SERVING 190 PROOF

Merle Haggard’s Mom and Dad moved from Oklahoma to California before he was born. This was the dirty 30’s (my Dad told me so many stories about that decade I feel like I was there, although thank God that’s not true). The Haggard’s barn burned down 1934, they hit the road to California, grapes of wrath. His Dad died when he was eight, brain hemorrhage. Merle and his family were dirt poor and he got into a lot of trouble. If he’d been any damned good as a robber, maybe Merle Haggard would have taken another path. As it was, his brother Lowell gave him a used guitar and that’s all she wrote. Merle Haggard songs have always been there for me whenever I needed them. Merle takes melancholy and straight talks it sober. Townes Van Zandt wrote the line “desert’s quiet, Cleveland’s cold” but it’s a throwaway without Merle’s phrasing. How he got that gift, there ain’t nobody knows. The gift came from Oildale, California (about five miles from Bakersfield) and it came from the dirty 30’s of Oklahoma, the hardest place to make a home. From the toughest of times comes the strongest steel and that’s a fact. Sing me back home, Merle Haggard, and keep that melancholy away from me.

STRAIGHT TALK FROM BAKERSFIELD

Edmonton has a chance for a second dynasty but will need a steady stream of Charlie Huddy’s and Steve Smith’s over the next decade. That means getting the max from the system and this fall it means some decisions have to be made. Below is the ‘primary points’ graph for Bakersfield (Edmonton) and Stockton (Calgary) forwards in 2016-17:

  • This is 5×5 primary points for both teams (forwards).
  • I think we’re safe in naming Jesse Puljujarvi the best prospect on this list.
  • How many of these guys are going to have NHL careers? Man that is a difficult answer.
  • From the Edmonton side, I think Puljujarvi and Slepyshev are close to sure things, probably put Jankowski and Shankurak in there from the Calgary side.
  • Laleggia, Klimchuk, Khaira and Hathaway are in the “with a little luck” category in my estimation, love to hear your thoughts.
  • Andrew Mangiapane is a favorite of mine, let’s see how this plays out.
  • Below that, I think we can make the call on these fellows. Kent Wilson and I have had fun over the years yelling “Hunter Smith-Mitch Moroz” at each other, those times appear to be gone and we were both right. No joy in it, though.

SIGNING WINDOW

I think we’re probably entering the window for Leon to sign with the Oilers. The offer sheet question basically answered, the questions now surround bridge or long. The fever is broken, now it is time to negotiate. Leon is a fantastic player, as a 2C he can be counted on to deliver more offense than last year’s No. 2 center (RNH):

  • At 5×5, Leon scored 2.23/60 alongside Connor McDavid in 2016-17.
  • At 5×5, Leon scored 1.79/60 without Connor McDavid in 2016-17.
  • Source

Nuge was 1.45/60 a year ago, I think 1.79/60 for Leon is a decent line in the sand (if he stays on a line that doesn’t include McDavid). I have LD at 84 points playingwith McDavid 70 percent of his season, and estimate 62 points without him. Suspect that is very fair.

NURSE

I don’t spend much time with twitter hockey these days, there is little of interest at this time. I did see a lot of reaction to someone (don’t know who) ripping on Darnell Nurse as an NHL player. The gist of it (I read Oilers Nerd Alert’s reaction, don’t know what he was riffing off) was that some now believe Darnell Nurse isn’t an NHL player. When things get ridiculous, it’s important to go back to what we know. With that in mind, allow me to give you three pieces of information:

  • At age 21, Oscar Klefbom averaged 22 minutes a night and was around 50 percent in possession. At age 21, Darnell Nurse averaged 17:01 a game and was 51 percent in possession (48.1 percent without McDavid). Source
  • In 2015-16, Nurse was unable to play a feature role successfully. In 2016-17, especially early, Nurse showed he could be a productive third pairing defenseman. That doesn’t mean he’ll stall there, experience may allow him to become a productive top 4D. We aren’t there yet.
  • His offense at 5×5 was solid to good, that was something we were worried about in year one. Nurse isn’t going to be a strong power play guy, but should be able to post some crooked numbers with his ability to rush and pass the puck. He also has a very good shot that can beat goalies clean. The passing needs to be smoother, suspect this will occur as the game continues to slow down for him.

If you’re reading articles about Darnell Nurse as a failed NHL player and believing it, well that’s on you, folks. If you’re reading articles that suggest he is on the same path as Oscar Klefbom, that’s also incorrect. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Darnell Nurse is not yet the complete package we’ll know for the next decade plus but the image is coming swiftly into view. I’m going to guess Nurse ends up being a solid 4-5D and his mobility should make him an effective 4×5 player. We don’t know what we don’t know. Nurse will have had five seasons after his draft next summer, it will be interesting to see how well he does in these games without Sekera. A big test straight ahead. Arguing over Nurse as an NHL failure is silly. If you want something to write about and have people worry and fret, try having a lash at the next Darnell Nurse contract. That’s the giant worry on the horizon.

KENNY SHIELDS

Word this morning Kenny Shields has passed away. He was the lead singer for Streetheart, basically the house band for the city of Regina when I lived there. The band had a long string of hits when I worked top 40 one hundred years ago. We used to joke that Shields opened for Elvis in the 1950’s, his career lasted a long, long time. Saw them live many times and that man could sing. RIP.

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131 Responses to "SERVING 190 PROOF"

  1. papa96 says:

    Hi LT. Always reading, but hardly ever posting these days. Always loved TVZ’s “Pancho and Lefty”, but I believe the line is “The desert’s quiet, Cleveland’s cold.”

    Totally agree with you about D. Nurse. Also it may be that mean streak as much has his offence that earns him a career.

    All the best!

  2. Sugar Reijo says:

    Sorry if this has already been discussed but in my Twitter travels yesterday I came across this:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/oilerkhan786/status/888028732157337604

    Maybe something/maybe nothing, but poster says he heard Drai would sign today and Drai liked it.

    Possible too I’m missing something completely obvious that means it’s all bunk, so grain of salt…

  3. frjohnk says:

    RE Nurse: I don’t think the articles or tweets are that he is a failed NHL player, but that he he has not covered the bet as a high pick. Many see that his perceived value is higher than his actual value. And if this is the case, the time to trade him would be now.

  4. Lowetide says:

    papa96:
    Hi LT.Always reading, but hardly ever posting these days.Always loved TVZ’s “Pancho and Lefty”,but I believe the line is “The desert’s quiet, Cleveland’s cold.”

    Totally agree with you about D. Nurse. Also it may be that mean streak as much has his offence that earns him a career.

    All the best!

    Bah! I know that song backwards and of course you’re right. Thanks for the head’s up!

  5. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! My Dad loved Merle Haggard: fond memories putting in the tapes (not 8-tracks), into the cassette player, on road trips. waiting for the auto-rewind to get back to the beginning. Bet the kids would get a chuckle out of the concept of having to rewind a tape to play again!

    – If I’m reading Drai’s 5×5 properly: he scored 10 of 13 goals while playing 57% of his 1171 mins (670 mins) with McD. And in his other 501 mins, without McD he only scored 3 goals?

    – Now its really small sample size, but he shot only 6% in his minutes without McD (18% with).

  6. Jaxon says:

    I believe Nurse may become a Vlasic type player. With his speed, size and intensity, I still believe there is an outside chance he becomes a Pronger type player.

    Remember that D take a long time to develop and there is evidence that large D take even longer. Remember, Davidson didn’t make the lineup fulltime and impress everyone until after he turned 24 years old. Nurse is still only 22!

    They cannot let him go for cap reasons. They need to keep him until they can trade Sekera and Russell on July 1, 2019. They have to see what Nurse, Benning, Bear, Paigin, Mantha, and Jones can do by the end of the 2018-2019 season. If Nurse-Benning, Paigin-Bear (or Jones-Mantha or other combo) are accomplished or tracking very well, then Sekera and Russell should be traded. Unless they trade Nuge for someone like Radko Gudas or David Savard or sign Erik Gudbranson. That would change things.

  7. jimmers2 says:

    I don’t know much about Haggard, but TVZ is an old favourite and from time to the poetry of his songs force their way from the back to the front of my brain, whole verses at a time. Reading that single line from Pancho and Lefty just did the trick this morning (and thanks, LT), so please forgive me while I indulge the urge to copy the whole lyric here, and set you all to singing in the back of your minds as well.

    Livin on the road my friend, is gonna keep you free and clean
    Now you wear your skin like iron
    Your breath as hard as kerosene
    You weren’t your momma’s only boy, but her favorite one it seemed
    She began to cry when you said goodbye
    And sank into your dreams

    Pancho was a bandit boy, his horse was fast as polished steel
    He wore his gun outside his pants
    For all the honest world to feel
    Pancho met his match, you know, on the deserts down in Mexico
    Nobody heard his dyin words, ah but that’s the way it goes

    All the Federales say, they could’ve had him any day
    They only let him slip away, out of kindness, I suppose

    Lefty, he can’t sing the blues all night long like he used to
    The dust that Pancho bit down south ended up in Lefty’s mouth
    The day they laid poor Pancho low, Lefty split for Ohio
    Where he got the bread to go, there ain’t nobody knows

    All the Federales say, they could’ve had him any day
    They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose

    The poets tell how old Pancho fell, and Lefty’s livin in cheap hotels
    The desert’s quiet, Cleveland’s cold
    And so the story ends, we’re told
    Pancho needs your prayers it’s true, but save a few for Lefty too
    He only did what he had to do, and now he’s growing old

    All the Federales say, they could’ve had him any day
    They only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose

    A few gray Federales say, they could’ve had him any day
    They only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose

  8. freelancer says:

    Hoping for a bit of help… Looking at hockeystatsanalysis and Draisaitl’s WOWY I see that Draisaitl has a GF60 of 3.67 with McDavid and a GF60 of 2.28 without. How are you coming up with the above numbers LT?

  9. frjohnk says:

    freelancer:
    Hoping for a bit of help… Looking at hockeystatsanalysis and Draisaitl’s WOWY I see that Draisaitl has a GF60 of 3.67 with McDavid and a GF60 of 2.28 without. How are you coming up with the above numbers LT?

    LT is quoting the pts per 60 Leon scored.

  10. McNuge93 says:

    Yes I think talk of trading Nurse now while his value Is high and the assumption he is a failed pick is crazy. Comparison to Klef’s development is valid. It has taken a long time for Klef but fortunately the org was patient. Nurse has all the tools. If he developed into a LH Larson clone (but fights and maybe a little more offence) that would be a. pretty awesome pair of shutdown D. And speaking of Lars he was seen as a disappointment early in his career.

  11. Pink Socks says:

    Jethro Tull,

    I remember the quote from a few days after Merle passed.

    Haggard: “The first time I ever saw you perform, it was at San Quentin.”
    Cash: “I don’t remember you being in that show, Merle.”
    Haggard: “I was in the audience, Johnny.”

  12. theres oil in virginia says:

    So, what your saying is that in the 30s the Haggards moved from somewhere near Oklahoma City to somewhere near Bakersfield, and recently the Oilers moved their farm team from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2017 Bakersfield Haggards!

  13. trencan says:

    “I’m going to guess Nurse ends up being a solid 4-5D ”
    Fully agree, the problem is this type of defenders are not good enough as 4D and overpayed as 5D. Maybe something like Kriss Russel. I have (for now) Bennig also in this category but he has in my opinion higher chance to become 4D than Nurse.

  14. dustrock says:

    McNuge93:
    Yes I think talk of trading Nurse now while his value Is high and the assumption he is a failed pick is crazy. Comparison to Klef’s development is valid. It has taken a long time for Klef but fortunately the org was patient. Nurse has all the tools. If he developed into a LH Larson clone (but fights and maybe a little more offence) that would be a. pretty awesome pair of shutdown D. And speaking of Lars he was seen as a disappointment early in his career.

    Yeah, I think you hope for a Larsson type career. The dialogue around Nurse was talking about his 22 year old season compared to Dougie Hamilton, and it doesn’t look good on the HERO charts.

    Then we started talking about Risto, who is the smooth RHD the Oilers probably need more than Nurse at this current time.

    Hamilton has more offence than Nurse, that seems clear, but I’m not always sure HERO charts tell the full story on d-men all the time.

  15. SwedishPoster says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    So, what your saying is that in the 30s the Haggards moved from somewhere near Oklahoma City to somewhere near Bakersfield, and recently the Oilers moved their farm team from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2017 Bakersfield Haggards!

    Oh I would love if we could all agree on calling the farm team the Haggards from now on.

    However having everyone agreeing on anything in this comment section would be most rare…

  16. Pink Socks says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I think that even the Hall trade disagreements for the past 12 months could bring us all together in 100% agreement to call the AHL squad the Haggards.

  17. SwedishPoster says:

    Nurse is a fine bottom pairing D at this point in time and at his age and skating he has room to grow beyond that. If he doesn’t grow beyond that he should be a cheap, homegrown top six option who seems well liked in the room and the org. If he does grow beyond that we have another top 4 option, which means that he’s either a main piece of our D going forward or he’s a trade piece that should command a great return as young top 4 D tends to do, especially guys with the always overrated draft pedigree of a high pick and the nasty that Nurse brings and GM tends to love. Since Nurse doesn’t have much natural offensive instincts he’s unlikely to put up big numbers which should mean he’ll never price himself out of range either. I value offense from D but some guys have bigger numbers than they are players and tends to get payed for the former. IF Nurse starts adding offense to the type of player he is it probably means he’s grown into a big time player and we’re having a whole different conversation.

    I have a hard time seeing him as anything other than an asset going forward and I don’t think it’s a good bet at all to trade him at this moment in time as a way to save value.

  18. Chachi says:

    Pink Socks:
    SwedishPoster,

    I think that even the Hall trade disagreements for the past 12 months could bring us all together in 100% agreement to call the AHL squad the Haggards.

    “Haggard” might be a better descriptor of the Oilers’ fanbase rather than the AHL team.

    There are some bitter, broken people on twitter and though they may be very smart people they write some awfully stupid things about players like Nurse. No one could honestly say they have figured out Nurse as a player at this point in his career. The internet being what it is they also get a lot of positive reinforcement on their BS from like-minded hate-filled “experts”. Twitter is pretty much a wasteland.

  19. dustrock says:

    I was going to make a joke about telling Draisaitl that K-Days stands for “Kraut” Days and if he signs he can lead the parade down Jasper Avenue and have some sauerkraut and mini donuts on the Fairway.

    But I won’t make that joke in 2017.

  20. Primetime says:

    Jaxon:
    I believe Nurse may become a Vlasic type player. With his speed, size and intensity, I still believe there is an outside chance he becomes a Pronger type player.

    Remember that D take a long time to develop and there is evidence that large D take even longer. Remember, Davidson didn’t make the lineup fulltime and impress everyone until after he turned 24 years old. Nurse is still only 22!

    I believe this comment is exactly what is so interesting about any conversation about Nurse…the swings in perceived value are amazing!

    Darnell Nurse is in no way Chris Pronger, not even an outside chance. Pronger was a superstar from the start and only off ice stuff slowed his early career. The talent was there and was in discussion at #1OV in his draft year for a reason. He is a Hart trophy winner that lead 3 separate teams to the Cup Finals. In no way should his name be mentioned with Nurse.

    In the same conversation, you mentioned patience based on how Davidson turned out. While we all love Davey, he is a third pair defensemen who was left unprotected in the expansion draft…and not taken. If we are waiting on Nurse to fit that mould, then it gives credence to the trade him based on highest value now crowd.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with your view point Jaxon, and I appreciate the call for patience. It just shows the exact issue when discussing Nurse. It shouldn’t ever be about whether he is an NHL defensemen, of course he is, but where does he lie between an Olympian (Vlasic) or expansion fodder.

    As LT said, “somewhere in the middle lies the truth”

  21. Pink Socks says:

    Chachi: “Haggard” might be a better descriptor of the Oilers’ fanbase rather than the AHL team.

    There are some bitter, broken people on twitter and though they may be very smart people they write some awfully stupid things about players like Nurse. No one could honestly say they have figured out Nurse as a player at this point in his career. The internet being what it is they also get a lot of positive reinforcement on their BS from like-minded hate-filled “experts”.Twitter is pretty much a wasteland.

    If anyone, regardless of their accolades, claims to have figured out a 22 year old high draft pedigree who has also had major injuries in 2 out of the past 3 years (draft +2&4), in my most humble opinion, is an arrogant asshat. Probably why I follow so few.

  22. Chachi says:

    Pink Socks: If anyone, regardless of their accolades, claims to have figured out a 22 year old high draft pedigree who has also had major injuries in 2 out of the past 3 years (draft +2&4), in my most humble opinion, is an arrogant asshat.Probably why I follow so few.

    I feel the same way.

  23. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    One thing I’ve noticed since he was drafted is Nurse is his growth.

    When we took him at 7OV in 2013, I believe he was 6’3″ 192 lbs. Today the Oilers webpage lists him at 6’4″ 220 lbs. At 22 (!) years old, he has room to grow into his frame even if he’s done growing (dimensionally).

    We haven’t come close to surrounding who Nurse is and can be as an NHL player. With good coaching (skills) and deployment he has an excellent chance of fulfilling his potential that saw him drafted so high in the first place. It’s nice to not have to worry about the coaching, or rushing players any more. And a bit weird. heh

  24. Georges says:

    Chachi: “Haggard” might be a better descriptor of the Oilers’ fanbase rather than the AHL team.

    There are some bitter, broken people on twitter and though they may be very smart people they write some awfully stupid things about players like Nurse. No one could honestly say they have figured out Nurse as a player at this point in his career. The internet being what it is they also get a lot of positive reinforcement on their BS from like-minded hate-filled “experts”.Twitter is pretty much a wasteland.

    I’m reading you wander the wasteland. Who are the bitter, broken, very smart people who are down on Nurse? Or do I have to figure that out myself? In which case, nvm.

  25. highgloveside says:

    The scariest part of that AHL list is not the % of primary points, but the low number of total points for EDM prospects. These are some low total points and they need to have players who not only have a solid primary points %, but right now I would focus on getting some players who can get close ore even surpass the point per game level. a 50% primary points % is fantastic, but not if you only have 20 pts a season.

  26. Georges says:

    freelancer:
    Hoping for a bit of help… Looking at hockeystatsanalysis and Draisaitl’s WOWY I see that Draisaitl has a GF60 of 3.67 with McDavid and a GF60 of 2.28 without. How are you coming up with the above numbers LT?

    That’s quite the contrast between Drai’s 5v5 GF60:

    with CMD: 3.67 (670 minutes)
    w/o CMD 2.28 (500 minutes)

    and his 5v5 P60:

    with CMD: 2.23
    w/o CMD: 1.79

    What do you think?

  27. Ducey says:

    frjohnk:
    RE Nurse: I don’t think the articles or tweets are that he is a failed NHL player, but that he he has not covered the bet as a high pick.Many see that his perceived value is higher than his actual value.And if this is the case, the time to trade him would be now.

    Not attacking you as you are just passing this on, but people that have problems with Nurse have problems with reason.

    Seriously.

    The dude has all the tools you would want, size, skating, meanness, elite pedigree (he was one of the best D man in junior, world juniors), character. Even genetic talent.

    He was slow cooked by the Oilers (a rarity) in terms of playing 2 years post draft in junior, but then essentially plunked right into the NHL.

    He has completed 2 (just 2) NHL seasons and people get worked up about him making some mistakes.

    This is a guy who could pretty much play rover in junior. He could go down low on offense and still make it all the way back to cover on defense. He was playing 30-40 minutes a night in junior. Then he comes to the NHL and is told he needs to rein it in.

    People need to take their fancy stats and tear them up on this. We are talking about a 22 yr old defenseman with 115 NHL games. Playing the toughest position in hockey. And you got him all figured out? Okay then.

    Lets look at the guys drafted right after Nurse – Ristolainen. He was fired right into the NHL and struggled for a couple of seasons. Now he looks pretty good. He has 273 NHL games. More than twice as many as Nurse.

    Chris Pronger played two NHL seasons for Hartford (124 games). He was talented but unfocused. They traded him to St Louis. It took him about two seasons to sort things out in St Louis. Then started winning awards.

    I remember people complaining abut Paul Coffey in his first couple of years. He gave up the puck too much, was soft, was not focused, blah, blah.

    Nurse had some great moments last year, and some not so great moments last year.

    Guess what?

    That is what he is supposed to be doing at this point.

  28. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I do not hate Nurse.

    I do not think he is a bust.

    I want the Oilers to win the Cup each year so I want the entire roster to be awesome.

    That said,

    I agree with Padre that his trade value might be higher than his actual value.

    Nurse had a reasonable year by the metrics we follow, but as someone who has stared at teams/players via these metrics for years, a very good Dman playing 3rd pair generally leads the team or close in these metrics due to their QoC.

    We saw this with Klefbom on EDM, Parayko on STL, Jones on NSH, Gudas on PHI, Lindholm on ANA, Pesce/Slavin on CAR, Trouba on WPG and others (including Benning on EDM last year)

    Unfortunately, we don’t see this with Nurse.

    In my time of working with all these metrics one thing holds true. The best players show you they are the best early.

    Not being among “the best” isn’t a crime though. Most NHL are not among the best.

    Its my posit that if Nurse’s reputation is that he still projects to “be among the best” then his trade value is higher than his actual value and that could be very valuable to the org.

    Lots of people hope Nurse can because a Vlasic type.

    In his 21 year old year Vlasic played 1st pairing on SJS with Rob Blake and did very well.

    The story is the same for most 1st pairing Dmen who came via the CHL route. They move quickly to the top of their rosters.

    There are exceptions, but they are exceptions because they are exceptions. You don’t bank on exceptions.

    Also,

    For the next 9 years (hopefully) we will have to judge all EDM players away from McDavid.

    McDavid is the best player in the NHL and the players that spend more time with him get their results boosted more than others that don’t play as much with him.

    In order to fairly evaluate the Dmen, its important to look at their “away from McDavid” numbers.

    Here are a variety of results last year with the player “away from McDavid”

    These are all “defensive metrics” in that they are about limiting shots, shot quality and goals.

    I’m using defensive metrics here because I think everyone agrees that Nurse’s value lies on the defensive side of the puck.

    All shots against/60 (CA/60)
    Player1 CA/60
    Matthew Benning 50.6
    Oscar Klefbom 55.7
    Andrej Sekera 57.3
    Adam Larsson 57.4
    Eric Gryba 57.7
    Brandon Davidson 58.8
    Kris Russell 59.2
    Darnell Nurse 59.6

    All unblocked shots against/60 (FA/60)
    Player1 FA/60
    Matthew Benning 38.3
    Andrej Sekera 39.2
    Kris Russell 39.4
    Oscar Klefbom 40.2
    Brandon Davidson 41.4
    Adam Larsson 41.6
    Eric Gryba 42.9
    Darnell Nurse 47.0

    Shots on goal against/60 (SA/60)
    Player1 SA/60
    Kris Russell 27.5
    Matthew Benning 27.7
    Oscar Klefbom 28.8
    Andrej Sekera 28.9
    Brandon Davidson 29.2
    Adam Larsson 29.7
    Eric Gryba 34.1
    Darnell Nurse 36.6

    Quality rated unblocked shots against/60 (DFA/60) (G’s Dangerous Fenwick)
    Player1 DFA/60
    Matthew Benning 35.8
    Brandon Davidson 40.2
    Oscar Klefbom 40.5
    Kris Russell 41.9
    Andrej Sekera 42.1
    Adam Larsson 42.3
    Eric Gryba 44.1
    Darnell Nurse 47.7

    Goals Against/60 (GA/60)
    Player1 GA/60
    Adam Larsson 1.8
    Andrej Sekera 1.8
    Kris Russell 1.9
    Matthew Benning 2.0
    Brandon Davidson 2.0
    Oscar Klefbom 2.1
    Darnell Nurse 2.9
    Eric Gryba 3.0

    Nurse ranks at the bottom or close consistently.

    As a 3rd pairing Dmen he should be ranking much higher as he plays against players who don’t shoot or score as much as the top 4.

    I don’t hate Nurse.

    I want him to be great if he’s an Oiler.

    I think his perceived value is greater than his actual value and that could be important for Chiarelli to build a true Cup contender.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    1) Dynasty? I’m going to start with one championship before I dream of multiple. In fact, at this point, I just want to weather the Sekera injury storm and get off to a decent start this season. With a poor start, playoffs would be far from a lock.

    2) Personally, I think we are at the point where we won’t see much Leon news (including a signing) until training camp is visible. I really hope he signs before camp (see above re: good start) and think he will sign in September.

    3) Nurse a failed NHL player? Am I not mistaken or is he still on his ELC?

  30. Pouzar says:

    “Haggard, you’re everything that people think I am.”

    –Johnny Cash

  31. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ducey,

    People need to take their fancy stats and tear them up on this. We are talking about a 22 yr old defenseman with 115 NHL games. Playing the toughest position in hockey. And you got him all figured out? Okay then.

    The thing is though, CHL Dmen who become 1st pairing D are 1st pairing Dmen or close in their 21 year old year.

    We are being realistic and not holding out hope when all the evidence points to “decent NHL Dman”, not “stud #1 Dman”

  32. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    To everyone saying “we can’t know about Nurse at this point”

    Give me a list of 1st pairing Dmen who have played 1st pair within the last few years and came to the NHL via the CHL.

    I’ll look them up in their 21 year old year and see if we can find enough who were in the same spot as Nurse with similar results.

    As always, I’m open to be proven wrong, but to be proven wrong requires proof.

  33. Professor Q says:

    You know, with all this worry about Draisaitl…

    Tavares hasn’t signed yet either. 😎

  34. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The thing is though, CHL Dmen who become 1st pairing D are 1st pairing Dmen or close in their 21 year old year.

    I will say this. What would have happened if young Darnell doesn’t roll his ankle in Dec?
    We don’t know for sure but he looked pretty good on that top pairing. I was at that game. You can’t take this away from me. Ever. Don’t try. Why don’t you hate Darnell? Why? Why? Why?

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    WG, do you think the fact that Vlasic was paired with Blake may have factored into the success he enjoyed in that 21 year old season?

    I would suspect if Nurse were to have been partnered with a defencemen that good last season, he’d likely have looked a lot better too. When your D partner is Rob Blake, the job description becomes much simpler and doable for a young player. The Oil don’t have a single D on the roster the calibre that Blake was then.

    One full season in the bigs with a stable partner and no injuries. That’s what Darnell needs. If he gets it, I suspect the verbal changes significantly.

    On another topic, 97% of Twitter is crap. God bless those with the patience to sift through it for the 3%

  36. McNuge93 says:

    Ducey: Not attacking you as you are just passing this on, but people that have problems with Nurse have problems with reason.

    Seriously.

    The dude has all the tools you would want, size, skating, meanness, elite pedigree (he was one of the best D man in junior, world juniors), character. Even genetic talent.

    He was slow cooked by the Oilers (a rarity) in terms of playing 2 years post draft in junior, but then essentially plunked right into the NHL.

    He has completed 2 (just 2) NHL seasons and people get worked up about him making some mistakes.

    This is a guy who could pretty much play rover in junior. He could go down low on offense and still make it all the way back to cover on defense. He was playing 30-40 minutes a night in junior. Then he comes to the NHL and is told he needs to rein it in.

    People need to take their fancy stats and tear them up on this. We are talking about a 22 yr old defenseman with 115 NHL games. Playing the toughest position in hockey. And you got him all figured out? Okay then.

    Lets look at the guys drafted right after Nurse – Ristolainen. He was fired right into the NHL and struggled for a couple of seasons. Now he looks pretty good. He has 273 NHL games. More than twice as many as Nurse.

    Chris Pronger played two NHL seasons for Hartford (124 games). He was talented but unfocused. They traded him to St Louis. It took him about two seasons to sort things out in St Louis. Then started winning awards.

    I remember people complaining abut Paul Coffey in his first couple of years. He gave up the puck too much, was soft, was not focused, blah, blah.

    Nurse had some great moments last year, and some not so great moments last year.

    Guess what?

    That is what he is supposed to be doing at this point.

    Agree with you completely. And I’ll be happy whether he ultimately develops into a top pair or good 2LD. He’s already a 3Rd pairing D on a playoff team.

  37. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Ducey,

    – It’s a good conversation. Nurse never scored at an elite level anywhere, so I never had him pegged as an elite 5-tool D.

    – Those are few and far between. For those who think he is next Pronger: that’s just hoping.

    – But he’s a bona-fide NHL D, draft and developed by the Oil, not a tweener like Davidson

    – Sure if you can get a blow-out deal for him great: if not, happy he’s part of our D corps

  38. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Nurse looks to be tracking as a better skating Jason Smith with a little bit more offense.

    Still think he has another gear in there but it will come down to hockey IQ where if he can go Rover when it makes sense and otherwise play the simple game he could get there.

    If that’s not there naturally then as gifted as he is he needs to watch tons of tape of guys like Hjalmarsson and Pietrangelo. Even a Doughty with his skating ability.

    Sure, he isn’t looking like the best pick at that slot in a very deep and talented draft at this time.

    But if some team gets him for a 2nd like the Oilers did with Gator they are going to get a steal.

    I still think wait 3 more years on Nurse. Great thing is the team has the depth now to be that patient. They’re not going to Schultz him onto the top pair before he is ready. Long-term he should be okay as the 4th best D on the team, second pair left D.

  39. Bag of Pucks says:

    Haggard. Foos. Kenny Shields hat tip.

    As usual, you’ve been killing it on the music front of late, LT : )

    At this point in life, the Oil are probably my 4th obsession after music, women and cars. My mythical balance photo would be Irina Shayk reclining on the hood of an i8 ; )

    Love the fact that this blog incorporates these other touchstones into the fabric on a regular basis. It’s what sits it apart from other hockey only blogs imho. Variety is the spice of life!

  40. Chachi says:

    Georges: I’m reading you wander the wasteland. Who are the bitter, broken, very smart people who are down on Nurse? Or do I have to figure that out myself? In which case, nvm.

    I wander it less and less all the time. It is an echo chamber of a-holes. For every Woodguy or Gmoney on twitter there are 100 people who are not worth wasting time on. I would rather not push traffic towards the people I am talking about , but fairly often they come across the timelines of some of the people who post here. To be clear to my knowledge none of them are people who currently post on this site.

  41. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: I will say this. What would have happened if young Darnell doesn’t roll his ankle in Dec?
    We don’t know for sure but he looked pretty good on that top pairing. I was at that game. You can’t take this away from me. Ever. Don’t try. Why don’t you hate Darnell? Why? Why? Why?

    His CA/60 and GA/60 (overall) was actually better after he came back from injury.

    Pre-injury
    CA/60 – 57.2
    GA/60 – 3.08

    Post-injury
    CA/60 – 56.3
    GA/60 – 2.20

    Goals will be volatile in such a small sample, but the CA has enough track to have meaning.

  42. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    WG, do you think the fact that Vlasic was paired with Blake may have factored into the success he enjoyed in that 21 year old season?

    I would suspect if Nurse were to have been partnered with a defencemen that good last season, he’d likely have looked a lot better too. When your D partner is Rob Blake, the job description becomes much simpler and doable for a young player. The Oil don’t have a single D on the roster the calibre that Blake was then.

    One full season in the bigs with a stable partner and no injuries. That’s what Darnell needs. If he gets it, I suspect the verbal changes significantly.

    On another topic, 97% of Twitter is crap. God bless those with the patience to sift through it for the 3%

    No question playing with Blake helps.

    That he passed all of the older D on the roster to play firsts and play them well is the main point.

    That roster had Boyle, Eherhoff, Lukowich (getting old at that point) and Murray.

  43. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Ducey,

    – It’s a good conversation.Nurse never scored at an elite level anywhere, so I never had him pegged as an elite 5-tool D.

    – Those are few and far between.For those who think he is next Pronger: that’s just hoping.

    – But he’s a bona-fide NHL D, draft and developed by the Oil, not a tweener like Davidson

    – Sure if you can get a blow-out deal for him great: if not, happy he’s part of our D corps

    Agreed all points.

  44. Melvis says:

    I was about to cough up something mawkish about a cold and starry mid winter night in ’67 when a 14 year old kid was first mesmerized by an excellent band (Witness Inc.)…and Kenny Shield’s stage presence and showmanship.

    We beccame friends in later years, the Streetheart years…through a mutual friend, oddness, coincidence, and the usual assortment of unexplainable things.

    Looking through this glass darkly…I love you and I’ll miss you.

  45. trencan says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    My question was, what is Nurse actual value in your opinion. But if I remember correctly you mentioned yesterday trade Nurse for Couturier. This is pretty high value…

  46. Bag of Pucks says:

    Melvis:
    I was about to cough up something mawkish about a cold and starry mid winter night in ’67 when a 14 year old kid was first mesmerized by an excellent band (Witness Inc.)…and Kenny Shield’s stage presence and showmanship.

    We beccame friends in later years, the Streetheart years…through a mutual friend, oddness, coincidence, and the usual assortment of unexplainable things.

    Looking through this glass darkly…I love you and I’ll miss you.

    Fantastic entertainer in his heyday. Appropriate that one of their biggest hits was a Stones cover, cos Kenny ran the boards like Jagger. Liked his nose candy, but in the 80s, who didn’t love the smell of cocaine? Will be cranking Miss Plaza Suite in his honour today.

  47. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Wow. Impressive stuff. Logical Post. My eye test tells me a couple things; Darnell seems to skate INTO trouble .ore so than out of it. Darnell has trouble making a 4 ft pass.

    Good player for sure. But all Top Ten draft picks have Great Tools. Darnell has yet to prove he is or will be Elite. and I like how your post suggests that we would have most likely seen this; given yhe history of your data (some exceptions).

    If Nurse can be Solid Sekera replacement as 2 LHD in 2 yrs that would be excellent.

    The memory of him trying a spin o rama in the playoffs and getting flattened by Getzlaf … was baffling

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: No question playing with Blake helps.

    That he passed all of the older D on the roster to play firsts and play them well is the main point.

    That roster had Boyle, Eherhoff, Lukowich (getting old at that point) and Murray.

    Part of the reason why Norris calibre D are so valuable. They’re the perfect partners to mentor your top prospect(s).

    In the NFL, they have a term for players who have massive upside potential but still need to grow into their bodies, “project picks.” When you choose these types of players, you’re committing to a longer development timeline cos the upside is worth the journey. Contract wise, this could work out as exceptional value for Chiarelli if he extends Darnell before the big breakout ala KBom.

  49. Jaxon says:

    Primetime: I believe this comment is exactly what is so interesting about any conversation about Nurse…the swings in perceived value are amazing!

    Darnell Nurse is in no way Chris Pronger, not even an outside chance.Pronger was a superstar from the start and only off ice stuff slowed his early career.The talent was there and was in discussion at #1OV in his draft year for a reason.He is a Hart trophy winner that lead 3 separate teams to the Cup Finals.In no way should his name be mentioned with Nurse.

    In the same conversation, you mentioned patience based on how Davidson turned out.While we all love Davey, he is a third pair defensemen who was left unprotected in the expansion draft…and not taken.If we are waiting on Nurse to fit that mould, then it gives credence to the trade him based on highest value now crowd.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with your view point Jaxon, and I appreciate the call for patience.It just shows the exact issue when discussing Nurse.It shouldn’t ever be about whether he is an NHL defensemen, of course he is, but where does he lie between an Olympian (Vlasic) or expansion fodder.

    As LT said, “somewhere in the middle lies the truth”

    Just to clarify, I did not mean to compare Nurse to Davidson (he is already beyond him), only to highlight that it takes time for D to develop and we may not see their potential until they are 24 or 25, which is 2 or 3 years from now for Nurse. For instance, Parayko’s first NHL season was at 22 years old (Nurse’s upcoming season) and Chara didn’t show much offense until his 25 yr old season. I do think that Nurse has incredible upside and that he may take longer to reach it. He is not in the Pronger conversation at this point, but hopefully, we have to reconsider that in a couple years. I think he compares fairly well to Vlasic who didn’t score a lot at a young age and took a few years to find his game as well.

  50. GCW_69 says:

    Ah man, “Snow White” by Streetheart is one of my favourite songs. Loved “Trouble” and “Action” as well. Sad day.

  51. Cameron says:

    The Stockton-Bakersfiled stuff is interesting.

    No question, Puljujarvi looks like the cream of the crop. I’ve been enamoured of him for a while, and he ran roughshod over the WJ’s in a way that had me prefer him to Laine (which in hinsight, is probably a mistake).

    The Flames and Oilers have had similar holes on their teams the last few years, as both teams needed to source upgrades to their D (with Edmonton’s needs, especially on the right side being even more pronounced), and evidenced by both teams going hard after Hamilton and Hamonic.

    Now both teams are faced with holes at RW, and it is Edmonton who has the guy I’d love to see in Flames silks in Puljujarvi. Don’t see how it could ever happen, but he’s clearly the prototype winger both teams have a need for.

    Jankowski is Calgary’s slow marinating 1st rnd selection from the Yakupov draft. He; had a bad birthday, was skinny to the point of absurdity, and was saddled with unfortunate hype by Feaster, but the Flames have perservered and the kid has progressed steadily to the point he now looks like the real deal – a big, skill pivot, with two-way ability. At worst he’s Riley Nash 2.0, but his counting numbers and steady progress tell of a much higher offensive ceiling. Expectations are high he makes the team this year.

    Shinkaruk however, looks like a classic tweener. He’s clearly good enough to put up offense in the AHL, but lacking in enough areas (everything but sniping) that its an open question whether can cut it in the bigs. He has ‘skill line or bust’ written all over him, and Calgary is already pretty stacked at LW.

    Mangiapane by contrast is a high skill, underweight, pitbull, and a pure joy to watch. He was selected #166th overall (the ‘Fleury’ spot), and is representative of the new direction for Flames’ scouts under Treliving, preferencing skill in the later rounds rather than Sutter/Burkean refrigerators. A very welcome change. Unlike Shinkaruk, Mangiapane projects as a Gallagher type, someone who could play outside of top 6 if necessary, and who will find some way to contribute even if he isn’t scoring.

    As for the Nurse discussion, his offense really doesn’t look good, and so far, his defense while better developed, isn’t yet great. I’m with Woodguy, his value as a trade chip lkely exceeds his value as an Oiler. That said, he did dummy Hunter Smith something fierce, so you got that going for ya.

    Lastly, I have a friend, a very succesful Dr., and good human being, who is currently dealing with some crippling depression. The conversation here the other day cheered my soul. If you know someone dealing with this stuff, don’t hesitate to reach out and let them know you love them, and help them to get help.

  52. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    trencan: My question was, what is Nurse actual value in your opinion. But if I remember correctly you mentioned yesterday trade Nurse for Couturier. This is pretty high value…

    That’s the unknown.

    Last year Elliotte Freidman reported that it would cost EDM “Klefbom or Nurse” to get Hamonic out of NYI.

    If that’s the barometer then his value was high then.

    Not sure about now.

    I imagine some GM’s would value him highly and other not as much.

  53. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Part of the reason why Norris calibre D are so valuable. They’re the perfect partners to mentor your top prospect(s).

    In the NFL, they have a term for players who have massive upside potential but still need to grow into their bodies, “project picks.” When you choose these types of players, you’re committing to a longer development timeline cos the upside is worth the journey. Contract wise, this could work out as exceptional value for Chiarelli if he extends Darnell before the big breakout ala KBom.

    I have no doubt that Nurse next year will be better than Nurse last year and that he will still get better.

  54. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    To everyone saying “we can’t know about Nurse at this point”

    Give me a list of 1st pairing Dmen who have played 1st pair within the last few years and came to the NHL via the CHL.

    I’ll look them up in their 21 year old year and see if we can find enough who were in the same spot as Nurse with similar results.

    As always, I’m open to be proven wrong, but to be proven wrong requires proof.

    Here are some:

    Mark Giordano
    Zdeno Chara
    Johnny Boychuk
    Duncan Keith
    David Savard
    Jake Muzzin
    Jared Spurgeon

    Debatable whether they are all “first pair”, but I went by average time on ice. Also, I understand why you want to limit your look to players who came from the CHL, but eliminating players who came out of college or Euro leagues really does limit the sample of players to look at. For what it is worth, I am a big fan of Nurse and pretty much agree with your take on him.

  55. Ducey says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    I do not hate Nurse.

    I do not think he is a bust.

    I want the Oilers to win the Cup each year so I want the entire roster to be awesome.

    That said,

    I agree with Padre that his trade value might be higher than his actual value.

    Nurse had a reasonable year by the metrics we follow, but as someone who has stared at teams/players via these metrics for years, a very good Dman playing 3rd pair generally leads the team or close in these metrics due to their QoC.

    We saw this with Klefbom on EDM, Parayko on STL, Jones on NSH, Gudas on PHI, Lindholm on ANA, Pesce/Slavin on CAR,Trouba on WPG and others (including Benning on EDM last year)

    Unfortunately, we don’t see this with Nurse.

    In my time of working with all these metrics one thing holds true.The best players show you they are the best early.

    Not being among “the best” isn’t a crime though.Most NHL are not among the best.

    Its my posit that if Nurse’s reputation is that he still projects to “be among the best” then his trade value is higher than his actual value and that could be very valuable to the org.

    Lots of people hope Nurse can because a Vlasic type.

    In his 21 year old year Vlasic played 1st pairing on SJS with Rob Blake and did very well.

    The story is the same for most 1st pairing Dmen who came via the CHL route.They move quickly to the top of their rosters.

    There are exceptions, but they are exceptions because they are exceptions.You don’t bank on exceptions.

    Also,

    For the next 9 years (hopefully) we will have to judge all EDM players away from McDavid.

    McDavid is the best player in the NHL and the players that spend more time with him get their results boosted more than others that don’t play as much with him.

    In order to fairly evaluate the Dmen, its important to look at their “away from McDavid” numbers.

    Here are a variety of results last year with the player “away from McDavid”

    These are all “defensive metrics” in that they are about limiting shots, shot quality and goals.

    I’m using defensive metrics here because I think everyone agrees that Nurse’s value lies on the defensive side of the puck.

    All shots against/60 (CA/60)
    Player1CA/60
    Matthew Benning50.6
    Oscar Klefbom55.7
    Andrej Sekera57.3
    Adam Larsson57.4
    Eric Gryba57.7
    Brandon Davidson58.8
    Kris Russell59.2
    Darnell Nurse59.6

    All unblocked shots against/60 (FA/60)
    Player1FA/60
    Matthew Benning38.3
    Andrej Sekera39.2
    Kris Russell39.4
    Oscar Klefbom40.2
    Brandon Davidson41.4
    Adam Larsson41.6
    Eric Gryba42.9
    Darnell Nurse47.0

    Shots on goal against/60 (SA/60)
    Player1SA/60
    Kris Russell27.5
    Matthew Benning27.7
    Oscar Klefbom28.8
    Andrej Sekera28.9
    Brandon Davidson29.2
    Adam Larsson29.7
    Eric Gryba34.1
    Darnell Nurse36.6

    Quality rated unblocked shots against/60 (DFA/60) (G’s Dangerous Fenwick)
    Player1DFA/60
    Matthew Benning35.8
    Brandon Davidson40.2
    Oscar Klefbom40.5
    Kris Russell41.9
    Andrej Sekera42.1
    Adam Larsson42.3
    Eric Gryba44.1
    Darnell Nurse47.7

    Goals Against/60 (GA/60)
    Player1GA/60
    Adam Larsson1.8
    Andrej Sekera1.8
    Kris Russell1.9
    Matthew Benning2.0
    Brandon Davidson2.0
    Oscar Klefbom2.1
    Darnell Nurse2.9
    Eric Gryba3.0

    Nurse ranks at the bottom or close consistently.

    As a 3rd pairing Dmen he should be ranking much higher as he plays against players who don’t shoot or score as much as the top 4.

    I don’t hate Nurse.

    I want him to be great if he’s an Oiler.

    I think his perceived value is greater than his actual value and that could be important for Chiarelli to build a true Cup contender.

    All reasonable.

    But 🙂

    If Nurse was playing with Rob Blake his fancies would look very swell.

    Last year he played 500 of his 5 x 5 600 minutes with a rookie (Benning) and the Oiler’s 7th D (Gryba).

    His boxcars don’t look good. Well, he played 4 minutes on the PP.

    Parayko’s first season was when he was 22, out of college. He is 24.

    His CF% is 49.2 with Edmundson, who he played 1/2 (600) of his 5 x 5 minutes with. Its 49..2 with Jay Bouw who he played 240 minutes with. Its 56.3 with Pietro who he played 153 min with and 52.3 with Shattenkirk who he played 70 minutes with.

    If he played the whole season with Edmundson we would say he sucks. If he played the whole season with Pietroangelo we would vote him a Corsi all star.

    Parayko had 10 points on the PP (141 min) so his boxcars look good so we say he is offensive.

  56. Melvis says:

    I was hankering for a black tee. In a large. Good cotton. It reads puckiq in white, all lower case ,in some medium to heavy weight, cool sans serif.

    Do I have to make my own?

    Nice work boychicks.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    To everyone saying “we can’t know about Nurse at this point”

    Give me a list of 1st pairing Dmen who have played 1st pair within the last few years and came to the NHL via the CHL.

    I’ll look them up in their 21 year old year and see if we can find enough who were in the same spot as Nurse with similar results.

    As always, I’m open to be proven wrong, but to be proven wrong requires proof.

    Giordano, Keith (granted drafted out of US college I think), Seabrook, Muzzin, Spurgeon

  58. digger50 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    To everyone saying “we can’t know about Nurse at this point”

    Give me a list of 1st pairing Dmen who have played 1st pair within the last few years and came to the NHL via the CHL.

    I’ll look them up in their 21 year old year and see if we can find enough who were in the same spot as Nurse with similar results.

    As always, I’m open to be proven wrong, but to be proven wrong requires proof.

    Why don’t we look at our own Adam Larson? Tougher QOC of course, but an interesting development history. I’m curious.

  59. JDî says:

    Chachi,

    Good examples, but Muzzin had major back problems and wasn’t signed by Pitt (I think?). So I doubt his 21 yr old season has any relevance to where he is today

    I’m on mobile, so can’t or won’t look up the deets. 🐒

  60. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Goals will be volatile in such asmall sample, but the CA has enough track to have meaning.

    This is not correct. You must be thinking GF% vs. CF%. There, you’re dealing with proportions (where GF/GA and CF/CA are like heads/tails), and the sample size is different for goals and corsi events because there are far fewer goals than corsi events. With GA and CA, the sample size is the same for both: whatever period (games, minutes, etc.) you choose to observe one metric is the same for the other metric.

    So, for the above, the sample is small for GA and for CA.

  61. Chachi says:

    JDî:
    Chachi,

    Good examples, but Muzzin had major back problems and wasn’t signed by Pitt (I think?). So I doubt his 21 yr old season has any relevance to where he is today

    I’m on mobile, so can’t or won’t look up the deets.

    No idea on Muzzin’s back. Nurse has had some injuries, do we eliminate his 21 year old season too? How bad does an injury have to be to throw out a season?

    Edit: Looks like Muzzin’s back issues were herniated discs and it interrupted his first junior year. https://www.nhl.com/kings/news/my-story-jake-muzzin/c-646415
    Not sure why that would make his 21 year old season inconsequential.

  62. JDî says:

    Chachi,

    Back surgery? Not re signed by the team who drafted him?

  63. Thorin says:

    Georges: This is not correct. You must be thinking GF% vs. CF%. There, you’re dealing with proportions (where GF/GA and CF/CA are like heads/tails), and the sample size is different for goals and corsi events because there are far fewer goals than corsi events. With GA and CA, the sample size is the same for both: whatever period (games, minutes, etc.) you choose to observe one metric is the same for the other metric.

    So, for the above, the sample is small for GA and for CA.

    This confused me and I had to read it three times before understanding that you’re talking about a percentage on the GF%/CF% vs a straight count on the GA/CA. That little percentage sign really does make all the difference.

    I’m not complaining, thank you for pointing out the difference. I’m just saying in case anyone else glossed over the % sign.

  64. Chachi says:

    JDî:
    Chachi,

    Back surgery? Not re signed by the team who drafted him?

    He played 3 full junior seasons after the surgery.

  65. JDî says:

    Chachi,

    Ah, I thought it was later that he had problems.

    Still must have been an impact on him for Pitts to pass on him.

  66. Chachi says:

    JDî:
    Chachi,

    Ah, I thought it was later that he had problems.

    Still must have been an impact on him for Pitts to pass on him.

    For sure, but I am thinking Nurse’s injury knocking him out for half of his 21 year old season is probably pretty significant as well.

  67. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Keith out of Kelowna D Man Factory. Prob best D Development in CHL

  68. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    These are all “defensive metrics” in that they are about limiting shots, shot quality and goals.

    I’m using defensive metrics here because I think everyone agrees that Nurse’s value lies on the defensive side of the puck.

    To me, defensemen seem to be a background against which forwards and goalies do their respective things. There are some exceptional defensemen (like Karlsson) who seem weird and different and stand out on the plus side. And there are a bunch of not good enough defensemen who play in limited minutes and generally get exploited by the other team. Everyone else is OK, good enough to win, bad enough to lose, but not really in control of either outcome.

    Coaches should be able to understand the type of each defenseman they have on their roster and deploy them accordingly. Their jobs depend on their ability to make these decisions optimally. Obviously, there’s some sort of defenseman performance vs. age curve. But I have no idea how to satisfactorily measure a typical NHL defenseman’s performance. I wouldn’t use defensive (against) metrics because coaches can’t seem to select for it. Their allocation of ice time to their defensemen doesn’t seem to vary with defensive metrics. D-men ice time seems more related to offensive metrics. It’s weird and, as I said, I have no idea how to sort the middle.

    So I’ll go with my gut on Nurse. He’s a very good bet for the Oilers. High upside, low downside. Young, big, physical, can skate, reasonable shot. Game awareness and game management is a matter of at-bats. He needs more.

  69. JDî says:

    Chachi,

    Not insignificant.

  70. Chachi says:

    JDî:
    Chachi,

    Not insignificant.

    Your emoji game is strong today.

  71. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ducey,

    Chris Pronger played two NHL seasons for Hartford (124 games). He was talented but unfocused. They traded him to St Louis. It took him about two seasons to sort things out in St Louis. Then started winning awards.

    Pronger wasn’t traded because he was “unfocused”

    Hartford trade him for Brendan Shanahan, who was only 25 and scoring over 1pt/gm.

    High end for high end trade.

  72. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Ducey,

    Chris Pronger played two NHL seasons for Hartford (124 games). He was talented but unfocused. They traded him to St Louis. It took him about two seasons to sort things out in St Louis. Then started winning awards.

    Pronger wasn’t traded because he was “unfocused”

    Hartford trade him for Brendan Shanahan, who was only 25 and scoring over 1pt/gm.

    High end for high end trade.

    According to this http://www.courant.com/sports/hockey/hartford-whalers/hc-whalers-archive-july-28-1995-story.html both players had a lot of value, but were also perceived not to be living quite up to expectations.

  73. ashley says:

    For a franchise defenseman, Pronger got traded a lot.

  74. russ99 says:

    The things that bode well about Darnell are his size, physicality and offensive drive.

    Defensemen take longer. While they are different players, a similar path to Klefbom would suit us just fine. Similarly, an injury wiped out a partial season.

    The one thing I’d like to see Darnell work on besides responding better to offensive threats is his shot. I think there’s a heck of a slapshot there somewhere that just needs to be refined.

    As for defensive metrics, I prefer HSDC because it removes all other non-scoring chance shots from the equation, even more refined when looking at how defensemen affect shot quality against than dangerous Fenwick.

    The other gripe I have against shot metrics for defense is when people treat it as a plus-minus. All defensemen allow shots, so it’s not telling us very much or at least stilted towards CF%.

    I hope we can easily find HDSC and zone entry/exit ratios for players this season.

  75. Chachi says:

    ashley:
    For a franchise defenseman, Pronger got traded a lot.

    And he seemed like such a nice fellow!

  76. Strapping Jocks says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Haggard. Foos. Kenny Shields hat tip.

    As usual, you’ve been killing it on the music front of late, LT : )

    At this point in life, the Oil are probably my 4th obsession after music, women and cars. My mythical balance photo would be Irina Shayk reclining on the hood of an i8 ; )

    Love the fact that this blog incorporates these other touchstones into the fabric on a regular basis. It’s what sits it apart from other hockey only blogs imho. Variety is the spice of life!

    Wow, what does it say about my obsessions when I have to Google both ‘Irina Shayk’ and ‘i8’ ?!?!?!

  77. Professor Q says:

    So, Draisaitl for Tavares?

  78. Pink Socks says:

    Chachi: For sure, but I am thinking Nurse’s injury knocking him out for half of his 21 year old season is probably pretty significant as well.

    Not to mention also missing close to half of his final junior season.

  79. Chachi says:

    Pink Socks: Not to mention also missing close to half of his final junior season.

    Yup.

  80. Georges says:

    russ99:

    As for defensive metrics, I prefer HSDC because it removes all other non-scoring chance shots from the equation, even more refined when looking at how defensemen affect shot quality against than dangerous Fenwick.

    HDSC is a subset of shots. It has a lower correlation to goals than shots. Removing all other non-scoring chances removes a lot of the information that shots provide with respect to goals. And shots only provide a modest amount of information on goals. By looking at HDSC, you may very well find out how defensemen affect shot quality against. But you’re not going to find out how defensemen affect the outcome of games.

  81. Bag of Pucks says:

    Strapping Jocks: Wow, what does it say about my obsessions when I have to Google both ‘Irina Shayk’ and ‘i8’ ?!?!?!

    I don’t know what it says, but Google time well spent right?

  82. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: Here are some:

    Mark Giordano
    Zdeno Chara
    Johnny Boychuk
    Duncan Keith
    David Savard
    Jake Muzzin
    Jared Spurgeon

    Debatable whether they are all “first pair”, but I went by average time on ice. Also, I understand why you want to limit your look to players who came from the CHL, but eliminating players who came out of college or Euro leagues really does limit the sample of players to look at. For what it is worth, I am a big fan of Nurse and pretty much agree with your take on him.

    I have to limit it to CHLers because NCAA and Euros have a different timeline wrt “becoming what they are in the NHL”

    With NCAA and Euros its pretty quick too, but they don’t hit the NHL at 19 or 20 usually so you see them hit the NHL at 21/22 and the best ones are very good soon.

    Basically you give CHLers until their 21 before you form an opinion unless they kill it earlier (Doughty etc) and for Euros/NCAA guys you put a lot more stock in their rookie and rookie +1 years than CHLers due to age.

    Giordano – Not drafted out of the CHL. 21 year old year in AHL. Sutter not re-signing him was awful. Played 3rd pair when he came back at 25 and killed it.

    Chara – along with Gio & Ketith he is the “poster boy” for “just wait a few more years” Since his 21 year old year was 19 years ago we can’t dig too deep into his results. Was playing 2nd pairing minutes on NYI.

    Boychuck – Not in the category we are talking about. Lots of good players can play top pair with a very good player. He did it with Chara, just like 19 year old Carlo did this year. DeHaan and Hamonic have been top pair on NYI since Boychuck got there. AHL at 21.

    Keith – playing 1 year in CHL after 2 in the BCHL and then 2 years in college. Would consider him a NCAA route. AHL at 21.

    David Savard – Not sure I’d consider him in this category, but he’s trending nicely and had a great year with Jack Johnson. If he can make JJ a decent top pairing guy for multiple years he would certainly qualify. Tweener at 21. In his 31 NHL games at 21 he played 3rd pair with the best GF% among Dmen and 3rd best CF% while being positive RelCF%. Might be a good comp for Nurse.

    Jake Muzzin – I’m not sure what Muzzin is yet either. Last year Muzzin had the worst FF%-GF% in the NHL. That’s where his shot metrics way outperform the goal metrics. He’s been uneven away from Doughty. AHL at 21 with 11 games in the NHL.

    Spurgeon – One of my favorites. Played 2nd pair (not 3rd) at 21 while leading MIN in CF%. He counts as “made his presence known early”

    So the 3 main players that everyone points to, Chara, Keith and Gio will be 40, 34 and 34 this year. I think that’s telling.

    I like the Savard pick. That’s a good one. I like him too. He might be legit 1st pair soon but I think Jones/Werenski get a crack at it this year.

  83. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ducey: All reasonable.

    But

    If Nurse was playing with Rob Blake his fancies would look very swell.

    Last year he played 500 of his 5 x 5 600 minutes with a rookie (Benning) and the Oiler’s 7th D (Gryba).

    His boxcars don’t look good. Well, he played 4 minutes on the PP.

    Parayko’s first season was when he was 22, out of college. He is 24.

    His CF% is 49.2 with Edmundson, who he played 1/2 (600) of his 5 x 5 minutes with. Its 49..2 with Jay Bouw who he played 240 minutes with. Its 56.3 with Pietro who he played 153 min withand 52.3 with Shattenkirk who he played 70 minutes with.

    If he played the whole season with Edmundson we would say he sucks. If he played the whole season with Pietroangelo we would vote him a Corsi all star.

    Parayko had 10 points on the PP (141 min) so his boxcars look good so we say he is offensive.

    Good points.

    All fair.

    But, 🙂

    I don’t use boxcars though, so lets look at Parayko’s fancies.

    Parayko in his rookie year (22 years) played 3rd pair (with Edmunson) and led STL in CF% with 55%. and also led them in GF% with 63% (!!) Killed it.

    Announced his presence with authority.

    This past year his assignment got tougher (2nd pair, even with Shattenkirk on the roster) and his CF% dialed back a bit, maybe Edmunson can’t handle 2nds?

    As for Vlasic, playing with Blake is sure to be a big boost, but he didn’t drag Blake down and was an asset there. He earned that ice time.

    In Nurse’s 20 year old year he got put up with Sekera for a while and was demolished. Bad idea by the coach. Then everyone’s favorite RHD Fayne had to play with Sekera to stabilize the pairing.

    Now Sekera isn’t Blake and 21 isn’t 20 so its not a fair comparison, but its the only we have in this case.

  84. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges: HDSC is a subset of shots. It has a lower correlation to goals than shots. Removing all other non-scoring chances removes a lot of the information that shots provide with respect to goals. And shots only provide a modest amount of information on goals. By looking at HDSC, you may very well find out how defensemen affect shot quality against. But you’re not going to find out how defensemen affect the outcome of games.

    Very well said.

    I missed you Georges.

  85. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I have to limit it to CHLers because NCAA and Euros have a different timeline wrt “becoming what they are in the NHL”

    I understand this, but I am not sure how much this has to do with the players themselves.

  86. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: According to this http://www.courant.com/sports/hockey/hartford-whalers/hc-whalers-archive-july-28-1995-story.html both players had a lot of value, but were also perceived not to be living quite up to expectations.

    Thanks for that.

    Basically confirms what I said:

    “Everyone in this organization was unanimous in favor of this trade,” Rutherford said. “I don’t have the same disappointment in Pronger that maybe some of the fans and media do. I think Chris is right on track and I’m maybe one of his biggest supporters. I believe he’s going to be a very, very good player.

    “But I also believe that what we needed to do to improve our team was add an impact player. Shanahan is an impact player, a proven star, in exchange for a guy we’re still waiting to be a star. He’ll certainly change the whole outlook of this team. He’s definitely a younger Cam Neely. If he’s not the top power forward in the league, he’s right there in the top three.”

  87. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: I understand this, but I am not sure how much this has to do with the players themselves.

    I fleshed it out a bit more:

    I have to limit it to CHLers because NCAA and Euros have a different timeline wrt “becoming what they are in the NHL”

    With NCAA and Euros its pretty quick too, but they don’t hit the NHL at 19 or 20 usually so you see them hit the NHL at 21/22 and the best ones are very good soon.

    Basically you give CHLers until their 21 before you form an opinion unless they kill it earlier (Doughty etc) and for Euros/NCAA guys you put a lot more stock in their rookie and rookie +1 years than CHLers due to age.

    Clearer?

    It all has to do with age.

    A 19 or 20 year old CHLer in a rookie NHL year should not be held to the same standard as a 22/23 year old NCAA or Euro rookie. The older players should be much closer to what they are.

    addendum: players who will be 1st pairing stalwarts or first line scorers show this at an early age. Forwards by 20 usually and Dmen by 21/22.

    Since we don’t see NCAA/Euro rookies earlier than 21/22 their rookie years should have big up arrows if they are going to be in that upper tier later in their careers.

    It is very, very rare that you don’t see this with 1st liners or 1st pairing Dmen. Happens, but very rare and can’t bank on it.

  88. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Very well said.

    I missed you Georges.

    Awww, that’s so nice, WG! I missed you too.

    You and G need to put a download feature into PuckIQ. Now that Manny took Corsica down, I do much less hacking with NHL data. I just sit on the porch and yell at the kids playing in the street. Like my fellow posters.

  89. Ducey says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Good points.

    All fair.

    But,

    I don’t use boxcars though, so lets look at Parayko’s fancies.

    Parayko in his rookie year (22 years) played 3rd pair (with Edmunson) and led STL in CF% with 55%. and also led them in GF% with 63% (!!) Killed it.

    Announced his presence with authority.

    This past year his assignment got tougher (2nd pair, even with Shattenkirk on the roster) and his CF% dialed back a bit, maybe Edmunson can’t handle 2nds?

    As for Vlasic, playing with Blake is sure to be a big boost, but he didn’t drag Blake down and was an asset there.He earned that ice time.

    In Nurse’s 20 year old year he got put up with Sekera for a while and was demolished.Bad idea by the coach. Then everyone’s favorite RHD Fayne had to play with Sekera to stabilize the pairing.

    Now Sekera isn’t Blake and 21 isn’t 20 so its not a fair comparison, but its the only we have in this case.

    The other problem is that Nurse is breaking in with a team with a new coach, that is still in the darkness, and had a -42 goal differential.

    Parayko is breaking in with a supposed cup contender. Its a lot easier to look god when you are sheltered by vets both on both D and F and your team is kicking the snot out of other teams.

  90. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I fleshed it out a bit more:

    I have to limit it to CHLers because NCAA and Euros have a different timeline wrt “becoming what they are in the NHL”


    With NCAA and Euros its pretty quick too, but they don’t hit the NHL at 19 or 20 usually so you see them hit the NHL at 21/22 and the best ones are very good soon.

    Basically you give CHLers until their 21 before you form an opinion unless they kill it earlier (Doughty etc) and for Euros/NCAA guys you put a lot more stock in their rookie and rookie +1 years than CHLers due to age.

    Clearer?

    It all has to do with age.

    A 19 or 20 year old CHLer in a rookie NHL year should not be held to the same standard as a 22/23 year old NCAA or Euro rookie.The older players should be much closer to what they are.

    Yeah, I understood where you were coming from completely, but I have not done a good job of explaining where I am coming from.

    Here’s my theory: A player coming out of the CHL will be given less opportunity to prove themselves in the NHL than a similar player coming out of Europe or College who is the same age. That CHL player better kill it early (i.e. by the time they are 21) or else he is not going to get the same opportunity that same-aged college and Euro players will get going forward. I think this has an effect on whether those players ever “reach their potential”. I wonder how many CHL trained d-men were consigned to the scrap heap before their 22nd birthday because they weren’t dominating on the 2nd pairing while a 23 year old rookie Euro or graduating college player was slotted in ahead of them in an organization because they were new and exciting. I know the cream should rise to the top, but these are people we are talking about after all and who knows what kind of pressure is on them to break away from the pack early. That has to take a toll on them.

    Here’s a bit of a thought experiment. Who would you consider a better prospect at the age of 19, Darnell Nurse in the OHL putting up 33 points in 36 games or Josh Manson putting up 4 assists in 33 games in college? One of them has been pegged to not have what it takes to be a first pairing d-man at the age of 21, the other is an emerging young star at 24 years old.

  91. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges: Awww, that’s so nice, WG! I missed you too.

    You and G need to put a download feature into PuckIQ. Now that Manny took Corsica down, I do much less hacking with NHL data. I just sit on the porch and yell at the kids playing in the street. Like my fellow posters.

    We have lots planned as soon as the WOWY interface is ready.

    We’ll have a csv download option. Yay!

    G is working on previous seasons data too.

  92. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ducey: The other problem is that Nurse is breaking in with a team with a new coach, that is still in the darkness, and had a -42 goal differential.

    Parayko is breaking in with a supposed cup contender. Its a lot easier to look god when you are sheltered by vets both on both D and F and your team is kicking the snot out of other teams.

    I’m not sure about that.

    Spurgeon was brought up earlier.

    In his 21 year old year MIN was 21st in the NHL and had a goal diff of -27 while he was a positive in the 2nd pair.

    You can even argue with Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo on the other 2 pairings that its would be way tougher to post the best CF% and GF% on the Dcorps.

  93. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: Yeah, I understood where you were coming from completely, but I have notdone a good job of explaining where I am coming from.

    Here’s my theory: A player coming out of the CHL will be given less opportunity to prove themselves in the NHL than a similar player coming out of Europe or College who is the same age. That CHL player better kill it early (i.e. by the time they are 21) or else he is not going to get the same opportunity that same-aged college and Euro players will get going forward. I think this has an effect on whether those players ever “reach their potential”.I wonder how many CHL trained d-men were consigned to the scrap heap before their 22nd birthday because they weren’t dominating on the 2nd pairing while a 23 year old rookie Euro or graduating college player was slotted in ahead of them in an organization because they were new and exciting. I know the cream should rise to the top, but these are people we are talking about after all and who knows what kind of pressure is on them to break away from the pack early. That has to take a toll on them.

    Here’s a bit of a thought experiment. Who would you consider a better prospect at the age of 19, Darnell Nurse in the OHL putting up 33 points in 36 games or Josh Manson putting up 4 assists in 33 games in college? One of them has been pegged to not have what it takes to be a first pairing d-man at the age of 21, the other is an emerging young star at 24 years old.

    I do think that NHL teams give their high draft picks lots and lots of rope though.

    I’m certainly in the minority on Nurse among fans and I guarantee that most GMs would look on him favorably.

    Gudbranson (who might be a very good Nurse comp) is a good example.

    Pretty meh results throughout his career, but is making good dollars and is in demand.

    This is especially true for first rounders and high first rounders.

    Cam Barker played 310 NHL games with almost no good results except for one year.

    Kulikov just got a big deal from WPG despite not playing well for 3+ years.

    I don’t think what you are positing is true.

    These players get tons of chances.

  94. Ducey says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Thanks for that.

    Basically confirms what I said:

    “Everyone in this organization was unanimous in favor of this trade,” Rutherford said. “I don’t have the same disappointment in Pronger that maybe some of the fans and media do. I think Chris is right on track and I’m maybe one of his biggest supporters. I believe he’s going to be a very, very good player.


    “But I also believe that what we needed to do to improve our team was add an impact player. Shanahan is an impact player, a proven star, in exchange for a guy we’re still waiting to be a star. He’ll certainly change the whole outlook of this team. He’s definitely a younger Cam Neely. If he’s not the top power forward in the league, he’s right there in the top three.”

    Yeah, the general consensus was he was not meeting expectations (kinda like Nurse).

    All the rest is just GM speak.

    Here is quote on Pronger from his Wiki page: On his rookie season, then-teammate Kelly Chase noted, “You could see [Pronger] had talent, but it was a ho-hum thing. He really didn’t have any direction. He was under a lot of pressure and just wasn’t ready for the responsibility. Of course that team wasn’t exactly overloaded with players who knew how to win”

    He had a bar fight in there too.

    One might even say he was “unfocused”.

    Interesting that Shanny only spent a year in Hartford before demanding a trade. I wonder what he thinks of trade demands now?

  95. McSorley33 says:

    Cameron,

    Good Post..all around.

  96. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Good points.

    All fair.

    But,

    I don’t use boxcars though, so lets look at Parayko’s fancies.

    Parayko in his rookie year (22 years) played 3rd pair (with Edmunson) and led STL in CF% with 55%. and also led them in GF% with 63% (!!) Killed it.

    Announced his presence with authority.

    This past year his assignment got tougher (2nd pair, even with Shattenkirk on the roster) and his CF% dialed back a bit, maybe Edmunson can’t handle 2nds?

    As for Vlasic, playing with Blake is sure to be a big boost, but he didn’t drag Blake down and was an asset there.He earned that ice time.

    In Nurse’s 20 year old year he got put up with Sekera for a while and was demolished.Bad idea by the coach. Then everyone’s favorite RHD Fayne had to play with Sekera to stabilize the pairing.

    Now Sekera isn’t Blake and 21 isn’t 20 so its not a fair comparison, but its the only we have in this case.

    Perhaps Nurse is just not good on the right side. Didn’t do well with Sekera. Benning of course did great with Andrej. So that might be some of the difference.

    Nurse fared pretty well with Larsson. 53% Corsi. Of course he didn’t get much of a look there because the left side had perfect health besides Nurse.

    Also, its tough to compare Nurse who missed almost 40 games to other defencemen because they didn’t play in the same circumstances.

    Nurse for example played 10% of his icetime with Desharnais who pretty much every defender performed poorly with fancy stats wise. I don’t think any other defender played more than 5% of their total icetime with David.

    Also through the first 11 games the Oilers were at 48.59% corsi courtesy of Lowetide’s Nov. 4th update.

    They finished the season at 49.9%.

    So Darnell played the entire month of Oct. in a lower corsi environment that Benning for example missed out on(His first game was Nov.1). Is Benning the reason the Oilers had a high enough corsi from November to April to cause them to climb 1.31%?

    I doubt it.

    But it helps Benning’s numbers, and hurts Nurse’s more than all of the other defence because Nurse only played three months of hockey.

    So your numbers paint Nurse as worst on the team in all categories Woodguy, but how do you control for these different variables I brought up?

    Nurse was number one on the team in the playoffs in corsi where all the variables were pretty consistent, but its a small sample size.

    Do you have the CA, FA,SA and DFA numbers for the playoffs? I don’t. It would be interesting to see if those numbers match up with the corsi%.

    P.S. I’m not trying to say Nurse was great last season. There are clearly things he needs to work on, but I am thinking that the reality isn’t as dire as Nurse’s numbers away from McDavid are suggesting.

  97. GMB3 says:

    Georges: Awww, that’s so nice, WG! I missed you too.

    You and G need to put a download feature into PuckIQ. Now that Manny took Corsica down, I do much less hacking with NHL data. I just sit on the porch and yell at the kids playing in the street. Like my fellow posters.

    While drinking whisky?

  98. GMB3 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I understand the importance of using Rel to suss out value, but I feel like San Jose had a really solid group of players on both F and D. Basically giving Vlasic even more cover and probably not having to pull as much weight on the ice as Darnell did on a cellar dweller. Is there any validity to this opinion? Or am I missing something simple.

    Also I agree with POV on Nurse, just trying to gain a deeper understanding on how teammates and quality of team can affect these stats.

  99. Georges says:

    GMB3: While drinking whisky?

    And cooking with cast iron.

  100. McSorley33 says:

    The discussion today on Nurse was outstanding not just in quality but in tone.

    The problem I have is bias ( I love Nurse ) – – I think Nurse is a pure talent and I remember one of the Sedin twins commenting about his size and speed in a pre-season game.

    Yet, WG’s numbers are telling.

    Further, I also find it telling that Mr. Benning – a raw NCAA rookie – finds himself near the top of the some good metrics.

    i don’t believe there is a question that nearly all teams covet Nurse and his value truly supersedes his current play.

    The problem is I do see the potential to be a Chris Pronger – lite. ( sans offense )

    Darnell’s limitations are only because he needs to figure out the game mentally..and I do believe he will get there.

    Which is why 3rd pairing minutes this upcoming year is perfect development.

  101. frjohnk says:

    Georges: HDSC is a subset of shots. It has a lower correlation to goals than shots. Removing all other non-scoring chances removes a lot of the information that shots provide with respect to goals. And shots only provide a modest amount of information on goals. By looking at HDSC, you may very well find out how defensemen affect shot quality against. But you’re not going to find out how defensemen affect the outcome of games.

    The issue with HDSC not correlating to goals as well as shots is because HDSC is just shot attempts from the slot. HDSC counts blocked and missed shots. Just shots on net from the slot would help.

  102. Georges says:

    frjohnk: The issue with HDSC not correlating to goals as well as shots is because HDSC is just shot attempts from the slot. HDSC counts blocked and missed shots. Just shots on net from the slot would help.

    Where are you getting HDSC data?

  103. Doug McLachlan says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I know that I have probably asked before but thought I should revisit the question.

    With Detroit’s resigning of Tatar (4x$5.3M) the team is already over the cap. I presume they will put Franzen’s $3.9M on LTIR but they still have to sign Athanasiou and even on a bridge, they are going over $75M.

    The obvious player to deal, IMHO, would be Mike Green’s final year at $6M and while overpaid for what he does, it is just for this season.

    He would normally have been a trade deadline target but with Detroit’s cap crunch and Sekera’s unsure timetable – is this someone Chia should be looking at dealing for before October? If so, what is a fair price?

    Prior to last season he had over 50% Corsi and Fenwick for every year (save the lockout year, if I recall correctly). This doesn’t look bad to my eyes for one season – and really tightens up nicely when Sekera returns for the playoff run.

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Green
    Nurse – Benning
    Gryba
    with Sekera on LTIR

  104. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I do think that NHL teams give their high draft picks lots and lots of rope though.

    I’m certainly in the minority on Nurse among fans and I guarantee that most GMs would look on him favorably.

    Gudbranson (who might be a very good Nurse comp) is a good example.

    Pretty meh results throughout his career, but is making good dollars and is in demand.

    This is especially true for first rounders and high first rounders.

    Cam Barker played 310 NHL games with almost no good results except for one year.

    Kulikov just got a big deal from WPG despite not playing well for 3+ years.

    I don’t think what you are positing is true.

    These players get tons of chances.

    I think that if this season Darnell Nurse puts up the exact same numbers Matt Benning did last year there will be a lot of people who point to it as a bad season and write Nurse off as a prospect. They’ll be wrong, but not everyone is as enlightened as you are.

  105. godot10 says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I know that I have probably asked before but thought I should revisit the question.

    With Detroit’s resigning of Tatar (4x$5.3M) the team is already over the cap.I presume they will put Franzen’s $3.9M on LTIR but they still have to sign Athanasiou and even on a bridge, they are going over $75M.

    The obvious player to deal, IMHO, would be Mike Green’s final year at $6M and while overpaid for what he does, it is just for this season.

    He would normally have been a trade deadline target but with Detroit’s cap crunch and Sekera’s unsure timetable – is this someone Chia should be looking at dealing for before October?If so, what is a fair price?

    Prior to last season he had over 50% Corsi and Fenwick for every year (save the lockout year, if I recall correctly).This doesn’t look bad to my eyes for one season – and really tightens up nicely when Sekera returns for the playoff run.

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Green
    Nurse – Benning
    Gryba
    with Sekera on LTIR

    Correct me if I am wrong. But I think many people are making wrong assumptions about Sekera’s LTIR.

    As long as Draisaitl is unsigned, the Oilers CANNOT access Sekera’s LTIR cap space, because they will be nowhere near the salary cap.

    Until Draisaitl is signed, Sekera’s LTIR room is a mirage.

    So until Draisaitl is signed, no player can be acquired assuming one will be able to use Sekera’s LTIR for him.

  106. Thinker says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I know that I have probably asked before but thought I should revisit the question.

    With Detroit’s resigning of Tatar (4x$5.3M) the team is already over the cap.I presume they will put Franzen’s $3.9M on LTIR but they still have to sign Athanasiou and even on a bridge, they are going over $75M.

    The obvious player to deal, IMHO, would be Mike Green’s final year at $6M and while overpaid for what he does, it is just for this season.

    He would normally have been a trade deadline target but with Detroit’s cap crunch and Sekera’s unsure timetable – is this someone Chia should be looking at dealing for before October?If so, what is a fair price?

    Prior to last season he had over 50% Corsi and Fenwick for every year (save the lockout year, if I recall correctly).This doesn’t look bad to my eyes for one season – and really tightens up nicely when Sekera returns for the playoff run.

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Green
    Nurse – Benning
    Gryba
    with Sekera on LTIR

    I’m all for it. If you can get him for picks and a prospect, you can probably get more picks back for him at the deadline. Green has a good reputation though, so he might be worth more than I think.

  107. Bag of Pucks says:

    One thing you have to love about Nurse, ‘You can’t teach mean.’

    When a player is grinning in the middle of a scrap? That is some Clint Eastwood cowboy cool.

  108. Rondo says:

    No one seems to factor that most of the Oilers have not been in the playoffs till this year . There will be a jump in talent.

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Correct me if I am wrong.But I think many people are making wrong assumptions about Sekera’s LTIR.

    As long as Draisaitl is unsigned, the Oilers CANNOT access Sekera’s LTIR cap space, because they will be nowhere near the salary cap.

    Until Draisaitl is signed, Sekera’s LTIR room is a mirage.

    So until Draisaitl is signed, no player can be acquired assuming one will be able to use Sekera’s LTIR for him.

    Absolutely correct, however, until Drai signs, the Oilers have over $15M in cap space.

    A huge contract can be acquired now and, once Drai signs, if necessary, the LTIR room can be used.

  110. fifthcartel says:

    The fancy stats suggest Nurse probably (most likely) isn’t the top pair guy many had hoped when he was drafted. Can he be a top-4/second pairing guy?

    If we use fancy stats to discuss how good Matt Benning was, we have to be fair and use them to look at Nurse and wonder if he’s being overvalued.

    Yes, he’s big, mean, and skates really well, but I’m trying to think of what he does well and it’s difficult. Plus skating, but not a great passer, seems good at skating the puck out. Wouldn’t say he is good defensively or makes good decisions, and the stats back that up.

    He’s a wonderful skater, but I just think he hasn’t asserted himself as a surefire top-4 option like others had.

    Nurse didn’t kill it on the third pair, and that’s a worry IMO.

  111. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bank Shot,

    Perhaps Nurse is just not good on the right side. Didn’t do well with Sekera. Benning of course did great with Andrej. So that might be some of the difference.

    Pretty sure Sekera played his off-side, but you’re right, that’s an important thing because RS Sekera < LS Sekera

    Also, its tough to compare Nurse who missed almost 40 games to other defencemen because they didn’t play in the same circumstances.

    Seeing as he played 3rd pair pretty much all year, I’m not sure much would have changed. A big part of his sample was the end of the year when 27-93-14 finally kicked some ass, so that would have helped his numbers a bit.

    What Desharnais takes away, the “better” 2nd line gives back to him a bit.

    So Darnell played the entire month of Oct. in a lower corsi environment that Benning for example missed out on(His first game was Nov.1). Is Benning the reason the Oilers had a high enough corsi from November to April to cause them to climb 1.31%?
    I doubt it.

    Seeing as how Benning had the best CF% on the team, he’s probably more of that than we’d think.

    His Rel CF% for the year was +1.9, so he might be as much .60 of that.

    So your numbers paint Nurse as worst on the team in all categories Woodguy, but how do you control for these different variables I brought up?

    Most of those get accounted for because it blends in for everyone and like I mentioned he also got a push from having a lot of his 93 time when they were clicking.

    Nurse was 55% CF with RNH, which is by far the best of any D and a big reason is his missed time was the worst time for RNH.

    So it blends.

    Also,

    Remember, the numbers I posted today are all WITHOUT MCDAVID.

    Overall Nurse does better, but his numbers get a massive push from McDavid and its important for all Oilers to be evaluated without McDavid because of his effect.

    His CF% might have been crummy with Desharnais, but they were playing mostly against players who didn’t score and shoot as much so those minutes should have helped the metrics I posted today as they were all “AGAINST” metrics, not overall metrics.

    Do you have the CA, FA,SA and DFA numbers for the playoffs? I don’t. It would be interesting to see if those numbers match up with the corsi%.

    I don’t. I can get CA and GA from puckalytics though.

    Nurse playoffs:

    Overall:
    49.7% CF
    54.5% GF
    1.48 GA/60
    59.35 CA/60

    All of those are good. CA is a bit high.

    Without McDavid:
    48.6% CF
    50% GF
    1.75 GA/60
    56.50 CA/60

    Those look decent too.

  112. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    GMB3:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I understand the importance of using Rel to suss out value, but I feel like San Jose had a really solid group of players on both F and D. Basically giving Vlasic even more cover and probably not having to pull as much weight on the ice as Darnell did on a cellar dweller. Is there any validity to this opinion? Or am I missing something simple.

    Also I agree with POV on Nurse, just trying to gain a deeper understanding on how teammates and quality of team can affect these stats.

    Its tougher to get good Rels on a good team. Easier to get good ones on a bad team.

    Malkin is career negative Rel because of Crosby for instance.

    Any coach is going to structure is dpairs to win the most so playing a player on a 1st pair, even if its with Rob Blake, isn’t giving him cover, its exposing him to the best.

  113. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    I like Green but he needs to be sheltered and a lot of his value in on the PP.

    The McDavid-Drai PP is one of the best in the NHL so they don’t need to spend assets there.

    It would also force Benning to 2RD.

    I like Benning a lot, but that doesn’t help the roster imo.

  114. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: I think that if this season Darnell Nurse puts up the exact same numbers Matt Benning did last year there will be a lot of people who point to it as a bad season and write Nurse off as a prospect. They’ll be wrong, but not everyone is as enlightened as you are.

    Benning had great numbers this past year though.

    I’d see it as a big breakthrough for him.

  115. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    I used to drink Spirytus on the regular. That’s 192 proof. I don’t recommend you drink it on the regular. Glad those days are behind me.

  116. Pouzar says:

    Gonna try me a bottle of Baltika beer on this Friday evening.
    Anyone had it?

  117. Pouzar says:

    McSorley33: The discussion today on Nurse was outstanding not just in quality but in tone.

    +1

    Well done WG et al.

  118. Pouzar says:

    Russian Beer with Cool Ranch Doritos covered in melted cheddar cheese.

    No…it doesn’t get any better.

  119. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Benning had great numbers this past year though.

    I’d see it as a big breakthrough for him.

    I know you would.

  120. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: I know you would.

    I think others would as well.

    Nurse getting results like Benning would be bigger news than Benning doing it last year.

    He’s got a spotlight on him.

  121. Cameron says:

    McSorley33,

    Merci

  122. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I think others would as well.

    Nurse getting results like Benning would be bigger news than Benning doing it last year.

    He’s got a spotlight on him.

    If he puts up boxcars of 3 goals and 12 assists in anything close to a full season the knives will be out for him. A lot of “smart” people are already pointing to his offensive output as a reason he won’t be a top pairing d-man.

  123. maudite says:

    Stopped asking but still hoping for either a Tom Waits or Townes themed RE. Be a lot more intriguing to see what you come up with using those catalogues. Foo Fighters has me nervous that more radio filler is coming like Red Hot Chilli Peppers is next.

  124. GMB3 says:

    Georges: And cooking with cast iron.

    My man

  125. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges: This is not correct. You must be thinking GF% vs. CF%. There, you’re dealing with proportions (where GF/GA and CF/CA are like heads/tails), and the sample size is different for goals and corsi events because there are far fewer goals than corsi events. With GA and CA, the sample size is the same for both: whatever period (games, minutes, etc.) you choose to observe one metric is the same for the other metric.

    So, for the above, the sample is small for GA and for CA.

    The sample size is the TOI, the results are the CA or the GA.

    Nurse away from McDavid after his injury is only 205 min.

    There were 8 GA and 198 CA.

    If you add or subtract one goal it changes the GA quite a bit.

    The CA rate is more stable.

  126. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Giordano, Keith (granted drafted out of US college I think), Seabrook, Muzzin, Spurgeon

    I missed this.

    I covered them all except Seabrook

    Seabrook in his 21 year old year was 3rd on CHI in Dman EV TOI/gm

    So he played 2nds until Wiz got injured (50gp) and then played 1st with Keith.

    Don’t have the fancies from that year as it was the last year before we had them, 06/07.

  127. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    digger50: Why don’t we look at our own Adam Larson?Tougher QOC of course, but an interesting development history. I’m curious.

    Missed this too.

    Larsson had a strange road. Reminds me a bit of Lander.

    Thrust into the NHL at 18 and then spent time in the AHL as a 19 year old, and then after another coaching change spent the 2nd part of his 21 year old season in AHL.

    That said in his 21 year old season he played 3rd pair and was 2nd on NJD in CF% behind only Green, so he was doing well possession wise in those minutes.

    Its interesting that he was last on the team in GF%, but was 3rd best in GA/60. He didn’t play with anyone who could score.

    I would have Larsson ahead of Nurse at the same point in their careers, but this might be the best “good player comp” so far.

    I don’t consider Larsson a “#1 stud”, but rather a solid top 4 Dman who can play top pair if the other guy is driving it.

  128. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The sample size is the TOI, the results are the CA or the GA.

    Nurse away from McDavid after his injury is only 205 min.

    There were 8 GA and 198 CA.

    If you add or subtract one goal it changes the GA quite a bit.

    The CA rate is more stable.

    If you treat the entire 205 minutes as a sample, then you have only one sample point. Not much stats involved with a sample size of one. If by “the CA rate is more stable” you mean the coefficient of variation (CV) for CA is lower than it is for GA (CA is less variable than GA), then, sure, I can follow that line of thinking. I haven’t run the numbers for players but teams last season had a lower CV for CA per game than for GA per game. It’s not that CA stabilizes faster than GA (they’re both functions of the same sample size), it’s, as you say, CA is less variable (“more stable”) than GA to begin with.

    But, as I said, I hesitate to reach definite conclusions on most defensemen using against metrics like CA or GA.

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