Oilers’ Hall primed to return to left wing

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Taylor Hall was back at left wing during the Edmonton Oilers’ Sunday practice, signifying the end of his run at center, according to the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson and the Edmonton Sun’s Derek Van Diest.

Hall, 21, played the first two games of this new season in the middle. The results were mixed:

  • He had an assist but no goals in those two contests. He had four shots on goal, which is a little off his usual three-per-game clip.
  • Plus/minus isn’t the fairest stat, but many NHL teams probably continue to judge players by it, and Hall’s -5 rating probably didn’t impress.
  • Still, he was actually pretty effective in the faceoff circle. He went 19-15 in those two games, good for a 55.9 percent success rate, second only on the Oilers to Boyd Gordon (24-18 for 57.1 percent).

The Oilers should be pleased that Hall was willing to leave his comfort zone for his team’s benefit, yet sometimes it’s best just to stick with what works. While the team hasn’t gotten it done overall, few would blame Hall, who tends to bull his way all over the ice at the wing.

He skated with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle on Sunday, so it sounds like the team’s formidable top line might be back in order.