EDMONTON - Taylor Hall isn't sick anymore, unless you count being sick and tired of losing to the Minnesota Wild.
The Oilers are hoping their dynamic young winger, back after missing Tuesday’s game to illness, can help Edmonton change its fortunes against a team that’s beaten them eight straight times.
“I feel a lot better now, almost back to 100%,” said Hall, who took part in the morning skate Thursday. “I felt a little bit foggy out there just because I haven’t done anything the past couple of days but I’m sure by tonight I’ll be fine."
It’s kind of unfortunate that you have to miss games that aren’t injury related but that’s the way it goes.
“I’d been feeling pretty bad the last few games and just kind of hit a boiling point and decided that taking one game off is better than missing four if I let it get worse.”
While the Oilers needed Hall in Calgary last game, he was back in Edmonton, needing a few Halls himself.
“I didn’t really have the flu, I wasn’t throwing up or anything like that, just a really bad head cold with a bad sore throat,” he said. “Everything was clogged up, it got to the point where I couldn’t sleep and just had no energy.”
He’s back just in time to help try and solve a Wild team that swept the Oilers last season, beat them in a shootout earlier this season and hasn’t lost to them in 17 home games.
It doesn’t look like a lopsided fight on paper, but it is.
“It’s kind of hard to believe,” said Ryan Jones. “It’s just one of those things; sometimes you lose hockey games and sometimes you lose them to the same team. But there’s no real miss-match out there.
The Oilers believe they’re as good right now as they’ve been in years and that home ice advantage will snap the eight-game streak.
“Yeah, they’re a team that seems to have our number,” said Jordan Eberle. “Losing the shootout this year was kind of bitter. But we have a team this year that is definitely different from last year as far as the leadership crew and the veterans and the work ethic. We feel confident that we can win hockey games and that’s what we expect to do tonight.”
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