SUN Hockey Pool

Turnaround for Hall, centres

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:13 PM ET

Well, they can certainly take a hint.

Although hint probably isn’t the best way to describe the onslaught of media scrutiny heaped on Taylor Hall and Edmonton’s faceoff guys this week.

Hall, who had to listen to four days of blather after a simple line switch, responded with his best game as a pro.

Gagner, who had to answer more faceoff questions than a guy with no face, responded by going 13-5 against Minnesota.

“It was definitely kind of frustrating to hear ‘Is he going back to Junior,’ ‘Why is he on the third line?’” said Hall. “But we played really well last game. I played lot of minutes and they’re pretty happy with how I played and happy with how we played, we showed a lot of resilience.”

Hall could have had a four-goal night Thursday, but was just a few inches off with his shot. You can tell he’s shooting for the corners, though, and not the goalie’s logo, so when he gets his aim down the numbers will start to come.

“I worked a little on practice just hitting the net, putting the puck exactly where I wanted so hopefully it works out,” he said, adding it’ll take a little time adjusting from OHL goalies to NHL goalies, because there’s kind of a difference. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the goalies are so good here, they know when to challenge, they know when to stay in their net. I hope to get better at that and score some more goals soon. When you’re a goal scorer and you’re in the groove, you don’t see goalie, all you see is net. Hopefully I get to that point at some point.”

Gagner’s reversal was just as dramatic. You don’t see a guy finish 72% in the faceoff circle very often in the NHL.

“After a while when you get so many questions about it you want to put an end to them, obviously,” he said. “I think as a team, it wasn’t just the centres, everybody was battling really hard to help out.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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