Rookie Race: RNH Back Just in Time?
(2/25/12) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned to the Oilers' line-up from injured reserve on Saturday and scored the team's only goal in a 3-1 loss to the surging Coyotes. It was his 18th on the year and 36th point, which is good for third in rookie scoring behind Adam Henrique (41) and Gabriel Landeskog (38). Of course, Nugent-Hopkins is nearly a point/game player and, if he can stay healthy, he has a terrific shot at regaining the rookie scoring lead down the stretch.
As we have been discussing for over a week, Gabriel Landeskog is coming on down the stretch. And, providing him with a boost, Landeskog has been matched up with newly acquired Steve Downie - and the pair is clicking. After setting each other up for a goal on Friday, the two were at it again on Saturday. Downie set up Landeskog for two more goals, and then scored one himself in the Avs' 4-3 road win in Detroit. Of note, Ryan O'Reilly had 3A.
So, will Adam Henrique relinquish his lead to both RNH and Landeskog? That is yet to be seen. Henrqiue' s been great himself of late, with 6 points (1G, 5A) in his last 5 games. The rookie race will be exciting to watch right down to the finish. It looks like it will be this trio in Las Vegas on NHL awards night.