Average Reader Rating: 6.7
Average Writer Rating: 6.2
My impression of these ratings is that we’re IMDb’ing this team to the point we can say all Boston Bruins, living or dead, are in-fact a 7/10.
Maybe we should do these even later.
Either way, Taylor Hall! Now a Blackhawk, no longer a Boston Bruin. That makes me sad. It should make you sad too! Because I get the definite impression that we will miss him while he’s gone.
In the Regular Season, Taylor Hall was the beating heart of the third line
One of the things I kept hammering home when Taylor Hall came to the Boston Bruins was that he created goals. That didn’t mean he himself scored them, but his game brought a very special something to the B’s that made him a nearly invaluable asset.
Namely, it made the Third line a tolerable watching experience.
Okay, that isn’t entirely fair, but given how the Bruins have often struggled with making their depth be a useful part of their attack, it bares repeating that Hall was probably the lynchpin on which anything got done on it’s third line last season. He did a lot of zone entries, he opened up space for Freddy and Coyle, he did some excellent work on the power play, and even if he didn’t have that many goals, he was instrumental in his ability to Make Stuff Happen, and it often worked out for the team around him. Injury robbed him of what would’ve certainly been another strong season pointswise; but like most players in our ratings, the regular season was perfectly fine! Strong, even!
No, the real issue was the thing we’re all kind of struggling to say something about, but here we go.
In the playoffs...the third line experienced cardiac arrest
Here’s the thing about being the guy who does everything on a line.
You have to be at a base level of play for anything to work. Everything can go right, but if you’re not up to the challenge, especially in the playoffs, everything else around you breaks down. I regret to inform you that Taylor Hall mostly was that over the playoffs.
It’s weird, too. He was able to generate a lot of offense individually, eventually ending up tied for 2nd most points during the playoffs, but he did struggle in major points throughout these playoffs and as mentioned, it brought an entire line down with him because it was so reliant on what he brought to it previously.
Under the Hood
Taylor Hall was Taylor Hall again. He creates a ton of offense and is definitively average at defense. For what he was asked to do, that’s business as usual, and a godsend for players around him.
Also, he was once again a guy who kept quite a few players honest, but none more so than Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic, who he massively helped by being their major force of transition and shooting.
Taylor Hall is good. Taylor Hall does a lot of stuff people don’t notice, and has incredible value as a guy who can bring entire lines back to life with his ability to create goals. That is however, extremely difficult to put a dollar figure to if you’re looking to make a decision on how your future is going to look, especially if it’s coming from someone over the age of 30 in the NHL.
I believe however, that Taylor Hall will be fine as a Blackhawk, and will likely prove a lot of his doubters in Boston wrong.
After all, now the third line needs someone to drive it. It might be Freddy. Might be Lauko, might be Geekie. Could be all three! That would be good.
But someone has to drive it. Hall had to leave the keys in the passenger seat.