Taylor Hall is happy to play on the third line
Taylor Hall is happy to play on the third line: On almost any other squad, Taylor Hall would be a first-line forward. A few other teams would use him on their second scoring unit.
With the Bruins, that was the plan all along for this season. However, the former first overall pick and winner of the Hart Trophy is currently playing on the third line, and he is not the least bit bothered by the fact that he is playing there.
Taylor Hall was supposed to center David Krejci and David Pastrnak on the Bruins’ second line before the season started, but the Bruins’ impressive depth has led to him playing with those players instead. Hall is now slated to play on the left wing alongside Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic on the Bruins’ third line. He has also been demoted to the Bruins’ second power-play unit. Neither of these changes, however, strikes the veteran as a downgrade. With Boston’s plethora of talented players at his disposal, Hall was able to score on all of them on Tuesday.
A 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden was not possible without him. Their 19th victory of the year and 13th in a row at home made them the best team in the league. While other former superstars might be upset about being demoted to the third line, Hall is simply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a dominant team.
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What Taylor Hall said
Hall, when asked about his current position with the Bruins, said, “It’s whatever is best for the team.” When the new year begins, expectations are high that everything will go smoothly and you’ll achieve all your goals. There are times when plans succeed. Unfortunately, there are times when they don’t. Nonetheless, our squad has a record of 19-3 or something like that. You have to make the most of your ice time no matter where you end up slotted. Charlie Coyle is among the league’s best third-line centers.
“I’m not depressed,” he said. What I hear is, ‘Make the most of the time you have on the ice and the chances you’re given.’ I think we have the potential to form a strong unit.
Hall scored the opening goal for the Lightning less than two minutes into the contest when he redirected a shot by Brandon Carlo past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. His second came about 3 minutes into the third period and parted ways a 1-1 tie, when he smacked home a Nick Foligno feed with the Bruins on the power play.
Bruins coach Jim Montgomery lauded Taylor Hall
After the win, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery lauded Taylor Hall for putting the team ahead of himself.
Because it’s best for the Boston Bruins, Montgomery says, “he is very accepting” of being used on the third line and the second power play. I have nothing but praise for his outstanding character. Even now, he plays for 15 minutes every night, and on special teams nights, he may play for an extra 16 or 17.
Having the Bruins win every game makes it much easier to accept a demotion to the third line. Hall also observes the performances of Pavel Zacha, who skates with Krejci and Pastrnak, and Jake DeBrusk, who skates with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the first line. The Bruins are the strongest team in hockey in large part because of their ridiculous depth.
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What Taylor Hall said at the end
This year, that’s a crucial factor. Any time we want, we can discuss implementing new procedures. But we have so many players and guys who can play anywhere,” Taylor Hall said. I think that’s what really wears teams down over the course of play is how deep we are. And not just up front and back. In this league, players who are placed on waivers are among the best in the world. That, if anything, is the most significant alteration.
With eight goals so far this season, Hall is well on his way to scoring 30 goals for the first time since he won the Hart Trophy in the year 2018.