Perhaps he was frustrated that his Edmonton Oilers were on the brink of losing their fourth consecutive game (which they did) when results matter most.
Perhaps he thought he could get away penalty-free with an egregious two-handed slash to the back of Zbynek Michalek’s leg (which, surprisingly, he did).
Perhaps the Oilers’ leading scorer was just fed up that he couldn’t slip one past Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, despite registering three shots on the stingy Smith in the game’s final frame.
Perhaps he was ticked off that the Oilers — a young team ripe with offensive weapons — had only mustered three goals total in their last four games, especially after dropping eight on Calgary a week ago.
Perhaps this was the impulse of a repeat offender.
Or, just maybe, Taylor Hall had a chip on his shoulder after getting knocked on his keister from this monster open-ice hit from Martin Hanzal earlier in the contest:
Regardless of the reason, Hall lost it on Michalek and delivered one of the nastiest-looking slashes we’ve seen in a minute.
“He was kind of holding my stick, and I meant to slash him in the back of the legs, and I just kinda slashed him a bit harder than I would’ve wanted to,” Hall told reporters Thursday morning. “I was really pressing out there, and sometimes you make mistakes and just go a bit harder than you would’ve liked to. I’m lucky I didn’t get a penalty.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Sportsnet’s Gene Principe informs, Hall has not heard from the NHL regarding supplementary discipline for the chop.
Watch: Taylor Hall talks slash, frustration on Thursday