Kukla's Korner

Oil Patch

3 Games Down, 6 or 79 to Go

It’s a beautiful fall Sunday in Alberta. The sky is blue, the leaves have turned and gently float on the breeze and crunch under your feet. Oh, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored all of the Oilers goals last night.  Overall it seems like a great day to be an Oilers fan.

In three games with the club, Nugent-Hopkins has scored 4 goals. The first goal was in his very first NHL game, and in his third game, the young man goes and scores himself a hat-trick. These four goals came from a total of nine shots on net for a shooting percentage of 44.4. Not a bad start to an NHL career at all.


The interesting part is that Nugent-Hopkins has yet to score an NHL assist. This is not for lack of trying; it’s just that no one has been able to score off of a Nugent-Hopkins pass but Nugent-Hopkins always seems to be in the right place at the right time for rebounds.

The Oilers still have six more games in which to make a decision as to whether or not they will send Nugent-Hopkins back to the Red Deer Rebels. There were very few voices in June saying that Nugent-Hopkins will play the entire season in Edmonton. Now, the voices saying Nugent-Hopkins will be re-assigned seem to be quieted if not silenced.

When the argument arises about “burning a year of the entry level contract” all that can be said at this point is that we do not know what the next CBA will look like, and there is not much else that can be done. Nugent-Hopkins has the talent and skill, and has proven that he can take the speed and added challenges of the NHL game, to this point at least. True, faceoffs continue to be an issue, but practicing against Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger should help with that.

Sunday, Nugent-Hopkins answered questions about his hat-trick and the goal that might have actually been Taylor Hall’s. “I had no idea really, and I don’t think Taylor did either. Either way, we were both happy that the puck went in.” There was clearly discussion between the new kid line and Hall might feel that he missed out on his first goal of the season, but perhaps this past weekend will help Hall challenge himself more, if that is at all possible. When drafted by the Oilers, Hall was known to be quite the stats buff and competitor.



On the six remaining games in Nugent-Hopkins’ nine game tryout, “Right now I’m just focusing on Monday night. This morning I woke up and I just got to forget about last night to get focused to play my best tomorrow.”  A one game at a time attitude is both healthy and expected. Nugent-Hopkins is not known for long and descriptive responses. Perhaps like NHL faceoff wins, things will come with time.

Whether Nugent-Hopkins plays another 6 or 79, or any other number of games as an Oiler this season is not a certainty, that is one thing you have to expect as a hockey fan. One thing is certain, this is definitely not Nugent-Hopkins only season as an Oiler, this is the start of a very exciting NHL career.

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, | Oil Patch | Permalink



PLEASE kuklas corner, get rid of those rollover b-s ads like the one on top right now

Posted by Blades on 10/17/11 at 12:58 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Blades, you need to be a bit more specific.  Over 10,000 ads appear daily and it would help me if you tell me a little bit more about it.

This is not the place to do so, feel free to email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/17/11 at 01:46 AM ET


Seriously, TO review aside, it’s clear RNH did not score the third goal.  Look for a blaze of glory in the early season petering out to a pitzy end courtesy the fact that the Oilers have no defence.  One little 18 year old with two of his 19 year old friends can’t hold an NHL team together.  He ain’t Gretzyky, so someone should tell HNIC to stop with the schmarmy love ins, particularly when they’re actually interviewing a player from the opposing team (how awkward was that, really).

Posted by peanutflower on 10/17/11 at 11:28 AM ET


I can’t believe I spelled Gretzky incorrectly LOL

Posted by peanutflower on 10/17/11 at 11:29 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

But does it really matter if Nugent-Hopkins scored that third goal or just got the assist? Really?

Posted by Lisa Brown on 10/17/11 at 12:13 PM ET


Sure it does.  Saying that it doesn’t sort of negates the whole point of keeping statistics, no?  And it sure would have stopped the schmarmy HNIC love in about RNH being better than Gretzky.

Posted by peanutflower on 10/17/11 at 12:56 PM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

Alright, fair enough, I see what you’re getting at. I was trying to say that it doesn’t make RNH any less impressive if he got two goals and an assist or if he got three goals Saturday night.

Sadly, I still don’t rule the world, or run the NHL head office so I try to just sit back and not get worked up over things I don’t have any influence or control over.

I sure that there would have been just as much love from CBC though, this is low hanging fruit, and easy story for all of us.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 10/17/11 at 01:48 PM ET


I try to just sit back and not get worked up over things I don’t have any influence or control over.

You probably shouldn’t be on the internet then… smile

Posted by Garth on 10/17/11 at 05:34 PM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

I hear that a lot Garth…

Posted by Lisa Brown on 10/17/11 at 11:48 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Oil Patch

Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed here

Follow on Twitter @lisamcritchie

Or contact directly lisa.mcritchie@gmail.com