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Injury Update: Nikitin Gets MRI and Hendricks Rests

Updates on a couple of injured Oilers.

Derek Leung

A quick update from the Oilers this afternoon on the status of Nikita Nikitin and Matt Hendricks, both of whom were absent at practice this morning. With Nikitin it's a back issue, not an ankle as had been suggested previously, and Hendricks is just letting his body rest after being sent head first into the boards by P.K. Subban last night and then taking Alexei Emelin's elbow/forearm to the head later in the game.

If I had to put money on it I would expect to see Hendricks back in the lineup tomorrow when the Oilers host the Predators, I'm a little less confident about Nikitin joining him though. If there is a need for an MRI it seems, to me at last, that he's likely still a day or two away from returning to action. And if he's on the shelf that means more Brad Hunt in an Oilers jersey. Oh happy day.

I can't tell you what the coaching staff sees in Hunt. His point shot is nice but everything else that comes with it is not. He's clearly over his head at the NHL level and yet he continues to gt ice time; 18:26 last night (4th among Oilers defenders), the first time this season he's played less than 20 minutes. The only positive I see to having him in the lineup is that when he's paired with Justin Schultz that Schultz isn't the worst defender on the ice, beyond that I've got nothing. Maybe I'll figure it out tomorrow night. Then again, maybe not.