RNH: HELP IS ON THE WAY

Robin Brownlee
October 03 2013 10:31PM

Having spent not one minute in medical school, you can pass off what my eyes are telling me as rank speculation, but I'd be surprised beyond words if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn't ready to play when the Edmonton Oilers open a six-game road trip in Toronto Oct. 12.

It's entirely possible, as I suggested today on Twitter, that Nugent-Hopkins and his surgically repaired shoulder will be medically cleared before then and he could see action as early as Monday against New Jersey, although a return Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens at Rexall Place seems a more likely bet.

There hasn’t been one word regarding a definite return date from Nugent-Hopkins, coach Dallas Eakins or Edmonton's medical staff, but after RNH took a skate today that included full contact on the ice – he's been taking controlled contact off the ice for a couple of weeks – it looks from where I sit like fans are about to get some good news.

Am I being too optimistic in pegging RNH's return by the start of the road trip? Maybe, but I don't think so based on similar cases and what I've seen over years watching the Oilers rehab players who are coming back from the same type of shoulder surgery RNH had last April.

SOON ENOUGH . . .

While neither RNH nor Eakins offered up anything concrete today, and a return date could be a moving target based on how the shoulder reacts to stepped up contact, I'm confident No. 93 will be back, as I've written before, closer to Oct. 1 than Nov. 1. The question now is how much closer? Mark me down for Oct. 10.

"We’ve been trying to bring him along slowly but he’s been active in some drills. Maybe not as active," Eakins said today.

"The other thing that happens in practice, too, is that because he’s been a part of our group every day, the other players forget. They don’t think, 'Hey, maybe not so hard on him,' but the guys were competing pretty hard and he was right in the middle of it today.”

If Nugent-Hopkins can stay in "the middle of it" for another week without any pain or swelling, and with Sam Gagner already skating with a full face-shield on to protect his busted jaw, there is reason for optimism – timely, after watching the Oilers cough up a two-goal lead in a 5-4 loss to Winnipeg on opening night.

My guess is you'll get the first half of any news regarding RNH and Gagner by the time the Habs come calling Thursday. Stay tuned.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Fatbob24
October 03 2013, 10:37PM
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Woo-hoo!!! Now all we need is an app to plan the route!

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#2 nWo4life
October 04 2013, 06:17AM
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Cowbell_Feva wrote:

Sorry Quicksilver, I don't often see Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Ovechkin flip the puck cross ice and have a rookie defenseman in his first NHL game read it like the cover of a book and then tie the game on the same play. That or stick handle into 3 players from the other team and have it poked off their stick and score on that turnover as well.

They are busy putting puck in net on the opposition, not turning it over! The best players in the game aren't known for turnovers, they are known for scoring and playing a 200 ft. game. Hall has amazing physical skills, but doesn't compare when it comes to thinking the game like the top guys. That is why he gets leveled on a near nightly basis by guys named Andrew Alberts. He's not in that category.

He scored a lot in an abbreviated season last year. Let's not jump to conclusions and add him to the exclusive club just yet.

Agree 100%.

Hall frequently needs to be reminded he isn't playing in the OHL anymore.

If he doesn't learn to think the game better, he will be a plugger by age 28 when his raw physical talent starts to decline. That is if injuries don't get him first.

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#3 k
October 04 2013, 01:08PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

If you find yourself fixating on Hall's turnovers, you're overthinking the situation.

While Hall needs to work on reducing turnovers in his game, just as every player should, those turnovers are a product of puck possession and his attempt to make plays. That should be obvious.

I'll take a player with Hall's point production and ability to create plays and drive the attack who turns it over once in awhile ahead of a safe player who never gives it away but produces nothing any day.

Yup, that Lindy Ruff character is a real over-thinker.

RNH has greater puck possession minutes than Hall per game and has spent less then half the playing time in the NHL.All Hopkins does is make intelligent plays.

Until Hall takes full responsibility and works on protecting the puck he will be this type of player is entire career.

Hall doesn't need anymore enabler's.

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#4 k
October 04 2013, 06:41PM
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It matters not whether Nuge returns Oct 10th or Nov 10th because the Oilers are not close to being a playoff team. They simply have too many holes throughout their lineup.

4 years into the re-build and we have Ryan Smyth on the 1st line, we have named no less than 6 alternate captains and the coach believed there were others that were deserving, that almost had me throwing up in my mouth.

For a team that has played as soft as the Oilers over the past number of years one of their biggest problems is they don’t have an identity, they often play with fear and fold-up quicker than a cheap polyester suit when the going gets tough.

The culture that has existed in that locker room is toxic and as long as some of the core veterans remain I’m afraid that we’ll stay on the periphery despite drafting 1st overall three years running.

Many here at Oiler Nation believe that because they have been able to draft top prospects that other prospects and quality NHL players would be jumping at the opportunity to come aboard. That my friends isn’t going to happen very often, Schultz signed but others will simply move on to other teams.

It’s a little discerning when Jesse Joensuu is the best Oiler forward on opening night. The Oilers will probably finish ahead of the Flames in their division but not by much. MacT simply couldn’t get enough deals done, We are the worst run organization in hockey today, sorry Florida.

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#5 k
October 04 2013, 07:27PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

In your first paragraph you state that it doesn't matter RNH returns, because the oilers have too many holes. (a symptom of RNH's injury)

Second paragraph you raise concerns about Smyth being on the first line. (another symptom of RNH's injury)

My question is if the symptoms of RNH's injury is too many holes in the lineup and having Ryan Smyth play 1st line minutes how does it not matter when he returns.

You really don't think the oilers will greatly benefit from having the Nuge back?

Nuge is their best player and make no mistake about that. But he isn’t going to make them a contender because he had surgery on his shoulder. It’s the lack of depth that allows for a Ryan Smyth to be awarded 1st line minutes.

I spoke out often against Smyth returning to the Oilers three years ago, the experiment has been a disaster on all levels.

If you’re a prospect or a quality NHL’er would you sign with the Oilers? Most wouldn’t/don’t – have you ever wondered why not

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#6 rob
October 04 2013, 01:58PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Indications that RNH was progressing well ahead of schedule have been there for a long time -- since he was seen firing the puck with a lot of mustard on it several weeks ago. Jim Matheson of the Journal commented on it at the time, as did I.

Follow that up with bits and pieces and reports from guys like Bob Stauffer and Jason Gregor, who are at the rink all the time and have watched the recovery first-hand, and the timetable of RNH's return wasn't all that difficult to call.

hey Robin,now that RNh is coming back,if you were the coach(I know we all try to be armchair gm/coach)would you scrammble the lines a bit and get jousnuu with hall,gadzik with Rnh and have mabey brown on fouth,i know this seems dumb but I would love to see the oil have some toughness on all the lines?

hemsky-hall-jousnuu eberle-rnh-gadzick perron-gordon-yaks smyth-arcs-brown

Just some toughness through the line up-do you think this would help or hurt?

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#7 gongshow
October 04 2013, 03:03AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Nobody turns the puck over more than the Crosbys, Malkins, Datsyuks and the Ovechkins of the hockey world.

Welcome to this exclusive club Taylor Hall.

Yup.

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#8 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 04 2013, 02:33AM
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Racki wrote:

Agree with RB... turnovers aren't new to Hall's game. I think he cleaned them up pretty well last year. Every player can have bad games. He likely got a bit overconfident as well as tried to do too much. I don't see that as an issue in game #1. Work those kinks out now.

For the most part, Hall looked quite good in the pre-season at center. I think he's his own worst critic, so you can bet he knows he goofed up too much that game and should play a lot better on Saturday (if the Canucks aren't successful in decapitating him early on).

Nobody turns the puck over more than the Crosbys, Malkins, Datsyuks and the Ovechkins of the hockey world.

Welcome to this exclusive club Taylor Hall.

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#9 Craig1981
October 03 2013, 10:52PM
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Brownlee.

Do you think Hall is getting moved to the Wing or Arcobello gets sent down?

I used to think Arcobello, but Halls giveaways, Smyth's lack of speed, and Arcobello's chances make me think its a tough call

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#10 Klima's Mullet
October 03 2013, 10:57PM
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Hall-Nuge-Yakupov, Perron-Arcobello-Eberle, Joensuu-Gordon-Hemsky, Gazdic/Smyth-Acton-Brown

i hope this is what happens when Nuge returns

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#11 Cowbell_Feva
October 04 2013, 03:59AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Sorry Quicksilver, I don't often see Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Ovechkin flip the puck cross ice and have a rookie defenseman in his first NHL game read it like the cover of a book and then tie the game on the same play. That or stick handle into 3 players from the other team and have it poked off their stick and score on that turnover as well.

They are busy putting puck in net on the opposition, not turning it over! The best players in the game aren't known for turnovers, they are known for scoring and playing a 200 ft. game. Hall has amazing physical skills, but doesn't compare when it comes to thinking the game like the top guys. That is why he gets leveled on a near nightly basis by guys named Andrew Alberts. He's not in that category.

He scored a lot in an abbreviated season last year. Let's not jump to conclusions and add him to the exclusive club just yet.

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#13 k
October 04 2013, 08:12PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You want attention so badly that even negative reaction to comments you make -- and they're obviously intended to garner exactly that -- will do?

"It matters not whether Nuge returns Oct 10th or Nov 10th because the Oilers are not close to being a playoff team."

" . . . that almost had me throwing up in my mouth."

" . . . they often play with fear and fold-up quicker than a cheap polyester suit when the going gets tough."

"That my friends isn’t going to happen very often, Schultz signed but others will simply move on to other teams."

Your premise that the return of RNH doesn't matter tells me you are either remarkably clueless or desperately seeking attention. My guess is the latter.

You want attention;

There are 7 teams in our division, if the Oilers finish any higher then 6th I will never post again on this site.

If the Oilers however do finish either 6th or 7th in this division you will install a new windshield free of charge, no questions asked.

Never once did I imply that Nuge doesn’t matter, what I actually said is he’s the Oilers best player.

You wanna be a tough guy, put up or shut up.

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#14 The Last Big Bear
October 04 2013, 09:23PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

The fact that you mentioned the Flames in your plea for attention and your blatant ignorance of Oilers hockey makes me wonder if you're a Flames fan trolling the blogs.

Hold on, there...

*I'M* a Flames fan trolling these blogs.

^That^ guy is just an idiot.

And as mentioned in previous discussions on the topic, I am also a medical doctor who is at least passingly familiar with shoulder stabilization surgeries. And my prediction was that RNH's shoulder would be ready to start the season, but the player himself would not be. And I believe my prediction stands up well to the facts so far.

Of course RNH returning is crucial for the Oilers. But I still think the Flames and Oilers finish neck-and-neck out of the playoff picture.

There are 25 minutes each game where the Oilers should have a set of 1st pairing defensive studs out there, but they don't because those players are not on the roster. That's not something you can fake, or wave away by talking about 'committees'.

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#16 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 04 2013, 07:26AM
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Cowbell_Feva wrote:

Sorry Quicksilver, I don't often see Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Ovechkin flip the puck cross ice and have a rookie defenseman in his first NHL game read it like the cover of a book and then tie the game on the same play. That or stick handle into 3 players from the other team and have it poked off their stick and score on that turnover as well.

They are busy putting puck in net on the opposition, not turning it over! The best players in the game aren't known for turnovers, they are known for scoring and playing a 200 ft. game. Hall has amazing physical skills, but doesn't compare when it comes to thinking the game like the top guys. That is why he gets leveled on a near nightly basis by guys named Andrew Alberts. He's not in that category.

He scored a lot in an abbreviated season last year. Let's not jump to conclusions and add him to the exclusive club just yet.

You're not following the recently implemented Kool-Aid code Cowbell. 4 pts for Taylor tomorrow. Very Crosby'ish.

Have a good weekend sir.

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#17 Scott in Grande Prairie
October 04 2013, 01:09PM
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Hat-tip to you, Robin, along with Jim Matheson.

If I'm not mistaken, both of you suggested that RNH looked like he'd be back earlier than the "mid-to-late-November" timeframe we were hearing/reading from the media down east. I recall a Tweet from Matheson saying that the puck looked like it was firing off of RNH's stick with some extra snap.

It's funny reading the reports from TSN/Sportsnet/other Toronto media today "breaking" this story when you guys definitely had it a day or so into training camp. Kudos.

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#18 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
October 04 2013, 09:09AM
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Am I the only one who's concerned that they may be rushing Nuge back? The team needs him, center depth is clearly atrocious, but I'd rather watch the Oilers eat dirt for the entire month of October and then enjoy a fully-rehabbed RNH for the rest of the season then watch Nuge come back a couple games early if he's not 100% (both with his shoulder and conditioning/confidence).

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#19 Tfreds77
October 04 2013, 10:01AM
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I'd love to see Hall and RNH as the top 2 centers going forward. Gagner's physical deficiencies could be masked so much better on the wing. Hall can have a greater impact on the game when he learns the center ice position. We would then have our 2 best players in the most important position. Every solid team has 2 great centers (Crosby Malkin, Bergeron Kreicji, Sedin Kesler, Thornton Couture) and this would put the Oilers in that conversation going forward.

I'd like to see the lines look like this.

Joensuu Hall Eberle Gagner RNH Perron Yakupov Gordon Hemsky Smyth/Gazdic Acton Brown

Ference J.Schultz Smid Petry Belov N. Schultz

We would have 3 scoring lines, and when Yak becomes a little more reliable we could move him up the depth chart as we see fit (Joensuu down). Because he's the X factor in the lineup.

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#20 Avatarget
October 04 2013, 06:54PM
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Just to throw another thought out there...have the Oilers ever given much thought to trying Eberle out at center. He is a bit smallish for the corner work a winger needs to do and he is certainly a good enough playmaker to do the job. It just seems to me he might be better suited skillwise to make the transition from the wing to center than Hall is. I have never heard anyone discuss this possibilty and am curious what the Nation thinks of it.

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#21 YFC Prez
October 04 2013, 06:55PM
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@k

In your first paragraph you state that it doesn't matter RNH returns, because the oilers have too many holes. (a symptom of RNH's injury)

Second paragraph you raise concerns about Smyth being on the first line. (another symptom of RNH's injury)

My question is if the symptoms of RNH's injury is too many holes in the lineup and having Ryan Smyth play 1st line minutes how does it not matter when he returns.

You really don't think the oilers will greatly benefit from having the Nuge back?

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#22 Tom
October 04 2013, 07:58PM
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k wrote:

It matters not whether Nuge returns Oct 10th or Nov 10th because the Oilers are not close to being a playoff team. They simply have too many holes throughout their lineup.

4 years into the re-build and we have Ryan Smyth on the 1st line, we have named no less than 6 alternate captains and the coach believed there were others that were deserving, that almost had me throwing up in my mouth.

For a team that has played as soft as the Oilers over the past number of years one of their biggest problems is they don’t have an identity, they often play with fear and fold-up quicker than a cheap polyester suit when the going gets tough.

The culture that has existed in that locker room is toxic and as long as some of the core veterans remain I’m afraid that we’ll stay on the periphery despite drafting 1st overall three years running.

Many here at Oiler Nation believe that because they have been able to draft top prospects that other prospects and quality NHL players would be jumping at the opportunity to come aboard. That my friends isn’t going to happen very often, Schultz signed but others will simply move on to other teams.

It’s a little discerning when Jesse Joensuu is the best Oiler forward on opening night. The Oilers will probably finish ahead of the Flames in their division but not by much. MacT simply couldn’t get enough deals done, We are the worst run organization in hockey today, sorry Florida.

You're an idiot.

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#23 Jay Gray
October 03 2013, 10:44PM
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I'm gonna wear my Nuge For Mayor shirt for all 79 games he plays this regular season.

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#24 Racki
October 03 2013, 10:46PM
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Good timing to come back. Maybe not so much against Toronto... but from Monday 14th on, there will be quite a few games that I figure probably won't be very physical. At least, I don't think they will. You never know. But Capitals, Pens, Islanders, Sens, Habs, Capitals, Coyotes... should be fairly good couple of weeks for him to ease back in without getting bowled over every shift.

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#26 Spydyr
October 04 2013, 09:55AM
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Cowbell_Feva wrote:

Sorry Quicksilver, I don't often see Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Ovechkin flip the puck cross ice and have a rookie defenseman in his first NHL game read it like the cover of a book and then tie the game on the same play. That or stick handle into 3 players from the other team and have it poked off their stick and score on that turnover as well.

They are busy putting puck in net on the opposition, not turning it over! The best players in the game aren't known for turnovers, they are known for scoring and playing a 200 ft. game. Hall has amazing physical skills, but doesn't compare when it comes to thinking the game like the top guys. That is why he gets leveled on a near nightly basis by guys named Andrew Alberts. He's not in that category.

He scored a lot in an abbreviated season last year. Let's not jump to conclusions and add him to the exclusive club just yet.

Hall still has a lot or junior hockey in his game.He is still learning the pro game.Once he does look out.

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#27 Donnybrook
October 04 2013, 10:22AM
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The reason for Hall's turnover is that he was trying to hard to compensate with playing with only one other player on his line. He threw the puck into the middle where a competent winger would normally have been, but Ryan Smyth was still sucking air trying to get past the face off dot in his own end.

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#28 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 04 2013, 10:27AM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Am I the only one who's concerned that they may be rushing Nuge back? The team needs him, center depth is clearly atrocious, but I'd rather watch the Oilers eat dirt for the entire month of October and then enjoy a fully-rehabbed RNH for the rest of the season then watch Nuge come back a couple games early if he's not 100% (both with his shoulder and conditioning/confidence).

Fear not Brass

With Luke Gazdilla at his side, Ryan will be virtually unbreakable. Fear the beard, or even the dapper moustache. The Oilers have their own version of the Legion of Doom line in Eager/Gazdic/Brown. It matters not whom plays center. Eager would be free to be the finesse player on that line. When he's back from his OKC vacation that is. Relax....i have this all worked out people.

Now if we can just get Eakins to start smashing some sticks over the boards, this out of control temperament would be complete.

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#29 csaw84
October 04 2013, 12:49PM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

@Robin Brownlee @Craig1981

I didn't mean to suggest that I have more invested in RNH's health than the team, I just always get concerned when a team has a glaring hole at a position and a player at said position is coming back from injury.

The player almost always wants to play ASAP, the team wants him back, so they put him back in the lineup as soon as it's acceptable to do so.

I would prefer the scenario of having the player "over-ripe" in their rehab, just as I prefer the scenario of having players "over-ripe" in their development before they join the big club.

In my opinion, this approach is more beneficial to the player's strength, confidence and conditioning...

I'm pretty sure the glaring hole at center will exist as much in March as it does today. Most media types are also commenting that Nuge's shot looks heavier and he is looking really sharp in practice.....maybe he is over-ripe.

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#30 geoilersgist
October 04 2013, 02:42PM
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Sweet baby NUGE is coming back

#SQUEEEEE

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#31 Dan 1919
October 04 2013, 03:40PM
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rob wrote:

hey Robin,now that RNh is coming back,if you were the coach(I know we all try to be armchair gm/coach)would you scrammble the lines a bit and get jousnuu with hall,gadzik with Rnh and have mabey brown on fouth,i know this seems dumb but I would love to see the oil have some toughness on all the lines?

hemsky-hall-jousnuu eberle-rnh-gadzick perron-gordon-yaks smyth-arcs-brown

Just some toughness through the line up-do you think this would help or hurt?

Unless Hall has a stand-out game positionally speaking against Van tomorrow, he will go back to left wing as the Oilers don't have enough depth there and aren't gaining enough to leave him at centre.

That means when the musical chairs are done, Gazdic, Smyth or Brown will be scratched. As of last game it should be Smyth, but it will likely be Brown or Gazdic.

(Hall, RNH, Hemsky) (Perron, Arco, Ebs) (JJ, Gordon, Yak) (Gazdic/Smyth, Acton, Brown)

Unless they're on a mission to have RNH and Hall as their long term centres. Then Arcobello and Acton are battling for a spot... (Smyth, Hall, Hemsky) (Perron, RNH, Ebs) (JJ, Arco, Yak) (Gaz, Gordon, Brown)

It will be interesting to see what happens with Smyth because if he puts on a dido performance of the opener, it will be hard to justify scratching someone else to keep him dressed as Gazdic and Brown both played an excellent 4th line roll. Based on my guesses, Smyth should hope Hall stays centre.

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#33 #ThereGoesTheOilers
October 03 2013, 10:49PM
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There might just be a silver lining on those October storm clouds afterall. Good news.

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#34 OIL or NOTHING
October 03 2013, 11:20PM
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My birthday is on Oct.10 and the only thing I'm wishing for is the return of a healthy baby Nuge to the line-up.

His return is my only hope to having bragging rights against my die-hard Habs roomate and die-hard Leafs roomate!

GO NUUUUUGE ! I missed yah man !

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#35 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 03 2013, 11:22PM
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Ease him in. PP time and soft parade his first few games. That alone will take a huge load off the roster.

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#36 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 04 2013, 02:24AM
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Hoping for the best when Hopkins returns. He'll experience a whole new level of competitiveness when he returns to the Oilers lineup. There's a significant difference between his team mates gently rubbing him out of the play in practice, and opposition players trying to take his head off upon his return to the lineup.

God Speed Nuge, head on a swivel.

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#37 seanjohn667
October 04 2013, 05:33AM
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Klima's Mullet wrote:

Hall-Nuge-Yakupov, Perron-Arcobello-Eberle, Joensuu-Gordon-Hemsky, Gazdic/Smyth-Acton-Brown

i hope this is what happens when Nuge returns

I think this is the surest bet to wins. If Hall looks good at C tomorrow and Monday, maybe you leave him there a little longer, but your lineup is probably the strongest.

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#38 seanjohn667
October 04 2013, 05:39AM
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RJ wrote:

I'm not a doctor either, so I don't know what an acceptable recovery time should be. But the team has 42 million reasons to take their time with his recovery. If the team finishes in 9th, and Nuge is healthy for the rest of the season, then aren't they better off long-term by waiting an extra week or two, especially if they play a lot of meaningful games late in the season trying to get in? Is that too practical?

sure it is. but what if he is 100% right now? in two weeks he won't be 110%.

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#39 Ray
October 04 2013, 05:43AM
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@Klima's Mullet

Totally agree! This is exactly the way the line-up should look like!

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#40 OilCanFan
October 04 2013, 07:42AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

If it was up to me, I'd play Hall and RNH at centre until Gagner gets back. Eakins has at least two more games to contemplate what he'll do.

Let's not be too quick to yank Hall out of the middle. He's learning the position and he's going to give away the puck no matter what position he plays because he tries to make plays.

I agree to this as well, Hall is learning and we'll probably have a few more injuries this season so might as well get some depth.

On another note, all those Schneider fans, how about that game last night? Three goals on 21 shots for a .857 SV%.

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#42 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
October 04 2013, 09:42AM
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@Robin Brownlee @Craig1981

I didn't mean to suggest that I have more invested in RNH's health than the team, I just always get concerned when a team has a glaring hole at a position and a player at said position is coming back from injury.

The player almost always wants to play ASAP, the team wants him back, so they put him back in the lineup as soon as it's acceptable to do so.

I would prefer the scenario of having the player "over-ripe" in their rehab, just as I prefer the scenario of having players "over-ripe" in their development before they join the big club.

In my opinion, this approach is more beneficial to the player's strength, confidence and conditioning...

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#43 Tim in Kelowna
October 04 2013, 09:46AM
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With this injury you have make damn sure it's strong enough to hold up. Even if he is medically cleared to play I would keep him out of the lineup for another week or two. This player is far too important to this team to rush him back, and I hope Gagner's injury isn't a factor in RNH's return date.

The Oilers need to get this right.

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#44 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
October 04 2013, 09:53AM
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@Tim in Kelowna

My sentiments exactly.

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#45 Tom
October 04 2013, 10:54AM
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Donnybrook wrote:

The reason for Hall's turnover is that he was trying to hard to compensate with playing with only one other player on his line. He threw the puck into the middle where a competent winger would normally have been, but Ryan Smyth was still sucking air trying to get past the face off dot in his own end.

Don't just make stuff up. Makes you look stupid. It was a labeled pass and Smyth was actually close to where the puck was going if it had not been picked off.

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#46 Walter Sobchak
October 04 2013, 11:13AM
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Cowbell_Feva wrote:

Sorry Quicksilver, I don't often see Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Ovechkin flip the puck cross ice and have a rookie defenseman in his first NHL game read it like the cover of a book and then tie the game on the same play. That or stick handle into 3 players from the other team and have it poked off their stick and score on that turnover as well.

They are busy putting puck in net on the opposition, not turning it over! The best players in the game aren't known for turnovers, they are known for scoring and playing a 200 ft. game. Hall has amazing physical skills, but doesn't compare when it comes to thinking the game like the top guys. That is why he gets leveled on a near nightly basis by guys named Andrew Alberts. He's not in that category.

He scored a lot in an abbreviated season last year. Let's not jump to conclusions and add him to the exclusive club just yet.

Not to jump in on your conversation and I’m not disagreeing with you, but how much was that Halls fault and how much of that was just a bad goal?

I would prefer that Hall at least try to continue being offensive minded.

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#47 Spydyr
October 04 2013, 12:24PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

As per Oilers Twitter feed: RNH has been medically cleared to play and is expected to be in the line-up against New Jersey Monday.

OH YAH!!!

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#49 Dan 1919
October 04 2013, 09:05PM
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@k

The fact that you mentioned the Flames in your plea for attention and your blatant ignorance of Oilers hockey makes me wonder if you're a Flames fan trolling the blogs.

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#50 Don W
October 04 2013, 09:51PM
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When Nuge comes back Arcobello will sit and Hall will keep playing centre until Gagner is back. I would like to see Perron with Hall and Hemsky and Smyth with Nuge and Ebs. I think it would be a better fit.

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