Eakins praises Nugent-Hopkins’ bobbleheadedness

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NHL coaches are finding new, potentially insulting ways to praise their players.

Yesterday, Canucks bench boss John Tortorella called David Booth a “weird dude” — adding “it’s good to have weird dudes” — and that was followed by Edmonton’s Dallas Eakins, who praised Ryan Nugent-Hopkins….for resembling a bobblehead.

“The thing I like about Nuge is that he’s a bobblehead,” Eakins said on Wednesday. “I ask him to do something and he nods his head.

“And not only does he nod his head but he goes out and does it.”

Eakins asked Nugent-Hopkins to do plenty on Tuesday night against New Jersey, the 20-year-old’s season debut after missing the first two games of the year with a shoulder ailment.

Nugent-Hopkins played 28:12 in the 5-4 shootout victory, scoring his first goal of the year (on the PP) while registering six shots on goal.

It sounds as though Nuge is OK with being called a bobblehead, so long as it translates into big minutes.

“I don’t think I ever played 28 minutes before. I don’t remember that many minutes in junior. Maybe 25. But I have no idea. They never showed us our ice-time numbers,” he explained. “[Eakins] double-shifted and triple-shifted me.

“I’d be happy to do it again.”