That whole 9 game thing? Forget about it.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ performance in last night’s 4-3 loss to Vancouver was nothing short of awesome. I’ve gone on record saying that RNH’s performance at the NHL level would have to be something else in order to stay in the bigs. Four goals and three games later, he’s made his case.
We’ll recap after the jump. Join us.
RNH was on Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours show last night talking about his three goal performance against the Canucks earlier in the night. Nugent-Hopkins explained that throughout junior hockey his nickname was “Hoppy”. Now that he’s in Edmonton, it’s “The Nuge”.
Whatever his nickname is, he’s the real deal.
Watch the puck trickle in like a bouncing pinball. Eberle/Hall/RNH look like they’ve been linemates for ten years. Perhaps he will quadruple his goal output against the Predators on Monday night. He’s got a puck magnet on his stick.
THINGS THAT ARE NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
- Oh, the defence. The duo of Sutton/Potter get caught here after Horcoff wins a faceoff in the Oiler zone. Potter turns the puck over to Henrik, and the wheels are already turning. Daniel brings it around Dubnyk’s left side, and you have Burrows camped out in front. Goals scored in the last minute of a period are the worst, and here we are.
- Dubnyk finished with 22 saves on 26 shots. I’m sure he’d like to have Vancouver’s fourth goal back. Would be surprised if Khabibulin didn’t get the nod against the Predators on Monday. While I campaigned hard to have Dubnyk be the full-on number one over the offseason, it’s looking more and more like a 50/50 split until one netminder emerges. Look for Dubnyk to bounce back on Tuesday versus the Flames.
- Ales Hemsky’s shoulder doesn’t appear to have exploded, and that’s great news for both Ales Hemsky and Oiler fans. Dan Tencer tweets that Hemsky will likely miss a week or two. While missing a week or two of Ales Hemsky isn’t high on my list, I’m glad it isn’t four to six months.
- Darcy Hordichuk was forced to leave yesterday’s game after sustaining a knee injury. Hordichuk is predicted to be out anywhere from a week to a month. In some strange twist, Hordichuk was on the ice for five seconds before getting injured. This brings his total ice time in 3 games played to…four minutes and three seconds (thanks, Bruce!). Here’s hoping he gets at least that amount on the next game he plays in, for there’s no use dressing the guy if he isn’t going to play.
I have to admit, I didn’t feel bad about the game yesterday. Yes, the Oilers lost, but it wasn’t a disaster. RNH scores goals when the puck is near him. The defence needs some tuning (no surprise), but Ryan Whitney is slated to be back this week. Put some pieces together, and see what happens on Monday vs. the Predators.
It’s Ryan Smyth bobblehead night for the first 10,000 fans at Rexall Place. Get there early.
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