Taylor Hall is a lot of things. But a third line depth scoring option would be a first for the former NHL MVP. “I don’t know that there’s another team with a Hart Trophy winner playing in the 3-hole,” Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice told Amalie Benjamin. It just goes to show the embarrassment of riches Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery has at his disposal. Despite Patrice Bergeron yet to make his playoff debut and David Krejci sitting out games three and four with injuries.
Despite how unorthodox Hall may appear on paper outside of the Boston Bruins top-six forwards, his effectiveness in his newfound role is hard to deny. Through four playoff games against the Panthers, the former NHL MVP has seven points, including goals in three straight games.
Hall put Sunday afternoon’s Game 4 on ice after pickpocketing a flat-footed Radko Gudas in the neutral zone, skating in alone, and slipping Boston’s fifth goal of the day past Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. “He’ll come through the neutral zone, and there’s a couple plays, even in the last couple games, where he makes it high-stress,” Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk told Boston.com’s Conor Ryan following the Bruins victory in Game 4. This a perfect example of the embarrassment of riches Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery has at his disposal.
“This is as good of a chance at potentially a Stanley Cup as I’ll ever have,” Taylor Hall told reporters between Games 1 and 2 “That’s not lost on me.” So it would appear egos have been checked at the door.
Now with a 3-1 series advantage, the Bruins will return to Boston looking to close out the Panthers season.