Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is laughing at those who thought he wasn't ready for the physicality of NHL.
It was another week of the revolving door of injuries. What is that supposed to mean? I’m really not sure, but it is exhausting to write about the same players going out or being out with injury. Exhausting and depressing. With Ryan Whitney once again out of the lineup due to a knee injury and Ales Hemsky still out with a sprained shoulder Oiler fans were glad that Sam Gagner did not miss Thursday’s game despite an ankle issue/injury in Tuesday night.
Now that the bad news is out of the way, the wonderful news for Edmonton is that the downtown arena is one step closer to being a reality. There are still many in Edmonton, Oiler fans included, who were not in favour of the deal agreed upon by the city council and the Katz group but councilors voted 10-3 in favour. Much to the disappointment of those in favour of the deal, ground was not broken immediately following the vote, or even the next morning but it will happen my friends. The new arena will house much more than the Oilers and Oil Kings, but will also be the centerpiece of a complex with shopping, restaurants and hopefully more downtown condos.
There was also the announcement, finally, on Friday during the noon hour that Nugent-Hopkins would be in Edmonton to stay. No one was surprised.
The Oilers did not make a formal decision before Ryan Nugent-Hopkins played his 9th NHL game, but really they didn’t need to. Leading the team in scoring and at a point per game pace, The Nuge has quieted most of his critics, certainly not all however.
Saturday night, the Oilers hosted the biannual game against the New York Rangers. Currently this Rangers team is without Sean Avery, but there are still a number of talented players on the Rangers. Somehow the Oilers took the win and Nikolai Khabibulin earned his first shutout of the year. Tuesday night, the Oilers hosted the Canucks in reverse sweater night and earned their second win in a row, beating the Nucks 3-2. Thursday night it was the Washington Capitals and Nugent-Hopkin’s ninth NHL game. Much to the surprise of many Oiler fans, the Capitals winning streak came to a halt with a 2-1 Oiler victory that came to be due to outstanding goaltending by Khabibulin and two power play goals.
Friday night saw the Oilers extend their winning streak to four! You read that right, the Oilers have now won a total of four games in a row with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
The WHL team has been named for the Subway Super Series and features Oiler prospect and Medicine Hat Tiger goaltender Tyler Bunz as well as Oil Kings captain Mark Pysyk. This tournament will be played against the Russians and is a key part of Team Canada's final decision on who mkaes the Wold Junior camp invites, and final team.
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