and guarantee themselves one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. That said, you can hardly blame the players for trying to win hockey games. That’s their job, and they’ve done enough losing already.

The Oilers take on the Sens Saturday in Ottawa.

Eberle brushes off trade rumors: ‘I want to be an Oiler’

Jordan Eberle

With Buffalo having fired the trade deadline’s first salvo — or, the first salvo in the tank-for-McEichel race, depending how you look at it — many are now focused on what the Sabres’ chief rival, Edmonton, will do in response.

One Oiler that’s appeared in trade rumors is Jordan Eberle. The 24-year-old is in his fifth season with the club, leads in both goals (15) and points (43), and knows his name is out there for all to see.

“Any time your team’s in the position we are, we have been for the last few years, names come up,” Eberle said, per NHL.com. “That’s the obvious thing, so you’ve got to put that aside. A lot of the times you have to try and use it as a compliment, you know, other teams want you.

“That being said, I want to be an Oiler, and I want to play here and I want to turn this thing around.”

These rumblings likely have more to do with Edmonton than Eberle. Primed to pick in the top-1o for the sixth year in a row, the Oilers head into tonight’s action 29th in the league — ahead of 30th-place Buffalo by four points — and as rudderless as ever. There’s no clear sign if GM Craig “Man of Action” MacTavish will give players one more chance, or start moving them out:

This invariably leads to talk about the “big three” of Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Of the group, Eberle is thought to be the most expendable because 1) he plays the wing, and 2) he’s the oldest. If Edmonton needs to retool in a significant manner, Eberle could net a significant return and there would be adequate replacements in the wings (pardon the pun), with Nail Yakupov topping the list.

That said, Edmonton would be giving up its alternate captain, most consistent scorer and longest-serving player. All of which is hard to fathom… on a variety of levels.

Oilers lose Hall again — what’s next?

Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes

Big development in the McEichel Derby — on Tuesday, the Oilers announced that Taylor Hall was placed on IR:

Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the suspicion is Hall suffered a “bone bruise’ that morphed into a fracture, and will miss the next 4-6 weeks as a result.

Two takeaways…

1) Will Hall play again this year? Assuming he misses the full six weeks, that puts a potential return around Mar. 24, at which point the Oilers will have 10 games left in the regular season. For a guy with a long, troubling history of health concerns — he’s now missed 60 games over his first four-and-a-half years in the NHL — the idea of shutting it down isn’t far-fetched, especially since it could benefit Edmonton in the aforementioned McEichel Derby (but hey, nobody tanks in the NHL.)


2) This latest injury will be a jumping off point for discussions about his future in Edmonton. This is, without question, another disappointing campaign; the Oilers are going to finish well out of the playoff picture and Hall, he of the $42 million deal and $6M cap hit, is on pace for his worst offensive campaign since he was a rookie (difficult to extrapolate given all the time he’s missed, but Hall’s current .71 points-per-game average is his lowest since breaking in during 2010-11.)

Remember, Hall’s already been the subject of trade rumors this year.

Oilers’ Hall returns to Edmonton for further evaluation

Carolina Hurricanes v Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have sent forward Taylor Hall home from the team’s six-game road trip for further evaluation on his left ankle the club announced Sunday.

Hall missed his fifth game due to the injury on Saturday night.

As Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press points out, Hall and Benoit Pouliot, who missed his second game due to injury on Saturday, account for a quarter of the Oilers’ goals this season.

“That’s an excuse, right? We’re not going to use it, but it is reality: We do miss those guys,” said Matt Hendricks following Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Leafs. “They play big minutes for us and are big offensive guys for us. But we’ve got to find ways to put pucks in the net.”

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

The Oilers continue their road trip Monday night in New Jersey.

Oilers best Sharks in 13-round marathon shootout

Keith Aulie, Nail Yakupov, Derek Roy, Matt Fraser, Matt Tennyson

The Edmonton Oilers are by far the worst team in the NHL when it comes to protecting a lead established through 40 minutes and tonight looked like it might be another example of that, but they bounced back from their early third period struggles to earn a 5-4 shootout victory.

Edmonton had a 3-1 lead going into the third period, but the Sharks responded with three goals in the first half of the third, including Joe Pavelski’s 27th marker of the season.

For a while it looked like that might be the winner, but Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz managed to even things up in the dying minutes of regulation time.

After overtime failed to solve anything, Edmonton and San Jose settled in for a 13-round shootout. Both Edmonton goalie Viktor Fasth and Sharks netminder Antti Niemi stood tall for much of the skills competition, with Fasth denying 12 of 13 skaters. In the end it was Rob Klinkhammer, who has just 20 goals in 151 career games, that managed to end the contest.

The Oilers have now won four of their last six games and have consequently opened a six-point lead over Buffalo in the battle to avoid the NHL basement. The Sabres have lost 14 straight contests.

At the same time, this was a potentially damaging night for Edmonton. The squad lost forwards Benoit Pouliot and Taylor Hall due to injuries, per the Oilers’ Twitter feed. Pouliot was hurt when he took a shot off his foot while Hall re-aggravated the leg injury that kept him out of Edmonton’s previous three contests.