It’s always a bad sign when the first line left winger goes down with an injury but it’s probably a good one when his teammates feel worse for him then they do for themselves.

Not only does it mean they’re a close-knit group it means they truly believe they have the depth to handle it.

How long the Edmonton Oilers will have to handle life without Taylor Hall remains to be seen however as he’s back in Edmonton so doctors - also known as Hall Monitors - can figure out what’s wrong with the knee he injured Saturday in Ottawa.

He’ll miss Tuesday’s game in Montreal for starters and probably a few more after that.

“We sent Taylor home to get an MRI and that’s all I know” said head coach Dallas Eakins. “We won’t know any more until we get the MRI but obviously he’s not ready to play or we wouldn’t have sent him home.”

Hall’s teammates are all feeling sympathy pains for a guy who’s been hounded by injuries in his young career. In less than four full seasons he’s rolled his ankle in a fight as a rookie got stepped on during a pre-game warm-up had a concussion issue and needed shoulder surgery.

After playing 65 and 61 games his first two seasons Hall’s luck appeared to have changed last year when he played 45 of 48.

Now this.

“It’s tough to see him get injured” said friend and sometime linemate Jordan Eberle. “Any time you have an injury it’s tough. I’ve gone through it too you want to be out there and your body can’t let you. It’s tough.

“He’s definitely had some tough luck with a skate to the head and a few other things but he recovers quick and he works his hardest to get back.”

They’ll miss him while he’s gone but the Oilers don’t view his absence as a death sentence.

“With this team we have so much skill that we can fill that void” said Eberle. “If there’s one team that can do it it’s us. He’s a guy who’s going to be missed he drives the play its a tough loss for our team. But we have so much depth of skill in this lockerroom.”

Between Eberle Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Nail Yakupov Ales Hemsky David Perron and the underrated Mark Arcobello Edmonton probably needn’t worry about lack of talent.

“It sucks for him for sure and it definitely hurts us a bit” said Nugent Hopkins. “We’ll just try and fill his role any way possible. We definitely have a talented group here.

“It’s definitely tough to fill a guy like Taylor’s hole but we have to do our best. He’s a great player and a big part of the team but we just have to pick it up anyway.”