January 3, 2012
Nugent-Hopkins out with shoulder injury
By DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
BUFFALO - The road trip could be over for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The Edmonton Oilers rookie had his left arm in a sling Tuesday after sustaining a shoulder injury the night before in Chicago.
Nugent-Hopkins suffered the injury after catching a rut on the ice and falling on his own in the first period of the Oilers 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Josh Green was called up from the Oklahoma City Barons to take his spot in the lineup Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.
“He wiped out,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “He said there wasn’t anyone around him and that he just caught an edge.
“He has a sore shoulder and until we get the medical information, I’d hate to speculate. He’s sore, he’s hurting he’s not going to play for the next couple of games for sure. It could go beyond that without a doubt.”
Nugent-Hopkins was not made available to the media Tuesday although he did travel with the team to Buffalo.
If it’s determined the rookie sensation won’t be able to play in any of the team’s remaining three road games, there’s a possibility he could return to Edmonton.
“He’s a gamer, he wants to play,” said Renney. “Our medical people have done a great job with our guys to date and I don’t think it’ll be any different with Nuge. We’ll do the right things, I can tell you that.
“I haven’t talked to (head athletic therapist) T.D. (Forss) yet and I have to talk to Tamby (GM Steve Tambellini) and see how it’s going. If he’s not likely to play on the rest of the trip we’ll have to entertain that (sending him home). If there’s a chance he can play, then we’ll keep him here.”
The Oilers will also be without defenceman Tom Gilbert against the Sabres.
Gilbert was driven into the boards by Blackhawks winger Daniel Carcillo on Monday and left the game with a knee injury.
“That’s another train wreck on the ice last night, but this was inflicted by the opponent,” Renney said. “He’s a little better today, although he is sore. He’s been able to put some weight on it. We’ll probably give him a light skate in the morning in St. Louis, see how he feels, get some feedback from him and take it from there.”
Gilbert has history with Carcillo. Three seasons ago as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, Carcillo hammered the Oilers defenceman into the boards from behind.
Monday night, history repeated itself.
“It was one of those plays where you just try to brace yourself,” Gilbert said. “It’s unfortunate the way I went into the boards.
“I knew who it was coming after me, I just have to be a little more aware of what kind of player is coming at you. He’s had hits like that before, so I think I probably should have taken a little better angle.”
Carcillo, who was also injured on the play, received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. It’s also possible he’ll be getting a call from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
Gilbert, meanwhile, was walking around Tuesday without too much discomfort.
“It’s a little sore today, I’m hoping tomorrow is going to feel a lot better,” Gilbert said. “When I hit the boards, I didn’t feel anything. It was when I was kind of getting up that it started to hurt. I saw a picture of it and I think I’m a little bit fortunate to come out of a minimal injury with that.”
As currently the Oilers top defenceman, Gilbert had been logging a team-high average of over 24 minutes per game this season.
He has three goals and 12 assists in 38 games on the year.
Due to the manner of the hit, Gilbert also feels fortunate he didn’t suffer a head injury on the play.
“Head injuries you don’t know how long you’ll be out,” he said. “Some could be worse than others, some you can come back right away. With other parts of the body, you know the amount of time you might be out and what to do with healing it. Fortunately for me, my head didn’t go in first.”