The “Good” was the Oilers played spoilers again tonight, doubling the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, and dealing a devastating blow to the Blue Jackets’ fading play-off hopes.
Rookie sensation Taylor Hall literally dominated this game, scoring his first career “Gordie Howe” hat rick, while being named the game’s first star. On one particular play in the second period, Hall left two defenders holding their jocks, on a forehand, backhand, forehand sequence in a space of five feet in front of Columbus netminder, Steve Mason, that dazzled the sold-out Rexall crowd.
Hall sent teammate, and roommate, Jordan Eberle, down the left wing and into the Columbus zone, before depositing a laser backhand, top shelf, 14 seconds into the middle frame. Pretty goal.
Tired of the pestering attention Columbus forward Derek Dorsett was giving him, Hall dropped the gloves, popped the surprised Blue Jacket, engaging in his first NHL fight.
Nearing the end of the one-sided tilt, which of course, favoured Dorsett, #4 fell awkwardly on his left leg. Limping to the bench, Hall neither served the penalty or returned to the game, ending his fabulous evening. Following the game, Hall was seen wearing a walking boot cast. He’ll have an MRI in the morning to determine the extend of the injury. It’s questionable whether Hall will join the team on its upcoming five-game road trip.
Earlier today, Oilers’ head coach Tom Renney announced the team’s leading point man, Ales Hemsky, rumoured to be on the move as the 2011 trade deadline earlier this week, could be lost for most of the next month, the result of an awkward fall on his shoulder vs. the Nashville Predators. It’s looking like the Czech-born forward has suffered a rotator cuff injury. Regrettably, Edmonton should have dealt their overrated and oft-injured winger.
So they trade one of their top goal scorers, Dustin Penner, at Monday’s Trade Deadlined, then lose Hemsky with another injury that will likely end his 2010-2011 season and their rookie scoring phenom, Hall, to leg injury. And if that doesn’t force your eyes to roll back, Edmonton just learned their second round selection at last year’s draft, centre Tyler Pitlick, broke his ankle while playing for the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. Pitlick was having a breakout season (his first) for the Tigers, scoring 27 goals, 35 assists for 62 points, and a plus 4 +/- rating.
Just another day on the NHL’s M.A.S.H. Unit.
Edmonton will be in Denver Saturday night to take on the Colorado Avalanche.
In the meantime Edmonton fans, chins up….sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.