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If Taylor Hall Is Going To Fight, It’s Going To Be On His Terms



Boston Bruins

If Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall is going to fight, it will be on his terms.

Hall is still being criticized by the Colorado Avalanche, their fans, and some of the media that cover the team, for not dropping the gloves with one of the numerous Avalanche players that challenged him after a clean, open-ice hit he laid on Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon in the first period of the 4-3 overtime loss to the Avalanche in Denver Wednesday.

Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog chased Hall around trying to fight him in the second period, and defenseman Erik Johnson also got called for cross-checking after throwing five (yes five!), cross-checks on Hall. The Bruins scored a goal on the ensuing 5-on-3 to take the 3-1 lead they eventually blew in the third period. Avalanche enforcer Kurtis MacDermid also challenged Hall but to no avail.

Just prior to the Bruins’ game-day skate in Arizona in advance of their tilt with the Coyotes Friday night, it was announced that MacKinnon suffered a broken nose on the hit. After the skate, Hall admitted to second-guessing himself in the moment and after the game, on whether or not he should’ve fought Landeskog. Ultimately he stuck to his own motto of fighting on his terms and not the opponent.

“Yeah, in the moment, that was my thinking,” the Boston Bruins winger said. “If I could get one or two power plays out of them, I thought that would help our team more than me fighting. But I guess looking back, maybe initially I just drop the gloves with Landeskog and get it over with, and then I’m able to kind of play the rest of the game without as big of a target on my back.

I don’t know, it’s hockey. Someone told me one time, ‘You never fight on someone else’s terms.’ I’m not a fighter by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t know, it was a clean hit. It was a hockey hit. I never want to see anyone leave the game. Certainly, my intention was just to end the play when he had the puck there. I didn’t want to see him bloodied or anything like that. It was a little bit of a stressful night for the rest of the game there. Just a weird night overall.”

As he did after the game Wednesday, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy once again defended his player.

“That’s a tough one for Taylor because I think we all thought at the end of the day it was a clean hit,” Cassidy said. “There was no malicious intent; his own stick caught him. It didn’t look good obviously. We also understand that they’re going to protect their captain, they’re at home, from any type of hit.”

So does the Boston Bruins bench boss think Hall should’ve just answered the bell and dropped the gloves the second Landeskog came hunting for him?

“For Taylor, it’s one of these things, he’s been in the league for a while. Sometimes the player has the best sort of sense of how to sort it out,” Cassidy said. “We did talk about it after the fact that maybe it would’ve been better off with Landeskog settling it and moving on. It probably would’ve been less stress throughout the game, but certainly not MacDermid, he doesn’t want to settle it with a player that’s predominantly a heavyweight. So, I’m not sure anybody would recommend that, but maybe Landeskog would’ve been the opportunity.

At the end of the day, it’s up to him to make that call. You can’t into a player’s head, you just sort of walk through the different scenarios. At the end of the day, he did draw a penalty later so it helped us get on a 5-on-3 so there’s positives how it was handled. I saw [Hall] fight Mayfield last year, he’s a big tough customer, so it’s not that he isn’t willing to do it, he just made a call he thought was right and no one knows the right answer on how to handle it. He just made a decision and I’m glad that he’s willing to be physical. If the hit’s there. …if it’s clean, take it and that’s part of who we are.”

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