Tag: Taylor Hall

Dustin Brown, Brayden McNabb, Jarret Stoll, Trevor Lewis, Brandon Davidson

Kings regain playoff spot by crushing Oilers


After losing back-to-back games against Minnesota and Chicago, Los Angeles needed a win tonight against Edmonton. The Kings achieved that in 20 minutes. The remainder of the game was just for fun.

Los Angeles earned a 8-2 victory over Edmonton.

Every single Kings forward recorded at least a point with the lone exception of Nick Shore. Every Los Angeles player had a plus-one rating or better aside from Trevor Lewis, Dustin Brown, and Jarret Stoll. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Anton Lander were the only Oilers players to finish the contest with a plus/minus rating that wasn’t minus-one or lower.

Ben Scrivens got the start for Edmonton, turning aside 16 of 21 shots before being taken out of the contest. Already down 5-1 through 40 minutes, 23-year-old goaltender Tyler Bunz, who has played in just eight career AHL games, was asked to make his NHL debut against the defending Stanley Cup champions on a night where they were both hungry and clicking.

That went about as well as expected.

The idle Winnipeg Jets dropped their last two games and thanks to that the Kings’ victory tonight was enough for them to jump into the second Wild Card spot. Both squads have 90 points in 77 games, but Los Angeles has a comfortable lead in the tiebreaker ROW.

Winnipeg will have to wait until Saturday’s game against Vancouver for its chance to respond.

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

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

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.