Bruins Forward Taylor Hall Coming Alive in 2022

(Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26

Ever since the Boston Bruins returned to play in 2022, the Bruins’ forward depth scoring has come into form after head coach Bruce Cassidy and the coaching staff decided to mix up the lines. A massive beneficiary of the line adjustments has been Taylor Hall, who’s found his rhythm playing on the second line alongside Erik Haula and David Pastrnak.

The former 2010 first overall pick had a sluggish start to the 2021-22 season, but he has averaged over a point-per-game with eleven points over the last ten games (three goals, eight assists). Through the first 26 games this season, Hall recorded 14 points, had a shooting percentage of 7.7%, and had only managed to collect one goal at 5-on-5.

The original plan for the second line was to have Charlie Coyle centering the second line beside Taylor Hall. While Coyle has had a solid year in his own right, the chemistry between the two of them evidently wasn’t there. This is not to say that the lack of chemistry between Hall and Coyle was the cause of Hall’s lack of production but rather showed that the lines needed to be adjusted.

“Throughout the first part of the year, I felt like I was a little tight in games and wasn’t able to show my true ability to play that way,” Hall said to the media after the Bruins were victorious over the Washington Capitals on January 10th. “I’ve just tried to relax a little bit, play with my linemates better, and it’s worked out.”

Not only has Hall’s production increased drastically but so has Pastrnak’s (eight goals, three assists) and Haula’s (two goals, five assists) since the new year. “I love playing with Pasta… He has a real good hockey sense, a real good way of getting open and staying open… Obviously, Pasta’s a Rocket Richard winner and a guy who has put up a lot of points in this league. So it’s been fun.”

Hall also had some thoughts on how his new linemates have helped turn his game around. “I think we play quick,” Hall said. “If you look at our chances in the neutral zone, a guy that moves it goes to space, gets open, a lot of one-touch passes, a lot of opening up the ice. I’m not the best cycle player, but if we can get moving and little give-and-go’s all over the ice and I think Haula’s done a really good job with that. I think he’s a guy that has proven he can play with really good players. He did in Vegas and Carolina. I think he’s been really good for us.”

A crucial part of what Hall had mentioned in his quote was when he said he wasn’t “the best cycle player.” This was likely one of the reasons the Coyle and Hall combination didn’t work out when they played together. Coyle’s game revolves around possession and creating a cycle game in the offensive zone, whereas Hall thrives by playing with speed on the rush. Much like Hall, Haula and Pastrnak seem to be playing at their best when playing with speed and creativity.

The Bruins take on the Capitals at 7:00 PM EST at the TD Garden tonight. The last time these teams met, Boston blew out Washington 7-3, and the Hall, Haula, and Pastrnak line collected a total of six points.

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