Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 4/10/12
Gettyimage.ashx_url_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f91280274.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d77bfba49ef878921cc759df4ebac47d0dc0f75040855016a302418d9d71c876f2814ba7efdc8b9db

Photo by: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Hal Gill has been possibly the most notable pick-up at the trade deadline for the Nashville Predators. He has size and strength, can out poke check any forward by a good foot and a half of stick and has been the difference maker on the Predators penalty kill that has risen to 10th in the NHL. Although he lacks speed due to his lumbering huge frame, he also is quick to shy away from handing out hits against other forwards. He instead likes to wait for the puck to come to him and try to dig it out of the corners with occasional success. Gill not throwing the huge hit may be disheartening to some fans (like me) who want him to get into the other team’s head about how hard to come into our defensive zone. The waiting for the puck to come to him may be a liability also, but where he lacks in these areas, he is diligent about making up at other times in the game.

After a cursory glance at Hal Gill’s stats on NHL.com, he is playing a sound defensive game, even better with the Predators where his plus/minus went from a -7 in Montreal to a +4 in Nashville. His penalty minutes are also the lowest of his career (37) and staying out of the box is key for a penalty-kill specialist the likes of Hal Gill.

Another stat that Hal Gill is one of the best in the league is blocked shots. Nashville has been accustomed to players and especially defensemen sacrificing themselves to block a shot a time or three. No defenseman personified that more than Greg Zanon who constantly lead the Predators in the blocked shots category. In keeping with this tradition, Hal Gill is ranked 16th in the NHL in blocked shots with 161.  

Some concerns arise when it comes to Gill’s ability to play the body. With his frame being “sasquatch-ian” compared to pretty much every other NHL’er not named Chara, Gill just doesn’t lay out many of the forwards but instead uses his stick and exceptional reach to disrupt the play and dig the puck out of the corners. How successful has he been in this endeavor?

For NHL defensemen, Gill ranks 17th in giveaways (not a stat you want to be in the top 20), 90th in takeaways and 105th in hits. Although these aren’t the final say in what Hal Gill brings to the Predators, it is interesting to note given the tools that Hal Gill has to work with in strength and size.

Even with those stats being less than stellar, Hal Gill is still an integral piece to the Predators post-season. Many have stated that had the Predators acquired Hal Gill last season, he could have been a difference-maker against a forward like Ryan Kesler (who Gill pretty much shut down this season and as Terry Crisp quipped “was using Kesler like a snow shovel”).

Gill was just one of Poile’s many deft moves at the trade deadline, but in the playoffs where defense is at a premium, he may be the most favorable pick-up for the Predators (other than that Radulov guy I keep hearing about).

Stay HardCore

Follow me on Twitter…@Preducated

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Could the Spurs backups make playoffs in the east?

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: Could new irons be reason for missed cut at Barclays?

The Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Boston Red Sox

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker