Taylor Hall is feeling great and ready to go, but for now, it doesn’t appear that he will get the green light to play when the Boston Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at TD Garden.
For the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on Feb. 25, the Boston Bruins winger practiced with his teammates in a full-contact jersey on Wednesday. However, whether he was being coy, as he has in the past with players on the verge of returning to game action, or completely honest, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said Taylor Hall is ‘doubtful’ for his team’s Atlantic Division tilt with the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
“I don’t know about tomorrow, to be honest,” Jim Montgomery told the media in his post-practice press briefing on Wednesday. “I’m not going to say for sure he’s not, but it’s leaning that way, but he’s starting to check all the boxes. We’re starting to get him in game rhythm again through practice, and we’ll be able to practice today and Friday. I think he’s doubtful for tomorrow, to be honest, but I’m not going to completely rule him out, but he’s getting closer.”
As for Hall, he wouldn’t commit to playing or not playing, pointing out that he still needs to meet with the team’s medical staff on Thursday morning and go from there.
“There’s still some steps and conversations I have to have before I’m fully playing,” Hall told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “We’ll know that by (Thursday) morning. I’m going to play, whether it’s [Thursday] or whenever; I know that and just taking it step-by-step in the process with the organization and the medical staff. Like I said, there’s more conversations that I have to have, but it feels great to be out there with the guys and practice with them.”
Hall’s lower-body injury has kept him out of the last 19 games for the Boston Bruins. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound, 31-year-old winger has 16 goals and 20 assists in 58 games this season.
Whether he plays Thursday night or in one of the final four regular season games for the Bruins after that, the NHL betting odds that Taylor Hall will be healthy for the Stanley Cup Playoffs are extremely high now. In turn, the depth the Bruins will have when he returns, will increase NHL betting on the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.