Taylor Hall's first career NHL hattrick may not upstage the Heritage Classic in Calgary this weekend, or the ongoing flurry of predeadline deals happening at all hours of the day and night. But the 19-year-old rookie lit up a snoozy Rexall Place on Saturday afternoon with three straight, third-period goals on the once-anemic Oilers power play to lift the Oilers past Atlanta 5-3, extend Edmonton's winning streak to three games and reach the 20-goal plateau with a flair for the dramatic not seen in this aging building in years. "I have not seen any young player take over games like Taylor Hall has this season," Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said. "He's not afraid to be great." Fearing greatness has not exactly been the Oilers biggest issue the last few years. But Hall, along with youngsters Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, who scored Edmonton's first goal in the second period, have provided ample evidence this season that great things could be coming, and soon, despite the 19-32-8 record. Hall's performance on Saturday was an exclamation point, though, without a doubt. It was the third straight victory for the Oilers since Tambellini had a chat with the boys to get them refocused on task -winning games, not distracted by other issues, like where the club might finish and what that means for the upcoming NHL entry draft. The three straight goals wiped out a 3-1 Atlanta advantage and provoked the traditional hat toss when Hall's third of the game made it 4-3 at 14: 35 of the final period. It also drew standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 16,839.
'Not afraid to be great'
Edmonton Journal | Feb 21