Posted October 06, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
The thought that the Edmonton Oilers still have work to do in their rebuilding process hasn't gone away through two games this season.
Getting one of their best young players back on the ice earlier than expected might help them start to shake that label.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes his season debut Monday night against the visiting New Jersey Devils as the Oilers take a third crack at earning their first win of the season.
The Oilers (0-2-0) have built an impressive collection of young talent, but they've struggled to keep the puck out of the net by allowing 11 goals thus far.
Perhaps the return of Nugent-Hopkins will provide a boost after the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft missed the first two games while recovering from April shoulder surgery. The 20-year-old center was expected to be out until November.
"I'm feeling really good," Nugent-Hopkins told the team's official website. "The healing is done and my strength is up where it needs to be. Those were the two biggest things. Obviously I needed to get some contact in and I've had a couple weeks of that now. Everything is going really good."
The Oilers led early in Saturday night's 6-2 loss at Vancouver on Jeff Petry's first goal, but the Canucks scored the game's next five goals.
"We really did come out OK," left wing Taylor Hall said. "We scored the first goal. They scored right after that and we just kind of fell off the wagon there."
They've blown leads in their first two games after letting a two-goal second-period lead slip away in their 5-4 home-opening loss Tuesday against Winnipeg.
"This isn't going to be an easy process here," first-year coach Dallas Eakins said. "We will dig our heels in and continue on.''
Devan Dubnyk faced 31 shots on Saturday and allowed five goals before being replaced by Jason LaBarbera midway through the second. Dubnyk has allowed 10 goals on 59 shots after posting the best numbers of his five-year career last year with a 2.57 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
It's the first time since 1998-99 that the Oilers have opened with consecutive losses. They last started with three straight losses in 1995-96.
The Devils (0-1-1) will try to avoid going winless through three games for the first time since 2010-11.
Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur have split goaltending duties in the first two games, though Brodeur figures to get the start Monday with Schneider visiting his former team in Vancouver on Tuesday.
In Friday's 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders, Brodeur stopped the first five shootout shots he faced but that wasn't enough as the Devils fell in the sixth round.
Offseason acquisition Damien Brunner scored twice in regulation but was stopped by Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov in the first round of the shootout.
"Obviously when you score you set yourself up good for the next game with a lot of confidence, but I would have been more happy if I had scored in the shootout," Brunner said.
Four of the six shooters for the Devils - Brunner, Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder and Jaromir Jagr - are new to the team this year.
"It's going to take time a little bit," Brodeur said. "I think we need to give ourselves a little time here, and really I think it's a great thing that we're going on the road - get to know each other, get to learn."
The Devils' last two games against the Oilers have resulted in overtime losses. Their last meeting was a 2-1 Oilers win in Edmonton on Jan. 11, 2012.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Edmonton Oilers feared that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would miss the first month of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. Instead, he will return to action Monday against the New Jersey Devils.With center Sam Gagner sidelined for several more weeks with a broken jaw and Taylor Hall forced to play center in a makeshift line-up, this is very good news for the Men of Oil...
He has been referred to as the Big Easy because Devan Dubnyk has the ability to let go of a bad goal.
Even his new head coach expects that the Edmonton Oilers goaltender won’t worry about his last bad game.
But the goalie in question admitted on Thursday when the Oilers returned to the rink that he didn’t completely forget about everything.
“It is one game and you do have...
On Sunday the Oilers sent Ryan Hamilton to the Oklahoma City Barons. And as of this afternoon they've recalled him. If he's anything like me (unbelievably lazy) then he probably hadn't even bothered to unpack his suitcase quite yet.
It's been a busy couple of days for the Oilers in terms of roster moves. Ben Eager was placed on waivers Wednesdayand cleared the next...
Here we go!
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been cleared for battle and he will return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup on Monday night versus New Jersey.
Nugent Hopkins is a fast healer. He is 100% recovered from an off season shoulder surgery that was originally supposed to keep him sidelined until mid-November.
RNH's early return to the lineup will allow Taylor Hall to move...
He’s back. The Nuge makes his long awaited, much anticipated, healthy return to the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup Monday night against the New Jersey Devils. No one, not one person could be more relieved than Taylor Hall, not even Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Hall has had a good run playing first line centre, but it’s not a role the young winger relishes, nor is it something that Hall could...
The Edmonton Oilers certainly didn't take the easy route to their first win of the season.
Jordan Eberle and David Perron scored in the shootout for the Oilers, who erased a three-goal deficit in the third period against goalie Martin Brodeur and beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on Monday night.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Andrew Ference, Perron, and Taylor Hall all scored their first...
Rambunctious Edmonton Oiler winger Ben Eager has been waived and dispatched to the minors and the team’s new muscle Steve MacIntyre has a knee injury. So if the Vancouver Canucks are wondering who might be coming after them Saturday night his name is Luke Gazdic.
“I know absolutely nothing about him” said Canuck winger Dale Weise a possible target after his hit to the head...
It’s only two games into the 82-game season and already the headline can be dusted off for yet another use.
‘What’s Wrong With The Oilers?’
When the Edmonton lost 6-2 in Vancouver Saturday night after gassing their home opener to the Winnipeg Jets there was little patience with the NHL team which has been projected to the playoffs. Particularly after the embarrassing events...
If problems were people, the Edmonton Oilers would be China. Two losses into the season the puck possession statistics are horrendous, the powerplay has given up as many goals as itâs scored, the Taylor Hall at center experiment was a horrible failure, and Devan Dubnyk couldnât stop a greased pig from running into a dishwasher. Who takes the brunt of it? Who suffers for...
Move over Movember.
Edmonton Oilers’ winger Mike Brown has sported a fashionable mustache in many forms during his career, and his 2013 handlebar lip sweater is finally getting the recognition it deserves — Brown has been nominated for the 2013 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award.
The prestigious award is organized by the American Mustache Institute,...
Despite not having playoff hockey for the last seven years fans of the Edmonton Oilers don’t seem to mind forking over their hard earned dollars to watch their beloved team play during the regular season. According to Secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats the Oilers have the 7th highest ticket prices across the league heading into this new season.
The report states that the...
The game puck for Dallas Eakins’ first NHL coaching victory is still on hold.
The Vancouver Canucks toyed with the Edmonton Oilers 6-2 on Saturday driving goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the net after 31 shots in 34 minutes and picking on No. 1 centre Taylor Hall who was minus-four as Edmonton started the season 0-2.
Eakins considered starting backup Jason LaBarbera after Dubnyk...
Evan Campbell during his first game action with UMass Lowell. (Photo/Justin Soderberg/View from 123)
LOWELL – With the regular season under a week away, the UMass Lowell River Hawks took the ice in an exhibition game against McGill University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Although the game ended in a 3-3 tie, one incoming freshmen made his name known early in the contest...
Jacob Trouba was miffed when it was relayed to him that Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall suggested he was headhunting during a body checking attempt during the third period of Tuesday’s 5-4 victory.
“I don’t know I didn’t even hit him. How is that headhunting?” said Trouba a rookie defenceman with the Winnipeg Jets. “It was a one-on-one from what I remember. I don’t...
You can follow Todd on Twitter @ToddCordell!
Match-up - New Jersey Devils (0-1-1) @ Edmonton Oilers (0-2-0)
Road/Home records - 0-1-0 -------------- 0-1-0
TV - MSG Plus, SNET-West
Puck drop - 9:30 PM ET
Season series - 0-0
Last 10: Devils 0-1-1 / Oilers 0-2-0
Projected starting goalies - Martin Brodeur (NJD) vs. Jason LaBarbera (EDM)
Goals for/against per game