Jordan Eberle Explains Why Ex-Teammate Taylor Hall Is Defensive Difference-Maker For Bruins

Hall has been a backchecking menace with the Bruins


Jun 4, 2021

Taylor Hall, like many star wingers in the NHL, is not known for being a defensive stalwart.

But he has been a reliable player in the neutral and defensive zones with the Boston Bruins.

Ever since getting traded to Boston, a rejuvenated Hall has not only got his offense to some of the best form it’s been in a long time, but he’s also made some impressive defensive plays. His backchecking ability, in particular, has stood out.

It was most noticeable Thursday in Game 3 of the Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders series, when Hall picked Mat Barzal’s pocket at center ice, which sent Matt Grzelcyk going on the rush the other way. Seconds later, Craig Smith buried the puck past Semyon Varlamov.

One of the Islanders’ top forwards, Jordan Eberle, broke into the NHL with Hall on the Edmonton Oilers. He has a theory on why Hall might now be a more effective player defensively.

“As you get older, you learn to try to play the right way, and especially a winning mentality,” Eberle said Friday over Zoom. “I think you just learn how to play defense. He’s a skilled guy, took a while to pick up, and I think when you’re with a team that really strives towards playing detailed hockey and you have to do the right things on the right side of the puck, you just start to instill it in your game. I’m sure it’s no different for him.”

The Bruins and Islanders will play Game 4 at 7:15 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC. NESN will carry a full hour of pregame and postgame coverage, plus intermission reports on

Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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