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Can Taylor Hall Step Up For Bruins Against Former Team?

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Boston Bruins

Can Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall get out of the dreaded Bruce Cassidy doghouse against his former team, the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night at TD Garden?

With three goals and four assists in ten games, Hall isn’t off to a bad start this season but if he’s going to stay in the top-six forward group for the Boston Bruins, he will need to be smarter and show some more grit. While Hall notched an assist in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday, his two-way play and discipline were subpar at best. The Bruins winger made a costly first period turnover that led to a Sens goal and then later in the game took a lazy offensive zone hooking penalty early in the third period. That led to Hall playing less than 60 seconds over the final eight minutes of regulation.

“Turnovers at the blue line when you have the lead in the third,” Boston Bruins head coch Bruce Cassidy told reporters after the game in regards to Hall’s benching. “We’re all trying to buy into, ‘Play behind their D unless you have a free pass to get through there. It’s just winning hockey. You want to play late in games, you’ve got to play winning hockey. It doesn’t matter who you are on the team. He got away from that.”

Cassidy didn’t limit his frustration to Hall though.

“We took some offensive-zone penalties in the third period that were bad,” Cassidy said. “You’re in that type of game, now the temperature’s up, you’ve got some emotion, now you’re killing penalties again on kind of lazy plays. We’ve got to get those out of our game, take hard penalties.”

After acquiring Hall and forward Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres just prior to the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline, the Bruins signed the 29-year-old to a four-year, $24 million contract extension this past July. He was drafted by the Oilers No.1 overall (one pick ahead of Tyler Seguin, whom the Bruins drafted) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s three teams removed from his disappointing six-year tenure with the Oilers but could playing against his former team and the chance to upstage Connor McDavid?

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