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Scoring with Hart - 2017-18 Taylor Hall Point Review Part 8: Summary

Capping off a review of every single point Taylor Hall put up for the New Jersey Devils in the 2017-18 regular season and playoffs, this post summarizes the findings from where and how Hall scored his goals, whether the assists involved were legitimate, and so much more detail about Hall’s amazing campaign.

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils
Yes, Taylor Hall scored a lot of points! And there’s a lot to learn from it!
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Taylor Hall put up a total of 41 goals and 58 assists in 82 total games between the 2017-18 regular season and the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the New Jersey Devils. It was amazing. It was sensational. It was worthy of the Lindsay and the Hart Trophies and he has appropriately been named a finalist for both. I hope he wins one or both of them. There’s your shortened version of a summary. Now for the actual fun: the details.

Hall’s 2017-18 regular season alone is one of the best ever single seasons by a Devil player ever. Only three Devils put up higher scoring seasons (Elias in 2000-01 with 96, Muller in 1987-88 and Parise in 2008-09 tied with 94) than Hall - and Hall played fewer games than those three. According to Hockey-Reference, his 1.22 point-per-game rate is the highest ever in franchise history in a single season. Back in January, when I declared how he was the team’s Superstar, he was at 1.12 and I was wondering where he could end up. He soared past everyone mentioned there, leaving 1.18 PPG (Muller in 1987-88, MacLean in 1988-89, and Elias in 2005-06) in the dust. Hall was that productive.

On top of that, Hall really was doing it all himself. Hall had 15 more goals than Kyle Palmieri, who finished second on the team with 24 goals. Hall had 15 more assists than Will Butcher, who finished second on the team with 39 assists. Hall had 97 more shots than Palmieri, who finished second on the team with 181 shots. Hall had 14 more power play points than Butcher and Palmieri, who both finished second on the team with 23 power play points. Most of all, Hall had a whopping 41 more points than second place on the team, rookie and Hall’s most common center, Nico Hischier. The playoff points boosted the campaign’s totals; even in a five-game series, Hall finished just over a point-per-game there too. These are basic counting stats and they basically support what anyone who has seen a couple of Devils games in 2017-18 quickly found out: Hall was a Superstar, a consistent driver of the offense in even strength and power play situations, and the very best player on the team. And given how the Devils needed every point to clinch by Game #81 of the season, the 2017-18 needed Hall to make the attack count at some point on a game-by-game, night-by-night basis. And he almost literally did that with a 26 game point-streak from the start of 2018 into March and a nine-game point streak from mid-to-late March until his four-point night over Our Hated Rivals in Game #80 of the season.

Hall’s torrid run of production that made opposing defenses, goaltenders, and coaches very concerned about #9 having the puck on his stick was so impressive, I wanted to see it all again. Thanks to NHL.com, every video clip of his 93 regular season and six playoff points is available through the boxscores of each game. I took my time and went through them to identify a number of aspects. Such as the situation, when Hall earned his point, whether the goal or assist was a fluke, whether the assist was a legitimate one (intentional puck movement), whether the goal was scored in a scoring chance location, what kind of shot or pass Hall took, and where did the shot or pass take place. I broke down my findings in posts of his points, month-by-month. Here are those seven other posts in this series:

While it could be argued that what follows may mostly be trivia and fun facts, it was still a joy to watch Hall constantly get that lamp lit for the Devils. I have not personally witnessed a single forward playing this well throughout a season since, goodness, Kovalchuk in 2011-12 or Parise in 2008-09. Even then, I think Hall’s 2017-18 was better because he was just that much of a cut above every other Devil.

Hall’s Points Mattered

The biggest finding to me was that Hall’s production was important for the New Jersey Devils throughout their games. At the time Hall would score or register an assist, a majority of the points would put the Devils within one goal or tie up the game.

Out of Hall’s 41 goals between regular and post season play, 12 of them (29.3%) tied up the score at the time. 13 of them (31.7%) put the Devils up one goal. Four of them (9.8%) put the Devils within a goal of tying it up. That’s a combined 29 goals, or 70.7% of Hall’s totals, where the score was equalized or made close thanks to Hall. No disrespect to goals scored to increase leads (10 - 5 to put the Devils up by 2, 3 to put the Devils up by 3, and 2 that put the Devils up by more than 3) or where the team was still down by multiple goals (2, both put the Devils down by 2 in the game). Those goals certainly counted, but the majority of Hall’s goal scoring was hardly accumulated by garbage time.

As for the assists, a similar phenomenon occurred. Out of the 58 total assists Hall registered, 12 were on equalizers (20.7%), 19 of them were for goals where the Devils went up by a goal (32.8%), and five put the Devils within a shot of tying it up (8.6%). That’s another majority; 62.1% of Hall’s total assist count either tied up the game or made the score close for the Devils when they were registered. There were eleven assists associated with goals that put the Devils up by two at the time; but that was the only standout for assists on goals that put the Devils up or still had them down by multiple goals. Again, the majority wasn’t picked up when the game was out of doubt or just in boosting leads (nothing against boosting leads, of course).

It is true that not every equalizer or point that was involved int he Devils taking the lead led to a win that night. It is also true that not every point involved in reducing the deficit to one goal did not always complete a comeback. But that does not invalidate what Hall did or make his points less meaningful. Knowing that a majority of his goals and assists did put the game within reach or gave the Devils a lead means that Hall really did give this team a chance to succeed on most nights. Recall again that the Devils made the playoffs near the end of last season and tried to hang with a strong Tampa Bay squad in the postseason. They could not have done it without Hall. So even if Hall only had seven goals that ended up being game winners, Hall was often involved in the goals that allowed others to get the game winners, or get the game tied, or get the Devils going in a game. I’ll take that 29 goals and 36 assists put the score differential at either -1, 0, or +1 from any player in a season. I think that means more to timely and valuable scoring than a GWG count.

In short: Hall’s points mattered a lot in 2017-18 and I’d like to think that the Pro Hockey Writers Association has picked up on that in a way this is why Hall is a finalist for the Hart and the Lindsay this year.

When the Points Happened

Curiously, Hall was a big-time goal scorer in the second period. Out of his 41 total goals, 23 of them took place in the middle frame. This is a stark contrast from the 7 first period goals, 8 third period goals, and 3 overtime goals. From what I saw on the video, I did not notice anything different about Hall in the second period. I cannot really pinpoint why he just kept lighting it up in the middle. Sure, he had some breakaways but it’s not like Hall just dominated teams on a long change in the run of play any more than he did in the other two periods. Call it a coincidence, I suppose. Hall’s assists were distributed more evenly and differently by period. Out of all 58 total assists, Hall had 15 assists in the first period, 19 in the second, 22 in the third period, and two in overtime.

The timing within the periods is also interesting. When it came to goals, Hall scored 17 of them within the first five minutes of a period. This does include the three overtime goals, since the fourth period is just five minutes long. Ten were scored within the final five minutes of the period, so he provided plenty of late ones. The middle of the period has another quirk: eleven were scored ten to fifteen minutes into a period but only three were scored five to ten minutes into a period. Seriously, my make-shift chart goes 17, 3, 11, 10. That three sticks out. But, again, I have to chalk it up to happenstance since I didn’t really notice anything odd about Hall from 5:00 to 9:59 within a period. Plus, the assists were again distributed more evenly and differently. Hall had 12 assists within the first five minutes (two were in overtime), 11 within the last five minutes, 18 from five to ten minutes into a period, and 17 from ten to fifteen minutes into a period. With assists, Hall picked up more of them in the middle of periods as opposed to the ends. But the drop off is not nearly as severe as it is with the goals.

The timing could be seen as more trivia than anything else, but if you wanted to know when Hall did his damage, then there you are.

The Assists and Their Legitimacy A.K.A. Stop Dissing Secondary Assists

I can understand the frustration over how assists are awarded. If a player touches a puck prior to a goal or is perceived to having done so, then they get an assist just as much as someone who made an actual pass or took a shot that someone turned into a goal. I can understand that the secondary assist, which does not always exist for a goal, may be more prone to just being awarded. I remember and understood Eric Tulsky’s desire from 2011 about dropping secondary assists.

I do not agree. In my view, just because a secondary may be less likely to be repeatable does not mean it was not an intentional, completed pass or a shot that created a goal. They are two separate issues. If the concern is that the assist is awarded too easily and boosting point totals, then a clearer definition of an assist is needed. While I understand the ease of just forgoing an officially recorded assist and assuming primaries are the real and one true kind of assists, it really sidesteps the issue. Given that every single scoring play is available on video whether at NHL.com, Youtube, or even the broadcast owner’s sites (e.g. MSG), we have the ability to verify assists with a better definition. The need for time-saving assumptions is over. Especially now that the analytics community has moved on to programming on top of tracking passes and other details in plays.

So that’s what I attempted to do. I define a legitimate assist as one where an intentional pass was made or an intentional shot created an opportunity for a goal. The former is obvious: passing to set up a goal is an assist. The latter allows for rebounds and shots that were re-directed or deflected into the net to count as well. The only grey area is for rebounds. Most rebound goals take place quickly and catch the goaltender and opposition out of position. A rebound goal after the goalie or defense has time to re-set themselves does not really fit the intent of counting rebounds for assists. I applied this for all 58 of Hall’s assists and all 51 assists awarded on Hall’s goals. If I was not sure, I erred against it.

Let’s start with Hall’s assists. Hall had 33 primary assists between the regular season and the playoffs. Out of those 33, 27 were legitimate. Hall was awarded 25 secondary assists. Out of those, 18 were legitimate. To put it another way: six of Hall’s primary assists should not have been awarded and seven of Hall’s secondary assists should not have been awarded. While the non-legit assist proportion is higher for the secondary, that’s because there were fewer secondaries. I expected some cheap ones awarded to Hall for the same reason why he got some fluke goals - they just tend to happen here and there throughout a season. I was surprised that it was that close between primary and secondary assists. Still, the vast majority of Hall’s assist count held up under this review.

Who should be happiest for Hall’s assists out of the 17 different Devils that Hall registered an assist with? That’s easy: Kyle Palmieri. 17 of his 25 goals in the 2017-18 campaign included an assist from #9. The duo were dynamite at times on the power play and played plenty of minutes together in 5-on-5 play. Speaking of teammates, the PP connection with Will Butcher was prosperous; five of Will Butcher’s six goals featured an assist from Hall. Hall had eight assists with Nico Hischier and six with Jesper Bratt. Surprisingly, Hall did not assist on a majority of either rookie’s total goals: 21 for Hischier, 13 for Bratt. In fact, only Palmieri and Butcher can claim that at least 50% of their goal production included a helper from #9.

Now let’s look at the teammates. Out of Hall’s 41 goals between the season and playoffs, 17 goals had two assists awarded, 17 had only one assist awarded, and 7 were unassisted. Strangely, Hall’s final four goals were unassisted. At least, it looked strange until I went back to the tape and confirmed that, yeah, that happened since the league does not hand out assists to the opposition.

So we’re left with 17 secondary and 34 primary assists assigned to Hall’s goals. Sixteen different Devils registered at least one assist with Hall in the 2017-18 season. Out of the 17 secondaries, I counted 11 as being legitimate. That’s well over half at 64%; there are six non-legit assists. Nobody really ran away with a lot of secondaries off Hall’s goals. Palmieri led with four (three were legit), Butcher had three (two were legit), and the rest were ones-and-twos with the only notable fact is that both of Andy Greene’s secondaries were illegitimate. He’s the only 0 in the legit column for secondary assists. As for the 34 primary assists, 25 of them were legitimate. That’s a strong proportion at 74% although there were nine non-legit primary assists compared to six non-legit secondary assists. The team leader in both legitimate and total primary assists on Hall’s goals was Hischier with five out of eight being real ones. Sami Vatanen and Bratt ended up behind Hischier with four total primary assists on Hall goals. Each had three legitimate primary assists out of those four. Coming in third were Palmieri and Butcher with three; two out of three were legit for Palmeiri and all three were legit for Butcher. Again, there were some cheap and not-so-real assists handed out among the teammates. But outside of common even strength and power play teammates such as Hischier, Bratt, Vatanen, Butcher, and Palmieri, there was just a mix of players with a one or a couple of assists to spread it all out. Nobody picked up a lot of non-legit assists in one area. And, again, the majority of assists awarded to teammates were legitimate. The proportion of legit to total is higher for the primaries, but there were more non-legit primary assists than non-legit secondary assists.

So let’s pretend I were to just focus on primary points and act as if secondary assists are useless or bad or meaningless or whatever the conventional wisdom is, I’m discounting 18 instances where Hall made a play - mostly an actual pass - that led to a goal. I’m also discounting 11 instances where a teammate made an actual pass that eventually led to a goal. If I were to act that only primary assists matter, then I’m ignoring six instances where Hall was given a cheap assist and pretending they’re more real than 18 legit secondaries. I’m also ignoring nine primary assists that were not-legit but still awarded to teammates for goals by Hall. With all due respect to Tulsky and others who have espoused this, that’s throwing a lot of baby out with bathwater. And even if I did that, I don’t actually answer the question of whether a player has their assist totals boosted by generous scorers and/or a generous scoring system. Cheap assists happen, but the best way to account for those is to define what a real assist is and verify the awarded assists instead of just discounting an officially recorded stat.

Going back to Hall, the majority of assists on his goals were legit and the majority of Hall’s assists were legit. Hall’s 99 total points did not just matter, they were on good plays. By the way, there were only two goals by Hall where both assists awarded were not legitimate: that weird goal-line shot that went in off a goalie’s back (January 2, 2018) and the one where Hall’s shot was saved and the rebound went in off an opposing defender’s skate (January 4, 2018).

Goal Data: Shot and On-Ice Locations, Transitions, Flukes, and the Shot Type Dominated by Wrist Shots

Here are six collected findings about Hall’s goals and only his goals. This is out of 41 total goals that Hall scored.

First, 30 of the 41 were scored in a scoring chance location. This is the “home plate” area from the crease out to the two dots in the offensive zone up to the tops of each circle. Hall had a couple just outside of this area and I erred against them in close calls. That most of them were inside this home plate is further reason to want the Devils to keep driving play into those areas.

Second, 23 of them were scored in what I call “transition.” I tagged a goal as being in transition if it occurred before the Devils could get set up on offense. For power plays, this would mean before the team took its 1-3-1 formation. In other situations, I looked to see if the Devils had players set in the offensive zone and had established possession. Anytime where the play happened right after the zone entry was in transition. 23 represents a slight majority (53%) of all goals. I do not have a total of how many of these kinds of plays Hall was involved in all season, but I do not think it is a coincidence that so many were scored in this way. Usually, the defense is not fully set and a goalie may be caught by surprise or have to hustle or scramble to prepare for a shot. There is more space in these situations and Hall absolutely has the speed and agility to take advantage of it. These are usually prime opportunities for offense and Hall can take advantage of those as well. It would be a good (and very long) exercise to see if the majority of the team’s goals were scored in transitions as opposed to being set up on offense. But for Hall, he scored many goals in this manner.

Third, I counted five of Hall’s goals as being flukes. One goal was a shot by Hall that led to the puck rebounding off a defender’s skate and into the net. Two goals were inadvertently deflected in by an opposing player. One goal was a power play put back from the goal line after a very fortunate and odd rebound off a crossbar; no way that rebound could be easily and intentionally re-created. One goal was a puck that came off the endboards, bounced to Hall at the goal line, and Hall just flung it towards the net only to have the puck go off the goalie’s back (!?) and in. My definition of fluke was for those goals that took something extraordinary or unintentional to happen. I think these five fit it well. I don’t think it is excessive; I think any prolific shooter or offensive leader will get some very favorable bounces and situations here and there. The larger point is that Hall’s totals were not jacked up by something that is very unlikely to happen again.

Fourth, Hall had four common locations he scored from in 2017-18. In order, they were the slot (13 goals), the inside of the circle to the goalie’s right and below the faceoff dot (8), at or around the crease (7), and the the inside of the circle to the goalie’s right and above the faceoff dot (3). That’s a total of 31 goals scored in those four locations alone. 30 of the 31 goals were scoring chance goals (one was that opposition rebound created goal, so that was not a real scoring chance goal). Hall ultimately had 13 total areas in the offensive zone where he scored at least one. But among the other nine areas, only one had two goals and the remaining eight just had one instance. That Hall scored 31 goals across those four areas should not be a huge surprise. Hall primarily plays left wing (except on power plays sometimes in 2017-18). He’ll be to the goalie’s right more often than not. But since Hall tends to lead on offense and he has a great mind for hockey, he can and does get to and succeed in the two most common scoring areas: the slot and being around the crease. The amazing is that I think most teams know to try to keep a player away from a spot they tend to do well in, but the really, really good players keep getting to those spots and making things happen. For Hall, it was the slot, the inside half of the right circle (above and below the faceoff dot), and the crease.

Fifth, Hall spread around where he beat goaltenders with his 41 total goals. Hall scored nine goals through the five-hole and nine goals to the top left corner. When I say left, I mean the goalie’s left. Usually, this was their glove hand and Hall absolutely sniped some corners to make the mitt look useless. Coming in third, were goals to the low left of the goaltender. Hall had six of those. Then there were four each that went in at a mid-range height (think where a goalie’s arms are) on both the left and right as well as goals that picked the top right corner. He had three that went low and to the goalie’s right. If you figure there are nine general areas where a goalie can be beaten, Hall scored at least three goals in seven of them. The rarities were the one goal put in at the high middle area (past or over the goalie’s head) and the mid-range middle area (which is inherenty rare as no one can shoot through a man’s chest - so this happened when the goalie was way out of position and Hall put it in there). Does Hall like to go five-hole on goalies? Sure. But he is not at all adverse to picking a side and definitely not at the top left corner. In other words, if he sees a gap in a goaltender’s stance and position, then he can absolutely hit it for great success.

Sixth, and lastly, Hall’s wrist shot was the star of the 41 goals. 24 goals were just on straight up wrist shots. I admittedly over-defined shot types, so I do have categories like wraparound wrist shot (1 goal), forehand rebound shot (which were wristers, there were 2 goals), and opponent deflection (2 goals) and rebound (1 goal) which were created by wrist shots. So if you count those, that’s 30 out of 41 goals scored off wrist shots. And of course Hall would score so many with it. His wrist shot is fantastic. His release is very quick. He is able to put a lot of power behind his wrist shots for some real scorchers. He was very accurate on some of these shots, getting pucks just inside the frame to beat a goalie or identifying a small gap to shoot at for success. No wonder Hall only had three backhander goals, two backhander rebounds, one snap shot, and one slap shot among the non-wrist shot goals. I even counted one-timers separately and there were only three goals from those. Hall can shoot the puck different ways, but the wrist shot was his bread and butter and the Devils feasted with it in 2017-18.

It is a good argument as to what makes Hall more dangerous on offense: his wrist shot or his abilities at reading and executing passes. The answer is yes, by the way.

Assist Data: Hall and Assist Locations, Assist Types Flukes, and Transitions

Let’s move on to other assist data that I found outside of whether the assists were legit or not.

First, trying to organize where Hall was when he made the assist play and where the puck went was difficult. Even in trying to use common areas, I ended up with an excessive amount. To keep things simple, I organized them by more general and simple areas.

For where Hall was located when he made the assist play, 26 of them were in the side of the offensive zone to the goalie’s right. That should not be very surprising. Hall is a left winger. He would be usually to the goalie’s right. However, due to some power play set-ups during the season and situations where he would end up on the offwing, Hall was able to help make some successful attacks from the left side of the offensive zone. Specifically, 19 times. Hall is that good of a passer and his vision is excellent to identify passing lanes, seams in coverage, and awareness of what he did and did not have available. Other than that, Hall had 6 assists where he was in the center area of the zone (crease, slot, high slot, scenter point), and 7 assists where Hall was outside of the offensive zone. Hall could make things work from all over and he did create quite a bit from the offwing. But the winger was at his best on his natural side when it came to racking up assists.

For where Hall’s plays ended up, 5 assists were shots at the goalie, 19 of them went to the center area of the offensive zone (crease, slot, high slot, center point), 10 went to the side of the zone to the right of the goalie, 19 went to the side of the zone to the left of the goalie, and 8 were plays outside of the offensive zone. Finding players in the slot or at the crease is a good thing; that’s the “high danger” scoring chance areas and that’s where a lot of goals do happen. The Devils’ power play set-up seemingly pushed for cross-ice plays. Plus, rushes in transition and finding players open as all eyes were on Hall often required some east-west passes. The point is that Hall was able to spray pucks wherever he needed to put them, but the most common areas are consistent with his natural position. Coming in to the goalie’s right as a left winger means he would be looking for teammates in the center area or the side of the zone to the goalie’s left. Those plays tend to force the goalie and the defense to move and that’s when opportunities can arise.

Second, in terms of the type of pass, Hall often kept it simple. 31 of his 58 total assists were direct, intentional passes where the puck stayed on the ice. Pretty straight forward stuff. The second most common type was a shooting attempt. There were eight assists out of those; five that were at the goalie, two re-directions by teammates, and one that hit off the post. Coming in a distant third was a saucer pass. They look cool, but only three of them from Hall led to goals in 2017-18. There were a lot of one-off or two-off types. Some that weren’t actual, legitimate passes such as losing the puck to a sliding defender but a teammate coming in and taking the puck in for a score. Or blocking out an opposing player as the puck slid into space that a teammate took in for a score. Or, as some legitimate examples, drop passes, shot-passes, a super-cool looking backhand turnaround, and firing the puck around the boards. There was a high mix in types (again, I think I over defined it), but the direct passes often led to Hall getting an apple.

Third, there were fluke assists for Hall. I counted 10 out of 58 being flukes. Nine of them were non-legitimate. Yes, I called a fluke assist a legitimate assist. This was the assist on November 24 where Hall took an intentional shot, it hit the post, and Damon Severson cleaned up the loose puck. It’s a fluke because hitting the post could have sent the puck in different directions; it was a fortunate bounce. It’s legitimate in that Hall intended to do what he did and it created a goal scoring opportunity for a teammate. You can feel free to disagree, but that’s what I’m sticking to on that one.

Fourth, in terms of assists in transition plays, Hall only had 20 of them. I expected a larger number since a majority of goal scoring occurred in plays where the Devils weren’t really set-up on offense but Hall made it a successful one with a goal. 20 out of 58 is not nearly a majority. With 26 power play assists (24 in season, 2 in the playoffs), the majority of those were not in transition; the Devils were usually all in on those PPGs they had anyway. That would help explain a lot of it. It’s still something I wonder about tracking for a season. We’ll see.

Arbitrary Decided Goal and Assist of 2017-18 by Hall

Out of all 41 goals and 58 assists, these two still wowed me in the offseason as much as they did when I saw them live.

The assist: April 16, 2018, Game 3 against Tampa Bay, Hall’s 57th assist of this campaign and second of the night, the only one that set up Stefan Noesen, and the one that made the Rock erupt with a joyful noise.

Hall drew the attention of four players on a zone entry, he’s on his offwing, he saw Noesen wide open, and sent him a perfect pass for Noesen to shoot so hard, it possibly could have been heard outside of the Rock.

The goal: March 31, 2018, Game #73 for Hall, Hall’s 36th of the campaign, and my one note for this one just reads, “GLORIOUS.”

It’s a 1-on-3 goal where he sniped a corner with his brilliant wrist shot! Of course this was the one that stood out the most to me! Coincidentally, Noesen had the only assist on this play.

Conclusions

Taylor Hall killed it in 2017-18 for the New Jersey Devils. 93 regular season points, 6 playoff points, and a vast majority were not fluke goals or non-legitimate assists. Hall’s points were largely earned. They largely mattered in the games he played in. They were visually appealing. His level of production was among the best ever by a New Jersey Devil in a single season. It was down right crucial as the New Jersey Devils proved many people - including me - wrong about the state of the team as they made the playoffs. No one person accomplished it, but Taylor Hall was the one who accomplished the most to help make that happen.

Will we see something like this from Hall again? I don’t know. 26-game point streaks are incredibly rare. Hall was on fire to amass the production he put up. The power play clicked (when it could click) with Hall despite some really rough underlying numbers. Hall only missed a few games. A lot went right for Hall to get to 41 goals and 58 assists between the season and playoffs. However, the skill sets are very much real. Hall’s wrist shot is a fantastic weapon. Hall has superb on-ice vision and the abilities to execute passes to make the most of that vision. Hall is going to continue to read opposing defenders and goaltenders and figure out how he can beat them. Will he repeat 2017-18 in a potential contract-extension year in 2018-19? Probably not. Will he be a dominant force? I would bet on that.

I am biased and so I hope Hall wins the Hart and the Lindsay at the NHL Awards Ceremony this Wednesday. I know it is an honor to be a finalist. There has not been a New Jersey Devil skater who was a finalist for either trophy. But Hall was so outstanding in 2017-18, he should get something for it other than a playoff spot, a whole lot of praise, long posts from efforts to dig into his results like this one to show off how amazing it all was and how he did it, and definitive proof that Taylor Hall is the Superstar of the current New Jersey Devils.