The Taylor Hall competition is officially over. The surprisingly good Arizona Coyotes won the day and won the superstar winger for a variety of prospects and winners who have the potential to win big for the New Jersey Devils, but the competitions really only get good if certain Conditions are met. Despite Corey Pronman's ranking, Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr are third, fifth and seventh in the Coyotes. He doesn't have a very high coyotes system.
However, for 50 games by one player, the Devils were unlikely to sign. You can't really argue if you have three decently rated perspectives and the option of two picks in the first round in return for half a season.
In early November, I wrote about Taylor Hall's start to the season and how the offensive numbers were all good and good, but his base game lagged behind what he could expect for the rest of his career. As a refresher: This is what his differences on the ice looked like to his teammates at the time of the article:
With good as well as good shots on goal, the Devils performed worse with Hall on the ice than with him on the bench, which is crazy when you look at the extreme dominance he showed in controlling both heights – Volume games and top-class pieces in his career, but we were there for a month in the season.
At the time, I noticed that Hall was returning from an injury that robbed him for half a season. Because of his track record, he was able to figure out his game on a racetrack before anyone should judge his future refereeing skills free agent, but he managed to get it right with another six weeks of work, although the Devils are still pretty horrible ?
Some areas were more difficult to get out of the negatives than others, but overall one could say that Hall had a pretty brilliant November as it was approaching the 5v5 impact it had in 2017 So if you thought you couldn't get back on your horse and be a dominant player again, you threw in the towel a little too early.
Overall, it's still the weakest start to the season he has had for some time, but a good part of it is probably due to this injury and is getting going. Another factor to consider is how bad and unhappy they are, the devil must take a toll.
Differentials are not the only area in which Hall caused a sensation in the second month of the season. As of this November 6 article, Hall was fourth among the devils, as 6.95 was scored every 20 minutes in 5-on-5 measures. This is far less than in the previous two seasons, and a massive drop from last season's career high of 9.78. Since this article, Hall has scored 9.94 goals for his teammates in 20 minutes in a 5v5 game, 2.5 times more every 20 minutes than any other teammate.
Hall pulled a full-on John Wick here; Yes, I think he's back.
That said, it is safe to assume that the coyotes will acquire the hall that we all know and love, but the question for them is whether the price they paid is worth it. Are the coyotes good enough for this year?
The Pacific Division's leading coyotes are only 98 points up the pace, which is crazy for a division leader but was more than enough to hit the playoffs last season. Despite a low goal, they have a plus of 10 on the scoring team on the back of some brilliant goalkeeper from Darcy Kuemper and above average game from Antti Raanta.
The coyotes play a low-event style that makes it easier to defend the goalkeeper and put a little strain on the offensive players, and their specialist teams are only average. Does this low-event style lead the coyotes to control the game to a respectable degree?
Well … that's not very good. The coyotes are played in almost every major category, except that the chances are very high.
If there is one area that you really want to dominate in the modern NHL, it may be. However, if that's the only area, it's probably because you are successfully using the counterattack and spending a lot of time on defense.
Just as you'd expect, the coyotes spend the sixth time in their own zone at 5v5 in the NHL. This makes their status as a middle-class defense team very impressive and they can obviously play without the puck and also partly explain why their offense is so anemic.
Being a counterattack team first and foremost can get you pretty far, but you wouldn't normally call this type of team competitor what you would have imagined.
Hall is one of the better players in the league, and has also been one of the wing's strongest players in the past. So it is quite possible that it not only fits well into the game style. The Coyotes have said goodbye, but also help them to control the game with uniform strength. However, in my opinion, this is a huge game by John Chayka to bet on a season that doesn't look promising if you only play the playoffs in first place.
In an ideal world for the Coyotes, Hall will undoubtedly fall in love with Arizona and sign on a long-term basis, since its core consists of young players who are getting on in their prime and giving them multiple kicks in the can. That could easily make the trade a profit, but if it doesn't, the Coyotes are not a team that I would bet would dominate the playoffs. So it's a very oddly aggressive move.