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.
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.
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.
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.
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.