EDMONTON - It was the second big jolt in three days for Taylor Hall.
First came the hit that knocked him out of the Edmonton Oilers lineup with a shoulder injury, then came news that he’ll be out longer than expected.
“I thought I was going to be out a shorter period of time,” sighed the sophomore winger, who met with the media after Edmonton’s 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. “But two to four weeks isn’t bad. It’s not like I’m missing a huge chunk of games where it’s going to take me three or four games to get back in the swing of things. But I want to get back as quick as I can, obviously.”
Hall had an MRI on his injured shoulder Monday and, despite some reports suggesting he’d be back in a week to 10 days, is looking at almost a month of rehab.
“It’s pretty complicated,” said Hall, who isn’t even sure what the damage is. “For me, all that matters is I’m going to be healthy at some point and it’s not going to be too far away.”
Hall got slammed into the boards Saturday in Denver by defenceman Ryan Wilson, and left the ice in obvious pain with his left arm hanging by his side. He returned later in the period, but the Avs targetted the shoulder again, with Kyle Quincey chasing him from the game for good with a well-aimed crosscheck.
It could have been worse, but his teammates say any length of time without the high-flying winger is too long.
“It’s part of the game,” said roommate Jordan Eberle. “I went through it last year and it’s not easy but you have to be able to stay positive. It just comes from playing hard. He plays hard and stuff like that is going to happen. He has to stay positive and get back as soon as possible.
“He’s tough to replace just because of the scoring we had with the two lines, but we’re going to have to try and fill it if we want to be successful. We have enough depth in here that we can replace it, or try and fill it anyway.”
They’re at least glad this is something that can be repaired with rest and rehab and won’t require surgery.
“It’s never fun,” said Hall, who missed the end of last season after injuring his knee in a fight. “You always want to be there for your guys, especially seeing your team lose. You want to be there to contribute.
“I felt like I was really starting to get my game around, it was coming together. It’s tough when it kind of ends like that. But I’m going to get it as strong as possible and get ready for a good run and push for the playoffs.”
Hall’s break-neck style leaves him susceptible to the big hit and that’s what happened in this instance.
“He was mad at himself for how he took the play on,” said head coach Tom Renney. “He knows (Wilson), he’s played against him before and knows how he plays. He’s most upset with himself and how he approached that particular play.
“But don’t change that. I’d rather encourage a guy to tone it down than try and extract something out of him that he doesn’t have.”