NURSE ON CALL

All any prospect can do is push the big club to give him the call. Darnell Nurse didn’t get a long look in training camp—Peter Chiarelli’s Oilers don’t believe in Hail Mary’s, only players who can dislay a range of skills and discipline—and may be in Bakersfield for a time.

nurse condors

Early returns? Excellent.

  • David Staples, Cult of HockeyWhile the rest of the Bakersfield d-men, save for big, steady David Musil, got eaten alive this game, Nurse did not. Another strong game where he used his size and speed to good advantage.  Source
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey: Then there’s the ridiculous athletic prowess that manifested itself in at least two dazzling spinaramas, one a somewhat dangerous but perfectly-executed 360 coming out of his own end, the other a thrust into the low shot after a fine Draisaitl feed that ended with a spinning backhand that seriously tested McCollum. He didn’t look like a man who intends to stay in the AHL for long, even as games like tonight’s will do him a world of good. Source

The issue for Nurse is that he’s not NHL-ready in the area of decision-making. On a team that is trying to cut down on mistakes—two of them last night ended up in the back of the Oilers net—I’m fine with the idea of waiting for Nurse to arrive.

How long? Well, Todd McLellan probably wants to see his chosen eight for at least a game and one of the group (aside from Andrew Ference, who has a no-move) will have to falter. I’m going to guess that happens, no disrespect to the current Edmonton defensive crew.

The other shoe to drop? Nurse has to play a reliable game for (I’d say) 20 games in the AHL. As cool as the Savardian spineramas must have seemed, that’s probably what’s getting him in trouble with the large foreheads.

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48 Responses to "NURSE ON CALL"

  1. stush18 says:

    I kind of assumed that’s why they run nurse with leggs. He is able to cover for him, and can turn that pairing into a much more physical duo. Let the offence run through leggs, and let nurse learn a shutdown game.

  2. OF17 says:

    To be honest, I’m okay with him practicing spin-o-ramas and things like that in the AHL. We want him to have an offensive dimension to his game when he comes back up, and a lot of the top defenders in the league possess that same flashy offensive style. Doughty and Subban are the first to come to mind. That’s what I hope they mean by teaching Nurse to pick his spots: learning to utilize his offensive ability to the fullest without sacrificing defense.

  3. Lowetide says:

    In draft seasons:

    Drew Doughty .862 points-per-game (he was over 1/game previous season)
    P.K. Subban .823 points-per-game
    Darnell Nurse .603 points-per-game

    I like Nurse a lot, don’t know that we’ll see him on the power play a lot and am uncertain about his offensive value/defensive value split.

  4. FTO says:

    Lowetide:
    In draft seasons:

    Drew Doughty .862 points-per-game (he was over 1/game previous season)
    P.K. Subban .823 points-per-game
    Darnell Nurse .603 points-per-game

    I like Nurse a lot, don’t know that we’ll see him on the power play a lot and am uncertain about his offensive value/defensive value split.

    Yeah I don’t see Nurse as a big offensive numbers guy, more like a solid puck moving physical D. I cannot wait for him to be called up man.

  5. AsiaOil says:

    What’s not to like about Nurse bringing 70% of PK and Doughty’s offense? That’s a two-way 30 point shut down guy with lots of snarl. More than one way to be a #1 dman.

    As for how to bring him up – simple – send Ference home and tell him to stay there, then buy him out in the summer. Should have been done this summer. Addition by subtraction if nothing else. But no rush for now – let him age further in the AHL – and make the call post-new year when a trade can clear out Shultz or Fayne.

    Lowetide:
    In draft seasons:

    Drew Doughty .862 points-per-game (he was over 1/game previous season)
    P.K. Subban .823 points-per-game
    Darnell Nurse .603 points-per-game

    I like Nurse a lot, don’t know that we’ll see him on the power play a lot and am uncertain about his offensive value/defensive value split.

  6. Lowetide says:

    AsiaOil:
    What’s not to like about Nurse bringing 70% of PK and Doughty’s offense?

    Not a thing, love the player. My post suggested comparing his offense to those two is perhaps unwise.

  7. Ice Sage says:

    Great title, LT – I just hope this Nurse brings the defibrillator to get the offence’s heartbeat going*

    *not actually implying he will bring offence, just spark it

  8. Snowman says:

    Ice Sage:
    Great title, LT – I just hope this Nurse brings the defibrillator to get the offence’s heartbeat going*

    *not actually implying he will bring offence, just spark it

    I have a feeling the offense will magically appear the same day Eberle comes back… and then will improve even more after Drai is recalled. Not sure what to call this theory… The good players help score goals hypothesis doesn’t quite have the ring I’m looking for…

  9. Cameron says:

    Lowetide: Not a thing, love the player. My post suggested comparing his offense to those two is perhaps unwise.

    Should put him in solid contention to be an elite #2 though, something like Jay Bouwmeester with a vicious streak.

    It does mean that the Oil can’t project an end to the rebuild until they get a true #1 though, until then everybody is playing a spot or two higher than they should be.

    I would suggest that a draft and wait isn’t going to work, as that blows too many years of the chosen one’s ELC.

    Which leaves a trade or RFA signing, and not many RFA #1s hit the market (like, ever).

    Assuming a preference for someone older than McDavid, and younger than, say, 32, who qualifies as a target? And perhaps more interestingly, what would the Oil part with to make it happen?

    Doug Mclachlan had floated a Nurse+for McDonagh suggestion, which sounds ballpark-ish to me.

  10. Snowman says:

    Cameron: Should put him in solid contention to be an elite #2 though, something like Jay Bouwmeester with a vicious streak.

    It does mean that the Oil can’t project an end to the rebuild until they get a true #1 though, until then everybody is playing a spot or two higher than they should be.

    I would suggest that a draft and wait isn’t going to work, as that blows too many years of the chosen one’s ELC.

    Which leaves a trade or RFA signing, and not many RFA #1s hit the market (like, ever).

    Assuming a preference for someone older than McDavid, and younger than, say, 32, who qualifies as a target? And perhaps more interestingly, what would the Oil part with to make it happen?

    Doug Mclachlan had floated a Nurse+for McDonagh suggestion, which sounds ballpark-ish to me.

    If you have elite forwards throughout your top 6 you don’t need a Dman who can score big points. You just need D that effectively retrieve the puck and move them up to the forwards.

  11. Clay says:

    Cameron: Should put him in solid contention to be an elite #2 though, something like Jay Bouwmeester with a vicious streak.

    It does mean that the Oil can’t project an end to the rebuild until they get a true #1 though, until then everybody is playing a spot or two higher than they should be.

    I would suggest that a draft and wait isn’t going to work, as that blows too many years of the chosen one’s ELC.

    Which leaves a trade or RFA signing, and not many RFA #1s hit the market (like, ever).

    Assuming a preference for someone older than McDavid, and younger than, say, 32, who qualifies as a target? And perhaps more interestingly, what would the Oil part with to make it happen?

    Doug Mclachlan had floated a Nurse+for McDonagh suggestion, which sounds ballpark-ish to me.

    McDonagh has a career .425 ppg scoring rate, which translates to about 35 points per 82 games. Is that so far ahead of what we expect from Nurse to justify a trade?

    If we’re sending Nurse+ out, I’d hope the target was higher.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Cameron: Should put him in solid contention to be an elite #2 though, something like Jay Bouwmeester with a vicious streak.

    Oh yeah. I don’t really know these numbers that well (1D, 2D) but would say Nurse should be able to play a ton at evens and PK, maybe No. 2 PP. That gets him into the top pairing during his prime for sure.

  13. dustrock says:

    If he turns into Pronger minus the shot…

    How do you guys like Irwin compared to Davidson, Reinhart, etc?

  14. Frank the dog says:

    Which current D-men would be at least as skilled as Nurse, at least the same size and speed, and as mean as or meaner than him?

  15. stush18 says:

    Frank the dog,

    Peteriengelo? (God I struggle with his name.)

  16. Frank the dog says:

    stush18:
    Frank the dog,

    Peteriengelo? (God I struggle with his name.)

    I’m kind of looking for a list of all current D with the size, goals/60, +/- to start, then eliminate by size etc, then get the opinions this board in terms of meanness. I know there are bigger, or better, or meaner, but I’m looking for all 3.

  17. Younger Oil says:

    dustrock:
    If he turns into Pronger minus the shot…

    How do you guys like Irwin compared to Davidson, Reinhart, etc?

    He’s not better I don’t think, JW has a great article on ON showing his cons. -5 in two games, and has been outshot 24-8 when on the ice.

  18. stush18 says:

    Frank the dog,

    That’s the issue. There are dmen who are more offensive, or better defensively, as you say.

    I’m saying petey is the only one with the combination of all three that currently matches or betters nurse, although I don’t know for sure, that’s just an opinion.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Younger Oil: He’s not better I don’t think, JW has a great article on ON showing his cons. -5 in two games, and has been outshot 24-8 when on the ice.

    Who has been outshot 24-8 in two games? I’ve lost the thread here, sorry.

  20. Younger Oil says:

    Lowetide,

    Irwin in Boston if I read JW’s article correctly.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Younger Oil:
    Lowetide,

    Irwin in Boston if I read JW’s article correctly.

    Ah, okay. Thanks!

  22. Frank the dog says:

    stush18:
    Frank the dog,

    That’s the issue. There are dmen who are more offensive, or better defensively, as you say.

    I’m saying petey is the only one with the combination of all three that currently matches or betters nurse, although I don’t know for sure, that’s just an opinion.

    I can see Pietrangelo being more developed than Nurse right now, does Piet have the same mean streak? How about Subban?

  23. stush18 says:

    There is prolly about twenty~thirty dmen in the league I would trade for nurse. (Straight up, or damn close)

    Not many would bring his combination of skating and physicality however.

  24. Genjutsu says:

    I watched the WJC live in Montreal. Nurse is not just mean. He’s a psychopath.

    I was a little scared of him 15 rows back and cheering for the team he was playing for.

    He’s a psycho. But he’s our psycho.

    Sweet.

  25. RexLibris says:

    Genjutsu:
    I watched the WJC live in Montreal. Nurse is not just mean. He’s a psychopath.

    I was a little scared of him 15 rows back and cheering for the team he was playing for.

    He’s a psycho. But he’s our psycho.

    Sweet.

    I’m reminded of that old saying “he arrives at the puck in ill-humour”.

    Sounds like Nurse leaves the dressing room in ill-humour.

  26. geowal says:

    I don’t remember the last time I saw as highly touted a prospect as Nurse fight as much as he does.

  27. JOFA says:

    Nice to see the boys having fun:)
    McDavid, Gryba, Gazdic, Hall, Nuge, Schultz at Jays game
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/gotta-see-it-edmonton-oilers-react-to-tulowitzkis-home-run/

  28. JOFA says:

    Apparently at the Cowboys game today as well. Nice to see Connor enjoying himself and not bombarded by media for a change. Enjoy yourselves gentlemen:)

  29. RexLibris says:

    Marchand now out indefinitely with a concussion.

    http://www.tsn.ca/bruins-marchand-out-indefinitely-1.375304

    Hmm, wonder if the Hockey Gods are a trifle angry with Mr.’s Neely and Sweeney?

  30. Really? says:

    I wish people would stop saying or implying that the Oilers are an offensively talented team. They have accomplished absolutely nothing in this regard and potential counts for very little on an NHL Scoreboard.

    They appear to be talented but certainly haven’t demonstrated that they are.

  31. "Steve Smith" says:

    AsiaOil:
    What’s not to like about Nurse bringing 70% of PK and Doughty’s offense? That’s a two-way 30 point shut down guy with lots of snarl. More than one way to be a #1 dman.

    Except 70% of the offence in junior doesn’t translate to 70% of the offence in the NHL. To take the first example that sprang to mind, Jason Smith scored .613 points per game in his draft year, about 74% of what Subban did.

    The NHL comparison would be, uh, somewhat less favourable to Smith.

    (And sure, different eras, different junior leagues, whatever – my point is just that most defencemen to even make the NHL score at a very respectable clip in junior, but typically only the elite or one-dimensional bring even a portion of this offence to the big leagues.)

  32. "Steve Smith" says:

    (Having said all of that, Jason Smith’s NHL scoring numbers were far higher than I remembered them being.)

  33. Lowetide says:

    Really?:
    I wish people would stop saying or implying that the Oilers are an offensively talented team. They have accomplished absolutely nothing in this regard and potential counts for very little on an NHL Scoreboard.

    They appear to be talented but certainly haven’t demonstrated that they are.

    1. Hall, two seasons over 1 point per game, including an 80 point season. He is 23.
    2. Nuge, three seasons over 50 points. His 22 EV goals put him in a tie for No. 13 overall in 2014-15
    3. Eberle, seasons of 63, 65 and 76 points. Consistent.

    Plus McDavid, and Yak who scored very well as a rookie. They ARE talented offensively. They haven’t had enough support.

  34. jp says:

    RexLibris: I’m reminded of that old saying “he arrives at the puck in ill-humour”.

    Sounds like Nurse leaves the dressing room in ill-humour.

    “Steve Smith”:
    (Having said all of that, Jason Smith’s NHL scoring numbers were far higher than I remembered them being.)

    Man, I really miss Jason Smith on the Oilers blue. One of my all time favourites.

  35. hags9k says:

    Nurse with ANOTHER scrap. I love it. I still firmly believe that this team doesn’t start to bust rhymes until Darnell is able to play his game at the NHL level. We wait.

  36. Yeti says:

    hags9k:
    Nurse with ANOTHER scrap.I love it.I still firmly believe that this team doesn’t start to bust rhymes until Darnell is able to play his game at the NHL level.We wait.

    I don’t. I’d much rather him spend the next three months developing his game than sitting out with a hand broken on some punk’s visor.

  37. slopitch says:

    I did some digging into the value of IPP for defencemen in draft -2 to draft + 2 seasons. PK sliding as far as he did is nuts.

    I like Nurse a ton. Both him and Drai will be here by Xmas. The only question is how the roster spots appear.

  38. stevezie says:

    slopitch,

    Probably had trouble with team psych tests.

  39. Hockey Buddha says:

    I do think that the Oilers’ blueline is in need of Nurse in a serious way. He is such a very valuable piece to this puzzle. I worry about injury with him fighting as often as he does. I think that it’s possible to play tough and on the edge without dropping the mitts quite so much, but I could be wrong. He is establishing himself in the AHL. Anyhow, I like how nastily he plays against the opposition. He’s certainly not easy to play against, like our team has often been accused of so often in years gone by.

  40. Frank the dog says:

    I see TACAF (The Assistant Captain…) has been paired with Gryba again for the Dallas game. Same fucking inexplicable moves on D as last year when playing Brad Hunt, sitting Marincin etc.
    the only logical explanation to me anyway, is giving Ference enough rope to hang himself. Lose another game with another stupid mistake and does he get yet another chance?

    Am I the only one smelling instructions from above not to make the playoffs in the present facility?

  41. season not played says:

    Lowetide: 1. Hall, two seasons over 1 point per game, including an 80 point season. He is 23.
    2. Nuge, three seasons over 50 points. His 22 EV goals put him in a tie for No. 13 overall in 2014-15
    3. Eberle, seasons of 63, 65 and 76 points. Consistent.

    Plus McDavid, and Yak who scored very well as a rookie. They ARE talented offensively. They haven’t had enough support.

    Compelling evidence LT.

    Unfortunately most other teams in the league have a least as much talent in their top nine and have a variety of player types and styles that allow the teams to score in multiple ways. Something the toe drag gang has had trouble sustaining.

    I think we need to see this team creep into the top half of the league in GF before we can say they are offensively talented.

    At this point I am not hoping to see this team win a game, I am hoping to see them score a goal. After six periods.

    Since they have started facing non AHL lineups in the preseason they have not won, nor looked good.

    There is big trouble here. Again.

  42. Магия 10 says:

    slopitch: . The only question is how the roster spots appear

    A few bumps folllowed by a fever and then many angry red spots.

    varicella – contagious as hell.

    Good thing we have a Nurse on call

  43. skidplate says:

    New coach, new system, new players. Maybe more than two games should be played before we “panic”.

    Yes, it has been way too long since we have had a playoff team, but we currently have plenty of pieces to lead us in the right direction and that starts with the coach. I agree that ever year has started the same with “this is the year”, but this is the year isn’t it? Not for the playoffs, but for a substantial growth in system play and the process.

    I for one am willing to give it a little time for the team to get the system down as well as for the coach and GM to decide which players will be here for the push.

    Relax, have a turkey sandwich and enjoy the day off or the working holiday.

  44. Kmart99 says:

    Look at Nurse’s offense compared to Bouwmeester, Phaneuf, Seabrook, Weber, Brodin, Kronwall, Byfuglien, Shattenkirk, Suter, Burns, McDonagh…. His offense is equal to or ahead of all these guys when you look at draft +1, +2 and use NHLE. Still tough to project how much will translate to the NHL, but I’d say 30pts should be reasonable.

  45. flyfish1168 says:

    Does anyone know if Matt irwin plays right D?

  46. Kmart99 says:

    season not played: Compelling evidence LT.

    Unfortunately most other teams in the league have a least as much talent in their top nine and have a variety of player types and styles that allow the teams to score in multiple ways. Something the toe drag gang has had trouble sustaining.

    I think we need to see this team creep into the top half of the league in GF before we can say they are offensively talented.

    At this point I am not hoping to see this team win a game, I am hoping to see them score a goal. After six periods.

    Since they have started facing non AHL lineups in the preseason they have not won, nor looked good.

    There is big trouble here. Again.

    Eberle has proven over the past 5 seasons that his offense is Elite for RWs. If my memory serves, he ranks 6th for offense by RWs over that span. So most teams DONT have a RW with as much offense as Ebs.

    Hall is in the TOP 12 for LWs. Nuge is in the TOP 25 for Centres. During Hall’s two healthy-ish seasons he was top 2 for LWs. Nuge was higher in the order for Centres last year and could easily be one of the top 10–15 offensive centremen this year.

    McDavid is already as good as all of them.
    Pouliot is under the radar, but he looks like he can bring 20 goals.
    Yak is still a ‘?’ and Drai is still developing.
    Purcell is on the way out/down …

    But overall, the offense is in the top six is still decent, just hasn’t been anywhere near expectations.
    We know what to expect from Hall, Nuge, and Ebs.
    McDavid, Pouliot, Yakupov, and Draisaitl have to deliver if this team wants to take the next step offensively.

    Acquiring the ever so elusive #1 Dman remains a top priority IMO. Getting more 6s and 7s like Irwin, or Gryba isn’t helping.

    The Oilers need to either grab a D man who is one of the top 20 in the league or have Nurse develop to his full potential.

  47. "Steve Smith" says:

    Frank the dog:
    Am I the only one smelling instructions from above not to make the playoffs in the present facility?

    As much as I’d like to think that you are, you’re probably not.

  48. maudite says:

    Late but nurse does not have to literally punch his way to the nhl. I hope they told him that. Far too much upside to encourage I’m to be put there bashing heads every 3 games.

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