Taylor Hall's hellbent playing style has made him vulnerable to injury. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
As if things haven't gone badly enough to this point for the Edmonton Oilers, what with their ECHL-caliber goaltending, a porous defensive scheme, and a 2-6-1 start that has them in last place in the Western Conference. Now they have to deal with the loss of their best player for the next month.
The Oilers confirmed today that Hall could miss up to four weeks while recovering from a left knee injury he suffered during Saturday night's win in Ottawa.
The unspecified damage (suspected to be a minor ACL tear) may have occurred when he was checked awkwardly by Ottawa's Eric Gryba, but if that didn't do it, getting nailed in the knee by Kyle Turris as he exited the penalty box a few minutes later certainly sealed the deal.
It's a tough break, but hardly a first for the hard-luck Hall. Here's a rundown of his lengthy list of injuries, courtesy of the Edmonton Journal:
- He was clipped by a skate blade during warm-up before a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in January 2012 and left with a facial gash that required 30 stitches.
- He had surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder before the end of the 2012 season.
- His rookie season was cut short when he sustained a high ankle sprain during a fight.
The running tally so far: 180 games played, 41 missed . . . and counting.
The timetable suggests he should be back by late-November. That may be too late to help salvage a season in Edmonton that is already swirling the drain, but it should give him plenty of time to make a impression on Team Canada management ahead of their final Sochi deliberations.
At least it's not all bad news this morning. Jordan Eberle, who was banged up in Saturday's game against Ottawa, will be in the lineup tonight as the Oilers close out their six-game road trip against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.