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Principe's Blog: What the Hall's Going On

by Gene Principe / Edmonton Oilers
Taylor Hall, who has now scored six goals in his past eight games & leads the Oilers in goal-scoring.

OK now that is a little more like it...actually a lot more like it from Taylor Hall. That's the guy Edmonton thought they were getting when they used the first overall pick to select the Windsor Spitfire winger. How good has he been lately? Really good. The kid has been impressive on how often he scores and how he does it

I don't know if I can fully explain the certain quality he has that not many are born with and that's wanting to be the 'guy', the gamebreaker, the game changer. It's like he eats pressure for dinner. He showed it Saturday night when there was the opportunity to get the puck from Ryan Whitney. He was yelling for the puck, he wanted it. He wanted the puck and the game on his stick.

Did you really have any doubt he was going to be the OT hero? When I saw him in all alone I figured Jaroslav Halak had no chance of stopping that puck.

Hall was calm and cool and calculated in his precision placing of the OT winner. It's like he has been doing it for years..and I guess he has but only it was in minor hockey and then at the junior level. I mean this is the NHL but notwithstanding his respect for the best league in the world I don't think Taylor cares too much about where he's playing because the basics of the game are still the same. Puck, stick, ice, goals and who score more of them wins.

Expectations can be the burden in life that weighs you down or makes you stronger. I have a feeling that in Taylor's case it's the latter. As he began this season it almost looked like Hall was spending more time thinking then playing. It was like he thought he had to be someone else because he was on a new team and in a new league but lately it's been the old Taylor we're seeing (old as in the 17 and 18 year old Hall).

Taylor looks like he's back in the OHL not the NHL and he's still playing for Windsor not Edmonton. I think that's a good thing. No need to remake this kid into anybody but who he is. That's what the Oilers bought into when they chose him.

I know there was panic in the streets when Hall hadn't scored early in his Edmonton career. It's like people wanted him to have scored even before he stepped onto the ice. Time people..patience people...I'm sure a few began looking at Tyler Seguin's stats and wondered why the #2 overall pick had already potted a goal or two and the #1 pick had nothing.

I don't think anyone is doing much comparing these days and if they are it's Boston saying imagine if Edmonton hadn't taken Hall and we would have chosen him. I don't think the Bruins are unhappy with Seguin but I believe, and this last little stretch has proven it to me, that Hall has some special skills that I'm not sure anyone in his draft class has. There willl be some good players and there will be some great players to come out of the 2010 draft year and then I think there will be Taylor Hall.

I know he's just starting his career and this is heady praise for the just turned 19 year old but this kid is special and he's just begun showing it.
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