What once seemed impossible now seems probable. Taylor Hall
will be back in the Edmonton Oilers lineup prior to the end of the season. "I'm really excited about this" said Hall in a sportsnet.ca exclusive "and the reason I'm so excited is because I never expected this to happen". For that matter neither did anyone else after Hall suffered a high ankle sprain in a fight with Columbus' Derek Dorsett on March 3rd.
"That was a real low point for me" explained the 19-year-old "everything was going so well and then suddenly I was out." He was expected to be out for eight weeks after the first injury of his hockey career and with only five weeks left in the season the math didn't add up for Hall. That is until he took off his walking boot and started to rehab the high ankle sprain. The winger and sometimes centreman did the 'normal' things expected to get his ankle in better shape but he tried something that would be considered very unconventional...hot yoga.
"A friend of mine from Kingston suggested it and I said are you serious?" deadpanned Hall "I figured I had lots of time on my hands so I would try it." For the last two weeks Hall has been going to hot yoga three times a week an hour at a time and he can't believe the results."It's amazing to me what's happened to my ankle since I started this. I don't know exactly how it helps but I just know my ankle feels way better."
Hall isn't a doctor but a physician with the club explained it this way. "The heat is incredible for the release and the flow of blood. It runs the recovery rate much faster as the capillaries expand and the injured area gets more blood at a much faster rate and so the healing process is greatly sped up."
Now from hot yoga Hall hopes to be hot scorer. The Oilers only have five games left but consider Hall focused to give it everything he's got in a late charge for Calder consideration. "I know it's a longshot" said the owner of 22 goals and 20 assists "but you never know. I feel good and rested. I know Jeff (Skinner) is having an incredible year but if I can put up a flurry of points it would be a nice way to end the season. I've only got one shot to be the rookie of the year so I want to give it my all."
Skinner is first with 58 points with 29 of those being goals in 77 games. Hall in 65 games sits fifth in rookie scoring with his 42 points. The Oiler rookie figures if he can cut the point differential into single digits and if the difference in games played are taken into account he has an outside chance. His first chance to play will be on Saturday when Edmonton is in Vancouver. He'll join the team today and expects to return to game action in time to try and help the Oilers end an 11 game winless skid.
Author: Gene Principe