After missing the previous 20 games with a lower body injury and biding his time for a return, Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall couldn’t hide the joy at finally returning to the lineup this weekend. Hall returned to his customary third line left wing spot with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic and was happy to get a regular season chance to get up to speed in a competitive 2-1 Boston Bruins win over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden on Saturday night.
Hall didn’t factor in the scoring, but had four shots on net in 12:12 of ice time getting his feet wet prior to the Stanley Cup playoffs starting in a couple of weeks.
“It felt good,” said Hall, who has 16 goals and 36 points in 59 games for the B’s this season. “It was a good game to come back and play. They’re a fast team and they can make you pay pretty easily, so that was a good game to get back and feel the speed of the game and feel the pace.
“I thought our line played pretty well. We had some good looks and, ultimately, we got a win to tie that record. It’s really cool to be a part of after going through the rehab process.”
🎥 Taylor Hall on getting back in the lineup tonight vs. the Devils: "There's a chance at tying history…being out for so long, it's exciting to come back on a night we're playing a really good hockey team." pic.twitter.com/ulWx3oeO4u
— p – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 8, 2023
The Boston Bruins placed Nick Foligno and Derek Forbort both on long term injured reserve to make salary cap space room for Hall’s activation, but they will take their time with a player that’s missed the last two months with a lower body injury. So Hall won’t play on Sunday night in Philadelphia against the Flyers after playing at home on Saturday, a game that the former Oilers, Coyotes, Devils and Sabres forward was pretty adamant about wanting to play ahead of the postseason.
“You know teams that are really looking for points, and against, obviously, a really good team – they have 108 points – that was important,” said Hall, of gauging the Devils as a team he wanted to return against to play a high intensity game “Not to say the next games are meaningless or anything, speak down on those teams. To play a game like that [against New Jersey] where every shift mattered was great.”
It remains to be seen how much more Hall will play ahead of the playoffs, but one would imagine he’ll suit up at least one more time with the Stanley Cup playoffs still more than a week away from getting started.