Last Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers announced that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had sustained a hand injury that would keep him out of the lineup for two games. Nugent-Hopkins missed the Oilers 4-2 victory against the Coyotes in Arizona as well as yesterday's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche in Colorado.
Earlier today, Dave Tippett announced more bad news regarding RNH's health. The 26 year old is set to miss more games after a medical procedure on his hand.
The Oilers are doing quite well so far this season. They currently sit atop the Pacific Division with a healthy record of 16 wins, 8 losses and 3 losses in extra time through 27 games. This is in large part thanks to the utter offensive domination of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl over their opponents. Draisaitl has the most points in the league at the moment with 16 goals and 48 points. McDavid is second with 18 goals and 47 points.
However, offensively speaking, the Oilers cannot rely solely on the prowess of McDavid and Draisaitl. Prior to his injury, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a healthy 5 goals and 16 points in 26 games played and was one of the key factors in assuring the offensive contribution when McDavid and Draisaitl weren't on the ice. His presence as the 2nd line pivot is sorely missed by the Oilers who rely on his consistency and his solid play.
Even though RNH had a procedure done on his hand, Tippett gave Oilers fans some hope as he explained that the centerman would be set to return to the lineup next week. According to the Oilers' head coach, Nugent-Hopkins will miss Edmonton's back-to-back home-and home matches against the Vancouver Canucks this weekend but should be available thereafter.
We wish RNH a speedy recovery and hope that he returns to the lineup promptly. In the meantime, Oilers fans will have to be a little bit more patient before seeing Nugent-Hopkins step back on the ice and Tippett will have to find a way to cope for his absence against the Canucks Saturday and Sunday.