The post-deadline fling between the Bruins and Taylor Hall has been an excellent one for all involved.
And it’s one the Bruins would like to extend beyond the 2021 postseason.
“As far as Taylor goes, we’re going to continue to see how things go with the playoffs here,” Neely said Wednesday. “And I think we’d like to try and get something done, but that remains to be seen. But that’s our hope.”
Acquired from the Sabres in exchange for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick, Hall has helped revitalize Boston’s second line and stopped the revolving door of David Krejci linemates, with eight goals and 14 points in 16 games in a B’s uni. And as a team, the Bruins have posted a league-best 12-3-1 record with the 29-year-old Hall in the lineup this year, and are a staggering 10-1-1 when Hall records at least one point.
“I think mainly [the trade for Hall] really solidified some more depth in the offensive position of need where we’re getting a little bit more production five-on-five,” Neely said. “Now teams are looking not just at the Bergeron Line, but now they’re going to look at Krejci’s line.”
With Krejci for his entire Boston run, the Hall-Krejci duo (with Craig Smith playing a pivotal role on the right wing), has outshot the opposition 121-60 and outscored them 13-1 in over 180 five-on-five minutes together.
Hall has said all the right things since coming to Boston, too, and cited Krejci and Brad Marchand as two of the players who have helped pull him out of his Buffalo slump and back to NHL relevancy as a legitimate game-breaking talent.
“I mean, we’re blessed with the leadership that we have and had for years,” said Neely. “It really starts with how we want players to play, how we want players to act, how we want players to be in the community. And, you may want all that, but you may not get those types of players, and fortunately for us, we have that in spades and everybody buys in.
“When your best players are also your hardest workers, it’s very challenging not to buy in. And if you don’t, then you’re not here very long.”
Hall, of course, has bought in (and then some), which certainly bodes well for forecasting a long-term future in The Hub.
The Bruins, who will also have to make decisions on pending free agents David Krejci and Tuukka Rask, are currently slated to enter the offseason with over $31 million in available cap space.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.