Ever since Taylor Hall was traded to the Boston Bruins from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline, it feels like he’s remembered how to play hockey. In the first round of the postseason in which the Bruins ousted the Washington Capitals in five games, Hall collected two goals and three points, after putting up 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 16 games with the Bruins during the regular season.
The second round against the New York Islanders kick off on Saturday, and the Isles are convinced that Hall could be the difference maker in this series and will keep a close eye on him.
“Obviously, he’s a player that we’re going to have to key on a little bit, just be aware of where he is on the ice because he’s a gamebreaker,” Islanders center Mathew Barzal said Friday, per NHL.com.
The Isles have noticed how Hall changed his game and the game as he joined the Bruins : even head coach Barry Trotz has warned his players about the veteran forward and the boots he’s given Boston.
“I think bringing a Taylor Hall at the trade deadline, that gave them a resurgence,” Trotz said. “And Taylor came in and that line clicked for whatever reason and they started producing and I think that just eased everything off with their team.”
The Islanders had a lot of good things to say about Hall, which could be a way to get to the Bruins’ new forward. Maybe the Isles are playing mind games and Hall will crack under the pressure…
The Islanders won all five regular-season games against the Bruins before they acquired Hall, outscoring them 18-8. However, the Islanders know he’s been a game-changer.
The Islanders will be all over Hall starting on Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Second Round series, which opens with Game 1 in Boston on Saturday.