Written on 10/29/2010 by Jim Cerny
his first National Hockey League goal last night. The goal came at 9:57 of the third period and helped Hall's Edmonton Oilers pull even with the host Columbus Blue Jackets 2-2, in a game Edmonton would eventually lose 3-2 in a shootout.
For the record, Steve Mason surrendered the first of what should be many goals for Hall, who had seemingly been carrying the weight of the hockey world on his shoulders after going his first seven games without lighting the lamp.
Hall seemed extremely relieved and happy to finally have scored his first goal when interviewed on Rogers following the game. He laughed when he estimated that he easily had answered the "So Taylor, when are you finally going to score a goal?" question at least a million times already this season.
The bottom line, though, is that Hall is an 18 year-old kid playing on a mediocre team. First overall pick or not, this year is going to be an uphill battle for the extremely talented youngster. Think of Steven Stamkos' rookie campiagn two years ago, and then you have a good comparison for Hall.
Last year John Tavares, already 19 by time training camp started, was the first overall pick by the Islanders. Extremely mature so as to be put in on-ice situations that Hall will not see just yet, Tavares scored 24 goals and notched 54 points while playing all 82 games. While I think Hall will steadily improve as the year progresses I don't expect him to match Tavares' numbers as a rookie.
But he's going to be a player, make no bones about it. And along with fellow youngsters Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, Hall is poised to help turn this organization around. The future is brighter in Edmonton, for sure.
Interesting that on the night Hall nets his first goal, Tyler Seguin---with whom Hall will always be linked, with Seguin selected second overall in the '10 draft---scored his second of the season in Boston's 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. And who plays for Toronto? Why Phil Kessel, of course---whose trade from Boston last year included a first-round pick heading to the Bruins that ended up turning into none other than Seguin.
Gotta' love that six degrees of separation in the National Hockey League.