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BLOG: Hall making a case for Olympic team

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

On a day when the U.S. Olympic team was announced, Taylor Hall was asked about what he thought about his chances of making the Canadian squad which will be announced next week. He did not feel like he would be named.

Taylor Hall is interviewed at the Canadian Olympic Selection Camp

"I think I've been playing well lately for sure but there's a lot of really good players on that team," said Hall when asked about his chances. "You always look to reasons why you want to play well and just like we talked about last night, it's your job to go out and produce every night. Certainly, reasons like that definitely give you hope and you want to play well for that. We just want to win games and go from there."

Coach Eakins felt that Hall deserved to merit consideration.

"I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the process but I'm sure if you go compare him to the left wingers that he's up against, I'm not sure how you don't take him."

Building on his words from about a week ago, Eakins felt that Hall has improved on both sides of the game and perhaps even more so defensively.

"If you were to go defensively on a most improved player this year -- and we've had some guys improve -- I'd put Taylor right at the top of the list. The way he competes every night has been a breath of fresh air on a lot of difficult nights. Last night I thought we saw it again where after a real tough first period for our team, he put us on his shoulders and started to carry. And he rubs off on guys. You can see it in Nuge's game and Ebs and Perron. And we want that to continue."

Last game, Hall was a +2 with three assists as his line controlled the play whenever they were on the ice.

"It was a game where Perron, myself and Nuge seemed to connect pretty well on a few opportunities. We started off by playing a simple game and then it extrapolated from there. When we're playing well, we're playing a hard, heavy game, getting in on the forecheck and making plays when we have the puck and not forcing things. That was the case last night."

Hall has 15 goals and 38 points in 35 games this season. That puts him in a tie for 16th in the NHL in points and 23rd in goals. He is tied for 11th in points among Canadians and third among Canadian left wingers (his linemate David Perron is fourth according to NHL.com, though he plays right wing on the Oilers).

"I feel pretty good with my game. My game seems to go in hills and valleys sometimes. You've just got to ride the momentum and keep doing the things you need to do to be successful and right now that's playing a simple game, a good defensive game with my linemates and trying to produce with them."

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