NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.
The latest edition features New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall:
It was only a month ago that New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall still watched his old team, the Edmonton Oilers, as often as he could. He still cared.
"I probably watched every game I could at the start of the year," Hall said in a phone conversation Monday.
Now? Not so much.
"Lately I haven't tuned in too much," Hall said. "I've got too much going on here and to be honest I just kind of care less and less as the weeks go on."
Hall, who was traded by Edmonton to New Jersey on June 29 for defenseman Adam Larsson, did admit he knows how the Oilers are doing this season and he was aware that they lost to the New York Rangers 3-1 on Sunday, but his interest in Edmonton has waned as New Jersey has gotten off to a strong start.
The Devils have won four games in a row to improve to 8-3-3. They're fourth in the Metropolitan Division and currently sit in a Stanley Cup Playoff spot as the first wildcard in the Eastern Conference. Hall is the Devils leading scorer with five goals and 12 points.
New Jersey starts a four-game road trip Tuesday when it plays at the Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, MSG+, NHL.TV). It then goes to California to play the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday and the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
"All the guys and coaching staff have been great at easing my transition and making it great," Hall said. "It helps that we're having success here."
Hall talked more about his start in New Jersey, his transition from Edmonton, playing under Devils coach John Hynes and what motivates him now in a Q&A with NHL.com.
Here are Five Questions with…Taylor Hall:
The start you've had in New Jersey, the good of it, the bad of it, what have you liked and what do you make of it so far?
"As a team, we're 8-3-3 and that's the most exciting part of everything, coming to a team that's winning and it looks like we're going to compete for a playoff spot and maybe more all season long, so that's really exciting. Personally, it's been, I think, an easier transition than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a little bit harder. That's a credit to my teammates and the coaching staff for easing that in on me. It's been a lot of fun here so far."
It's interesting that you mention the record and how the Devils could be competing for a playoff spot if not more all season because it's easy now I guess to forget all the years you had in Edmonton when it was nothing but losing. Can you describe this feeling you have now and just how unique it is or different it is from what you've felt pretty much your entire NHL career before this season?
"Yeah, it's a different feeling for sure. I don't want to speak bad of anyone really, it's just the way that it went in Edmonton. It was unfortunate that we could never take that step, but it's definitely a lot of fun and really easy to enjoy success here in Jersey. It seems like we have a team that can surprise people and that's a good feeling to have. We believe in ourselves. We believe in our structure. We have a lot more skill than people think. It's fun to play on a team like that. We might be underdogs a little bit to start the season but it's nice to surprise some people."
Video: MIN@NJD: Hall goes five-hole for OT win
Are you surprised at all about the success the Devils have had so far based on what you heard about the Devils while playing in Edmonton and what you heard about the team after getting traded?
"I wouldn't say surprise. Looking at the roster last year and hearing things about the coaching staff and the organization, it seemed like they were a team last year that got the most out of their players. That's what you look for in a good team, no matter who the players are it's how much you can get out of them. So I knew it would be demanding from the coaching staff coming in here, but I think that's a really good thing. We're embarking on a pretty tough road trip here so this is going to tell us a lot about our season, if we can separate from the pack or if we fall off a little bit. We're excited to see how this goes."
Have you found getting traded in the NHL has served as motivation for you at all?
"Yeah, definitely it's been motivating. I think probably during the summer I was more motivated to prove Edmonton wrong and that was everything, whereas now it's about playing for my teammates and my team here in Jersey. That's really my motivation. It's been a lot of fun to come to a new team and have a change of scenery. I didn't expect to enjoy that as much as I have. Having success as a team has certainly helped that. I didn't think I needed [a change of scenery] at the time, but it's certainly been something that I've enjoyed. We're only 14 games into the season but I definitely feel a little bit rejuvenated and more motivated to play well for this team and my teammates that I'm playing with now."
You scored five goals in the first six games of the season but none despite 34 shots on goal in the past eight. Do you feel the chances are still good and you're close, or do you think you have to work on areas of your game to improve your chances?
"I think that I'm getting my fair share of chances and I'm pretty sure that if those keep happening pucks are going to go in. One of the toughest things in sports when things aren't going well and you're not producing: do you change stuff or do you keep doing the same thing? Right now I believe in what I'm doing personally and I hope that some pucks start to go in soon. As a team I wouldn't say we're struggling for offense, but we have great defensive structure and two great goalies so if we can score some goals it'll make the game a lot easier on us."