Fans have the better nickname for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “The Nuge” is the fan’s choice, a cool name once given to outdoorsman-rocker Ted Nugent and flies high above the usual hockey nicknames.
The player’s choice? Hoppy. HOPPY? Why don’t they just post a “kick me” sign on his back? Hoppy. Seriously?
Hoppy will play on a line with Smytty and Hemmer tonight, another feature role for the kid. I’ve been impressed with RNH, his overall game is far more advanced than the scouting reports had led us to believe. Ken Hitchcock pointed out his tremendous ability away from the puck–he’s going to be a turnover machine for opposition passes–but we need to wait and see how he does against full NHL lineups before the answer is sure.
Hemsky back is making his 2011 debut and is worth the price of admission (if you can’t make the game it’s being streamed on the Oilers site again). Dubynk’s SP is now .971 after the shutout and the top rookie scorers for this team are RNH and Taylor Fedun. Preseason scoring is here.