Remember last week when I announced that Nuge would be returning immediately after the bye-week and then minutes after writing the article the Oilers placed him on the IR? Good times.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkin’s injury may go down as the most confusing injury of all times. The past week has been a roller coaster ride as I tried to figure out what exactly is wrong with him and how long he’ll be back. Let’s recap:
- January 13th – Nuge takes a hard hit from Brayden McNabb in Las Vegas and leaves the game early. Later that night Todd McLellan announced that he will take the bye-week to recover and will likely return the following Saturday
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 14, 2018
- January 14th – Ryan Rishaug announces that Nuge has passed the concussion tests and his bruising should heal by the end of the week.
No concussion concerns for RNH, sounds like some bruising that should resolve itself by the end of the bye week.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 14, 2018
- January 15th – I won my beer league hockey game in a thrilling 6-5 victory racking up 0 points.
Beer league hockey is essentially just complaining to each other how dull your skates are and then going home to 4 hours of sleep.
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) September 24, 2017
- January 18th – Nuge is placed on the IR with a bruised sternum. Bruised sternum? That’s an odd injury but I suppose I’ll buy into it. I mean, I guess he could have been hit so dang hard that his sternum took some impact, alright! Sucks he’s on the IR. I’m sure it’s just cause he needs like one extra game off. He’ll probably be back in seven days after his Injury Reserve minimum time is up.
RNH has a bruised sternum. Not a serious problem
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) January 18, 2018
- January 19th – BAM! The news hits, our souls are crushed, and I cried for three days after this. From out of left field, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins now has cracked ribs and will be out for 5-6 weeks. Did they JUST find the cracked ribs? Did they know from the beginning and not tell us? How did this become the best kept secret in Oilers injury history?
RNH will be out 5-6 weeks.
— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) January 19, 2018
Not only can Nuge not finish the amazing season he was having, but he also didn’t get to do anything cool on the bye-week! I never saw Nuge in any Connor McBirthday party photos either. That poor kid. This means that Nuge will likely be returning at the end of February/first week of March. And that means that there will really only be like 5 games left of the season. Broken ribs have to be the worst. He literally won’t be able to do anything fun during those five weeks because you can’t do anything with broken ribs! The only thing I can think of is play Xbox and grocery shop.
It’s definitely a common theme for non-playoff teams to get injured later in the season. Your bodies are tired, mentally you’re just not into it and injuries are probably more likely to happen. If I could send him a message I would tell him I hope he’s enjoying his rest while the ribs heal back, and I hope he remembers to rub Polysporin on them every day.
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) January 24, 2018
Fortunately, the Oilers don’t have any other players on the IR… but I”m sure a lot of fans would say it wouldn’t make a difference right now anyways.