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BLOG: How Hall changes the lineup

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

If Taylor Hall is able to return to the lineup, the Oilers are still undecided on where he will play. He skated today on the third line with Anton Lander as his centre.

Wherever he plays, Hall adds a lot to the Oilers lineup.

“He’s definitely a big part of our team,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “He’s a driving force out there for sure. He makes defencemen think twice about a lot of things. When he’s driving the puck wide he’s creating a lot of space for everybody else on the ice. If we get him back it’s going to be great for us and we look forward to getting him back into the lineup as soon as possible.”

Hall has missed 23 of the last 24 games with an ankle injury, and yet he still holds the third spot in Oilers scoring with 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points.

“It’s huge for us. You bring a guy like Taylor Hall in the lineup and it’s always a positive,” Benoit Pouliot said of Hall closing in on a return. “He was pretty fast out there today. You could see him and he didn’t really seem to be hurting too much so he’s been out quite a while now. It’s obviously tough to come back, in the first few games, to get back into it. He looks pretty good so hopefully he gets back in there and helps us out.”

The Oilers will meet tomorrow morning to decide if Hall is ready to return to game action, as the Oilers host the Flyers.

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