EDMONTON - Taylor Hall’s meltdown came in front of a national television audience on Saturday.
So did the questioning of his coach’s decision to pull the goaltender in the later stage of a game when they were already three goals down.
It was a reaction the Edmonton Oilers sophomore was regretting the next morning, even though many thought it was refreshing to see someone upset with the circumstances.
“It was just a bit of frustration,” said Hall. “We all want to win, we all care, and to have that kind of result and the effort that we put in (Saturday) night isn’t what we wanted it.
“After that goal, I was just so frustrated at the whole sequence of events and I wasn’t singling out Tom by any means. I respect everything that Tom does and it was kind of embarrassing on my part to say that. But we moved on, we talked about it and everything is fine.”
Even the worst lip-readers could make out Hall’s questioning the whereabouts of his team’s goaltender as Lee Stempniak scored into an empty net to seal the Calgary Flames 6-2 victory Saturday. He then wondered aloud why the Oilers would pull the goaltender in that situation.
“That’s OK and he regrets that and we know that frustration is alive and well right now,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “This is an opportunity to curtail that and recognize that growing up, evolving and maturing as a player involves doing that if you’re going to be a leader down the road and he will be.
“He’s got to be able to understand those types of circumstances and understand what we’re trying to do here and he does when he gives himself a second to think about that. But he’s so passionate and so driven. The kid’s a stud and not a dud and I know which I would rather have.”
It was actually encouraging to see Hall upset, after the Flames final goal, showing emotion that was lacking from the rest of the squad.
He also may not have been all that out of line questioning a move, which many in the stands and in the press box were wondering about, too.
“That’s why I had no problem with it,” Renney said. “Sure he was (upset) with the call, that’s OK. I know what I’m trying to do, too. When you rationalize it, it’s pretty obvious what you have to do as a coach and players understand that.”
There’s been little question of Hall’s desire and his willingness to do whatever it takes to try and win a game this season.
However, he’s not yet at a point in his career where he can do it all on his own. But as someone who’s not accustomed to losing, Hall isn’t the type to just shrug his shoulders and accept his fate.
“I think you have to have a pretty good balance of both,” he said. “When you get frustrated and you get off your game, that’s when you don’t play well. You have to try and maintain a pretty even keel and worry about how you’re doing in your own game. You can’t get frustrated at what’s going on around you, you have to worry about yourself and from there work to play a really good team game.”
Having not been happy with his team’s work ethic Saturday, Renney made sure the team put in a good effort in practice Sunday.
While the practice fell short of being categorized as a bag skate, Renney did make sure heart rates increased during the work out.
“(Saturday) night wasn’t the effort we wanted, especially against a rival like that, a Hockey Night in Canada game, a Saturday night game, that was not the effort that’s needed to win any games this year,” Hall said. “(Sunday) morning was a result of that, it was a tough practice, it was hard, but the main thing is that we battled through it, we have to work hard and we need to do the same thing (Monday).
“We knew this practice was going to be hard and you have to expect that after we put an effort out like (Saturday) night.”
Notes: The Oilers sent Josh Green, Ryan O’Marra and Colten Teubert back to the affiliate in Oklahoma City following the loss to the Flames and recalled Taylor Chorney, Teemu Hartikainen and Lennart Petrell Sunday morning.