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BLOG: Eakins liking Hall's defensive play

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

Coach Eakins spoke about the play of Taylor Hall this season and how impressed he has been with the winger's play, not only on the offensive side of the puck but defensively as well.

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 15: Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers stands in front of a shot from Ben Lovejoy #6 of the Anaheim Ducks in the second period at Honda Center on December 15, 2013 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

“Taylor’s a smart kid. He understands the game. I think he thinks about the game a lot,” said Eakins.

The bench boss has been impressed with the play of Hall defensively as the season has gone on. Hall leads the team in points, with 30, despite having only played 31 out of 38 games. Hall is -11 on the season but is only -2 since November 15.

“Taylor’s defensive game has gone from one that I thought was very, very shaky with no habit to now starting to lead the way in how we play in our zone. He’s still got work to be done but if you wanted to go ‘most improved’ — who has improved the greatest in his understanding of what’s in our D-zone, it’s Taylor. And he’s quietly gone about his business in doing that."

Hall wants to continually improve on that. And his goals are lofty.

"The goal for Taylor is that within a period of time, Taylor Hall is going to be the best defensive left winger in the game. And he’s still going to get 100 points a year. That’s the goal.

“He wants it. And that will be a great, great thing for our organization.”

Taylor Hall was on CBC's After Hours on Saturday. Click here to watch the video.

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