When you break an Oilers team record, especially one that's held by Wayne Gretzky, it has the feel of something bigger. But since Taylor Hall broke Gretzky's 33-year-old mark by scoring twice in eight seconds, and it was Edmonton's only points in a loss to the Islanders, it's very much a sign of the times.
Hall tied the game with a wrister from the circle at 15:52 of the first period, and then at 16:00 tapped home a rebound off a shot from Mark Arcobello. Despite a solid start for struggling goalie Devan Dubnyk, Hall's goals were all Edmonton could muster as its record fell to 1-6-1.
"It's an empty feeling because a loss is a loss," said the 21-year-old Hall. "It's great to know I have the record but tonight wasn't our best effort. The wheels have really fallen off for us as these losses have piled up."
Gretzky's two goals in nine seconds came, naturally, in a win. It was part of a five-goal game for him in a 9-2 thrashing of the Blues on Feb. 18, 1981. (Three of Gretzky's goals that night came against St. Louis netminder Mike Liut, now Dubnyk's agent.)
Gretzky texted ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that "records are so made to be broken, it's good for the game." And:
The NHL record of two goals in four seconds seems safe. It was set by hall of famer Nels Stewart in 1931 for the Montreal Maroons, and equaled in 1995 by journeyman defenseman Deron Quint, then in his rookie year with the Jets, against the Oilers.
Quint, who only scored 46 goals across parts of 10 seasons in the NHL, is still active in the KHL. Hall is signed with Edmonton through 2020. Wonder which is regretting their career path more.