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Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

RNH likely to be ready for Thursday

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was noticeably absent from the Oilers’ first practice back in North America on Monday. In his place on the top line was extra forward Drake Caggiula, but Jason Gregor reports that Nugent-Hopkins is expected to be ready for Edmonton’s game against the Bruins in Boston on Thursday.

According to Gregor, Nugent-Hopkins is banged up, but the issue is minor and he shouldn’t miss any actual game action. This is good news, of course, because the top line is going to be key for the Oilers if they want to have a rebound after their ugly season opener showing. While the Oilers struggled on Saturday, the McNuggie line was one of the bright spots offensively. They were on the ice for 15 shot attempts for and 11 against, which was the best differential of any of the Oilers’ forward trios on the game.

That would also explain why Drake Caggiula was filling in on the top line at Edmonton’s practice Monday. Seeing Caggiula jump right from the press box to McDavid’s wing sent Oilers fans into a tizzy, but it made sense that the extra forward filled in that spot with Nugent-Hopkins’ expected absence to be short. Don’t expect Todd McLellan to jumble the lines too much at the beginning of the season.

    • Orm Nullman

      Ahh yeah …No. Having your eyeballs poked out would be much worse. Of course if you did get your eyeballs poked out you would never have to watch the Oilers play so poorly again which might compensate you for the pain suffered.

  • TruthHurts98

    “Don’t expect Todd McLellan to jumble the lines too much at the beginning of the season.” LMAO!!! TM was already line juggling in the first game. He’s not a good coach. And we have one of the worst GM’s in the league telling us fans to Stay the Course or some far fetched BS line like that. Oilers aren’t a playoff team plain and simple. Their D core just isn’t good enough. Not of that matters, the biggest issue: Getting the players to give a rip and actually put in a solid effort most nights. #DOD 2.0

    • percy

      I wouldn’t say he is a bad coach, he is just not the right coach for this team. Having a few seasoned vets on the team to help build the rookies coming in would have been nice. No foundation on this team.

    • OriginalPouzar

      Sure:

      1) Nuge was a bit banged up and given a maintenance day but fully expected to practice later in the week and play

      2) Caggulia is not currently on a specific line and is the extra forward

      3) In order to keep the other 3 lines together at practice, the extra forward, Drake Caggulia, takes Nuge’s spot for practice so there is as little disruption to the lines as possible

      4) there is no intent to play Caggulia on the 1st line during the game against Boston

      • Rufio Barcoli

        If game day came and Nuge wasnt ready, then what?
        Who would play up on the first line? Drake or a player that hasn’t practiced with McDavid and Rattie?
        Wouldn’t it make sense to use the opportunity to disrupt the lines and see what develops?
        It just doesn’t make sense to me.

        • abbeef

          If they knew it was minor and were just giving him a little extra healing time (which is what it seems like) then your scenario isn’t relevant to this particular situation.

  • Coach Rick

    I am soooooo tired of being dismissed as negative towards the Oilers. I can live with many things when it comes to my 80K investment in my Oiler tickets for this season. What I cannot stand is being called negative towards the performance of this squad. If If If the effort matched New Jersey, the speed matched and the intensity was there…….I can live with a loss. Without those three things sit back and listen to my whining,,,,,the team deserves it.

    OUT!