The hockey Gods have a lawn and, at some point, apparently somebody associated with the Edmonton Oilers stopped, dropped their pants and took a big, hearty, steaming dump on it.

I’m not sure how else you can explain a string of bad luck for the Oilers that now includes the loss of centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for anywhere between six and eight weeks with a hand injury suffered when he blocked a shot in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday.

Already leading the NHL in man-games lost due to injury – a stretch through 47 games that has seen the team forced to get along without Jordan Eberle, Connor McDavid, Oscar Klefbom and Nail Yakupov for extended periods – Nugent-Hopkins has returned to Edmonton. Coach Todd McLellan says the injury will keep RNH out “long term”, even if he doesn’t need surgery.

If there’s any semblance of a silver lining to the latest bad break for this outfit, it’s that the Oilers haven’t lost their minds and decided to accelerate the return of McDavid to fill the void. As previously announced, McDavid isn’t scheduled to return from his busted clavicle until after the ASG, and McLellan reiterated that today. Thank goodness for small mercies.



With the Oilers somehow hanging around in the Western Conference playoff picture with a 19-23-5 record for 43 points heading into Tampa Bay tonight, I understand the buzz about the possibility of an early return by McDavid we read last night after RNH went down.

From Jim Matheson of The Journal: “Centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the latest through the revolving door to the infirmary and will be out for weeks, not days, after he suffered a suspected broken hand when hit by a puck while killing a penalty early in the second period Monday night.

“Now the question is this: should the Oilers hang tough with their decision to keep Connor McDavid out of the lineup until Feb. 2, after the all-star break, to give him more time to recover from his 2-1/2 month old collarbone injury?” 

McLellan answered that question (and Matheson did a follow-up stating as such) this morning – while McDavid is with the team and skating, the Oilers will stick with their plan to keep him out until after the ASG. McDavid has already missed 34 games. “He’s not ready. He’s at risk of getting hurt,” said McLellan. And that’s that.

With Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid out of the picture, the Oilers are expected go with Leon Draisaitl, Mark Letestu, Matt Hendricks and Anton Lander at centre against the Lightning. Edmonton’s mounting injury totals include Eberle (13 games), McDavid (34 games and counting), Yakupov (22 games) and Klefbom (17 games so far).

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


  • Randaman

    Not that I don’t like Hendricks but wouldn’t it be smarter to slot Lander in between Ebs & Pou? Might get him going and allow Hendricks to play his normal game without adding the pressure of adding offence?


    • stonedtodeath61

      Management likes having some sandpaper to open room. I have only seen the Oil on a night in and night out basis this year so I have a limited opinion but I get having Hendricks in the middle of that line. Dria is a bull (reminds me a lot of a young Hossa} and Kassian provides that to the third line. JMO.

  • Randaman

    “The hockey Gods have a lawn and, at some point, apparently somebody associated with the Edmonton Oilers stopped, dropped their pants and took a big, hearty, steaming dump on it.”

    That would’ve been Kevin Lowe

  • Randaman

    Let’s see
    Hall -shoulder surgery
    – injures ankle in a fight
    -40+ stitches to face after being stepped on by a team mate in warm ups

    Nuge- catches a rut, hits the boards, needs shoulder surgery
    -breaks hand blocking a shot

    Yak – sprains ankle after being taken out by an official

    McDavid – broken clavicle( but hey, it wasn’t even close to the weirdest of the injuries)

    Eberle – injured shoulder missed weeks

    Klefbom – missing weeks because of an infection

    Hendricks – temporary blindness after taking a puck to the eye

    What else am I missing? I’m sure someone had Black Death or polio too FFS

    Screw u hockey gods, WE WANT NICE THINGS

  • No one on this site will live long enough to see Oilers win another Stanley Cup

    WHAT? The world is going to blow up in the next few years!!!!! Thanks for the warning oh wise one!!! I guess LA and the Hawks will be the last two teams to ever win the cup before we are all extinct!!!

    How did you know this?

    @Dark…dont trust the Calenders…follow your instincts….theres time to prepare to Ride the Dragon ….but short time indeed.Put it his way NAS “could ” have made it a decade of dominance .You might wish to think of NAS being in a state of urgently forced early retirement.

    These are the freakiest posts ever on ON….because they are dialed in,in some warped way.

    There is no time to discuss biological neuro-photogenic organic symbiosis with the time/space continuim theory here and now,to bad huh?….lol.

    Lets just say that if the Kings win this year …well….lol..you may be right.

  • Jay (not J)

    Now I’m really afraid of McDavid coming back……..with all the injuries we have had, it’s hard to believe this will not happen again.

    We have never had this much bad luck and I suspect there are more to come……..we need a priest to perform some sort of excorcism and soon!

  • Speed Junky

    with nuge gone..

    the oil should bring in some depth at centre via trade. there is got to be some useful nhl calibre 2nd or 3rd line centre available.

    why risk going with what we have?

    some insurance might make this team competitive till the team tries to get healthy