It certainly wasn’t the ending that anybody envisioned for the Boston Bruins with their second round exit at the hands of the New York Islanders. And it couldn’t have been the final chapter to this season that Taylor Hall had imagined after joining the Black and Gold either. The 29-year-old left wing had a great start to his Bruins career with eight goals and 14 points in 16 games after being dealt from the Buffalo Sabres to the Bruins and he chipped in a pair of goals during the five game playoff series against the Washington Capitals.
Hall scored a goal in Boston’s series opening win against the Islanders in Game 1, but the winger and the rest of the B’s second line essentially disappeared after that with just one point and a minus-4 for the rest of the series. For a player that was brought to Boston to bring scoring balance and secondary offense to the Bruins, Hall didn’t live up to that bargain when the Bruins needed it as things got tough against the Isles.
“Our line, we had four really solid games. We didn’t have a lot to show for it. Then, the other two games, I thought we got outplayed and weren’t able to produce for our team. And that’s on us. That’s hockey, I think every team that loses in the playoffs is going to say something along the same lines. You’ve got to learn from it,” said Hall, who had just one shot on net in three of the six games vs. the Islanders as he was effectively bottled up offensively. “Even though I’m 29, I still think there’s a lot of learning experiences to be had and a lot of things I can get better at.
“As a line, I think we were great off the rush. I think in-zone, we struggled to come up with chances the same way that Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron’s] line did. When the play is in-zone and we’re cycling around, I think that’s something we could have been better at. Producing offense that way instead of off the rush. But it didn’t work out, and we gave our best effort.”
Bruce Cassidy certainly hopes that Hall, a potential unrestricted free agent, returns to Boston and thinks a full season with the Bruins would be beneficial to getting him back toward the game that won him a Hart Trophy just a few years ago.