With the Bruins trading for Hall Sunday night, it now gives David Krejci an offensive weapon on his left side, and Bruce Cassidy can play musical chairs on the right side with any of Nick Ritchie, Craig Smith or Jake DeBrusk to see who compliments the other two the best.
“But Taylor Hall has scored only two goals!” “He’s been horrible on a horrible team!” “How does he help this team win the Cup!”
All true – to call Hall’s season so far a disappointment would be an understatement. His two goals are on pace for a career-low, as well as his 19 points. He’s never had a season where he didn’t hit double-digits in goals. So what exactly is the allure of bringing in Taylor Hall when he’s arguably never been this bad in his career?
You have to look beyond just goals and assists to see how Hall produces.
Do you want to know where the Bruins struggle? Getting through the neutral zone and creating pressure off the rush. Especially 5-on-5. The Bruins ranks dead last in 5v5 high-danger chances generated per 60 minutes (7.78). They’re a team that relies on getting the puck into the zone, working it down low, and getting in front of the net to score the greasy goals. And they rely way too heavily on a power play that hasn’t been nearly as good as last year’s.
Taylor Hall brings that ability to create chances off the rush. He’s an elite playmaker that has been carrying a monkey on his back for the good part of three seasons now when it comes to goals.
Hall is among the league leaders in high-danger assists, entry passes, and driving offensive scoring chances, in addition to being one of the best players in transition. The Bruins are in desperate need of help in these categories, especially 5-on-5.
Hall’s not horrible defensively, but that’s not what you brought him in for. You bring him in to take the pressure off your top guys to get some secondary scoring.
Speaking of pressure, with Hall now in Boston, he doesn’t have to be “the guy”. Or even one of the top “guys”. You look at his situations in Edmonton, New Jersey, Arizona, and Buffalo, and he was relied on to be one of the main players the offense runs through. Now, he’s going to be viewed as a part of the secondary scoring.
Yes, his offensive production numbers this season aren’t great. But there should be a rise in those numbers on a Boston team that is leaps and bounds better than Buffalo. Hall was playing with the likes of Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson, and Casey Mittelstadt in Buffalo. He now will skate with David Krejci – a bonafide center – and someone like DeBrusk, Ritchie, or Smith on the opposite wing.
Don Sweeney listened and he answered. Hall should only better this team offensively and boy, should David Krejci be pumped to have a winger like Hall to play with.