SUN Hockey Pool

Renney rethinks Sarich hit on Hall

Taylor Hall lies on the ice after being hit by Cory Sarich during the first period of the Edmonton...

Taylor Hall lies on the ice after being hit by Cory Sarich during the first period of the Edmonton Oilers' 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place on Friday. (Codie McLachlan/QMI Agency)

Derek Van Diest, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:18 AM ET

Upon second thought, Tom Renney would like to go back and analyze Cory Sarich’s hit on Taylor Hall Friday.

The Calgary Flames defenceman railroaded Hall early in the contest with a hit that concussed the Oilers sophomore and knocked him out of the lineup.

Following the game, Renney stated he felt the clean was hit, but on Sunday, the Oilers head coach wanted to examine Sarich’s intent on the play a little further.

“The check was going to get finished no matter what,” Renney said prior to Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes. “One thing I forgot to check and see was whether they had a high reload to protect the pinch. If they didn’t then it kind of makes you wonder what the intent was there.”

Hall was focused on a puck coming around the boards and didn’t see Sarich making a B-line to him from the point.

Hall lost his footing at the last moment and Sarich ended up catching the Oilers winger in the head, knocking him out momentarily.

“It’s just a tough spot,” Hall said. “I didn’t think a player like Cory was going to come up and pinch, especially when they had three guys caught down low. I thought it was going to be an odd-man rush and I was just trying to get my speed and get ready to take off.

“Who knows what would have happened if I would have stayed on my feet, whether I would have been able to play the whole game or if I would have been hurt worse. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like something was going to hit my head, whether it was his shoulder or his elbow, but that’s not for me to decide.”

Hall had never suffered a concussion prior to Friday, despite been on the receiving end of a number of big hits throughout his career.

His style, at times, makes him susceptible to big collisions.

“He puts himself in harms way and as coach you want people do that,” Renney said. “But you have to have an idea of what’s going on around you when you do that.”

Start me up

The talk heading into Sunday’s contest revolved around how the Oilers were going to replicate the intensity demonstrated in the win over the Flames?

The Phoenix Coyotes aren’t known as a team that have much animosity vented towards them.

It’s something they try to use to their advantage on the road, playing a bland game designed to frustrate their opponents and put a lot of people to sleep.

So heading in, the Oilers wanted to get off to a strong start and take the game to their opponents.

“Early in the year when we had a great start to the season, we were playing the game our way, we were going after teams,” said Renney. “Lately we’ve been doing things that same way and when we do that, we’ve been good, even on the road.

“For whatever reason we’ve started games on our heals and that’s no the way to start a hockey game. If you’re going to make a mistake, make mistakes going after the win.”

Lennart Petrell tried to do his part to inspire his team, getting into a first period fight with defenceman Keith Yandle.

A hit on Jordan Eberle also woke the Oilers up.

Earning the call

With Hall out of the lineup, the Oilers are contemplating making a call to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City for a reinforcements.

However, Renney said the team won’t be calling someone that hasn’t earn the right to play with the Oilers.

“A big part of is reward quite honestly,” Renney said. “You have to pay attention to that. I think too often players are given the opportunity before they’ve earned it and that’s something we have to pay attention to. You just don’t hand out opportunities, people have to be doing things down there before they get that chance.

“There are some people that I look forward to seeing at some point, it would have to be the right circumstance and with the blessing of the coaching staff and management.”

Currently Ryan Keller leads the Barons in scoring. However, he would have to clear waivers on his way back down to the Oilers farm team if he is recalled.

“It’s tough because he’s been a very good American Hockey League player and he’s played NHL games and he’s been a good player there too,” said Renney. “I thought he was good for us in the pre-season.

“There are also other names that interest me in terms of young people, but in good time.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/SUNdvandiest 


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