Taylor Hall doesn't get a vote, but if he did, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wouldn't be worrying about the press box.

Despite turning in a couple of mediocre games toward the end of his own nine-game audition last year, Hall was never a healthy scratch then and doesn't believe Nugent-Hopkins should be one now.

"There were a couple of times last year when I was probably pretty close to sitting out a game and getting a bird's eye view, but it never happened," said the dynamic sophomore. "We're going to stand by whatever the team does, obviously, but for a young player to sit does suck. It might blow your confidence a little bit."

As with all things relating to RNH, speculation he'd be scratched from Saturday's game against the Rangers because of lukewarm starts against Calgary and Minnesota blew out of control before the words even left Tom Renney's mouth.

"When (Nugent-Hopkins) saw what Tom said, 'That he might not be playing,' you could tell he was a little bit rattled," said Hall, who was playing mini-golf with his linemate at West Edmonton Mall when the coach's off-the-cuff answer to a hypothetical question Friday afternoon — yeah, it might not hurt to sit Nugent-Hopkins at some point before the 10 game mark — swerved into the information super-highway's fast lane and punched the gas.

"But he took it well, he knows that it's a process. These are just the first few steps of his NHL career and there's going to be a lot more coming."

Nugent-Hopkins drew in Saturday, but not before a chilling blast of big league reality and a few tumultuous hours. It spiralled so quickly that Renney decided to call the kid Friday night and tell him everything was fine. Well, not fine, Nugent-Hopkins and his linemates need to be better, but he was playing Saturday against the Rangers.