By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26
After a relatively slow start to the NHL season, Taylor Hall seems to have found his groove offensively and is producing on the Bruins’ top six. Prior to the Bruins’ season opener, Hall sustained an upper-body injury in early October during a preseason game versus the Flyers. The injury was expected to keep Hall out for the first game or two, but he ended up playing in the first game against the Washington Capitals. Despite recording a goal in the opener, the former MVP struggled out of the gate and only recorded one point through the first four games.
In the Bruins’ only loss to the Ottawa Senators this season, Hall struggled and found himself on the bench more often than on the ice. Hall was a minus-two and played 11:55 in ice time last week in their 7-5 loss. His performance in this outing was a wake-up call for the winger, as he has since tallied three goals and two assists in three games. Two of the goals include game-winners, one of them an overtime winner versus the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and the other against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday in a 3-1 victory.
Outside of the offensive stats, Hall has seemed more confident. Through the first five games, Hall was uncharacteristically indecisive with the puck. His early season decision-making and tough puck handling may be due to his upper-body injury from the preseason, but now he looks like the Hall of last year. On top of his newfound confidence, he’s revitalized his chemistry alongside David Krejci and David Pastrnak.
Hall and Krejci showed some strong chemistry with one another back during the tail end of the 2021 season. With a combination of Krejci’s creative passing and the high-end speed of Hall, the two showed great potential between one another before Krejci left to play in Czechia during the 2021-22 season. Hall and Pastrnak spent most of last season on the same line with Erik Haula as their center. With Krejci returning to Boston, the Bruins’ second line is arguably a first line on any other NHL team.
Considering Marchand has been out since the start of the season, having a high-scoring second line has been crucial for the Bruins and their hot start. The line has been lethal offensively since they were reunited, as they’ve collectively tallied 11 goals and 15 assists. While only playing 40 minutes together as a line, the three have recorded three goals and averaged 4.51 goals per 60 minutes of play.
With more minutes played between one another, Hall, Krejci, and Pastrnak will only continue to develop stronger chemistry. With Marchand returning to the Bruins’ lineup in tonight’s matchup against the Detroit Red Wings, the second line may be playing against the Red Wing’s depth forwards. Marchand is expected to be in and out of Boston’s lineup as he continues to recover from his offseason surgery, but when he returns full-time, the Bruins will have a top six that will be a force to be reckoned with.