Mar 4, 2017
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>ken_holland</b></div><div>a top pairing dman? Dude can't play defense if his life depended on it. 3rd percentile in xEVD and you compared him to freaking Hedman lmao.
And the problem with AA was that he couldn't produce this season and was awful defensively. And AA's outlier 2018-19 season won't be repeated
DeBrusk is much better than Nurse if you look at analytics. Points are not a good way of evaluating players</div></div>
I posted this a few weeks ago:
Just thought I'd compare Nurse's past 3 years with some of the generally accepted "#1D" at the same age. It's not a perfect comp due to play-style differences of course, but I'm hoping it'll give some idea of where Nurse is in his development.
Nurse: 2017-18 to 2019-20
Jones: 2017-18 to 2019-20
Hedman: 2013-14 to 2015-16
Pietrangelo: 2012-13 to 2014-15
Josi: 2012-13 to 2014-15
Doughty: 2012-13 to 2014-15
Burns: 2007-08 to 2009-10
Doughty has played crazy minutes since entering the league - still does - but Jones, Josi and Nurse are all in the range at the same age. Pietrangelo is nearly a full minute less while Hedman and Burns are way down.
Hedman: 212, 22-60-82
Nurse: 235, 17-60-77
Pietrangelo: 209, 12-57-69
Jones: 209, 17-48-65
Josi: 201, 22-42-64
Doughty: 208, 12-37-49
Burns: 188, 8-29-37
Nurse is second overall in part due to playing more games than the others. That's a feature, not a bug, although for 3 of these players we're including the lockout shortened season, so Pietrangelo, Josi and Doughty have an excuse for having played less. Nurse didn't miss a single game in the timeframe in question.
Nurse is right in the range with Pietrangelo, Josi and Jones, and 3rd overall. Burns was nowhere near his prime and Hedman is ahead of the others at the same age. Of course, Hedman's TOI and puckiq.com numbers indicate that he wasn't playing 1st pair until the last of the 3 years, so that could have something to do with his offensive numbers. When you look at each year individually, you'll see that the year he played 1st pairing his scoring rates were the lowest.
I wouldn't normally bother with things like Hits and Blocked Shots, but I wanted to throw them in there to show the differences between these players' styles. Josi and Pietrangelo aren't very physical, but both block shots well. Burns and Doughty are physical but don't block a lot of shots, while Nurse plays more like Jones and Hedman, but more physical than both. It's worth giving this a second mention: Nurse is more physical than Doughty in his hey-day. That's incredible. So let's look at some more defensive metrics, corrected for team strength ("relative" metrics).
Shot Against/60 Rel (and SF% Rel)
Hedman: -1.85 (+3.70)
Jones: -0.93 (+3.05)
Doughty: 0.09 (+1.26)
Burns: 0.44 (+1.02)
Nurse: 1.1 (+0.30)
Pietrangelo: 2.24 (-0.65)
Josi: 3.21 (-0.45)
Man, it really isn't easy to play 1st pairing at 23-25 years old. Almost everyone here puts up worse SA/60 numbers than their teammates whom they sheltered, although to be fair Burns wan't playing 1st pairing and Hedman was only 1 of the 3 years. For reference, a positive SA/60 Rel number is bad, while a positive SF% Rel number is good. So while Nurse allowed marginally more shots against than his teammates, he created enough Shots For that his overall % was positive, although only slightly. Nurse is clearly behind Jones and Doughty but well ahead of Pietrangelo and Josi.
Goals Against/60 Rel (and GF% Rel)
Josi: -0.05 (+2.55)
Burns: -0.02 (+4.32)
Nurse: 0.05 (+4.54)
Jones: 0.09 (+0.60)
Hedman: 0.13 (5.81)
Doughty: 0.20 (-0.54)
Pietrangelo: 0.35 (-0.43)
In this metric Nurse shines, allowing basically team average goals against but while playing much harder comp than everyone else. Notice how practically everyone in this group allows more goals than their teammates? First pairing is hard. The players here are tightly grouped, but you can see from the GF% Rel that 3 players - Hedman, Nurse and Burns - produced enough GF Rel to make a significant difference for their team while on the ice. We can see that shots allowed is not a great predictor for goals allowed due in part to shot quality and distance, so they came up with an "Expected Goals" metric to try and correct for this:
Expected Goals Against/60 Rel (and xGF% Rel)
Hedman: -0.02 (+2.18)
Doughty: -0.01 (+1.11)
Jones: 0.05 (+0.39)
Burns: 0.06 (+1.10)
Josi: 0.08 (+0.03)
Nurse: 0.12 (+0.04)
Pietrangelo: 0.25 (-1.46)
Only Pietrangelo is behind the pack here, all 6 of the others are all within the same range. Nurse is at the bottom of the range, but this is a very good group of players to be hanging around with. Okay, just one more stat to give colour to all the above stats...
Defensive Zone Faceoffs/60 (Off. Zone Faceoff %)
Josi: 24.57 (44.89)
Pietrangelo: 19.91 (50.55)
Nurse: 18.67 (48.84)
Burns: 18.19 (46.14)
Doughty: 17.93 (54.18)
Jones: 17.26 (56.54)
Hedman: 17.00 (56.98)
If you look back at the Shots Against list, you'll see that Nurse, Pietrangelo and Josi ranked 5,6 and 7 respectively. Now you can see why - they were sent out for the most defensive zone faceoffs. The defenseman has nothing to do with losing the faceoff and very little control over the resulting shot / shot attempt. This list also explains why those three rank at the bottom for xGA/60 and at the top of the Shots Blocked list too - and makes the fact that Nurse and Josi are strong in the actual Goals Against metric even more impressive.
So what do you think? Do these numbers stand up to the fact that you "seen him bad", or do they show Nurse on a track to remain one of the leagues best over the coming decade?
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>anduril</b></div><div>I'm actually not inclined to the acquisition. I created this more to see how it would work. I think the Oilers have other better options, including just keeping Klefbom. That being said, I'm not 100% convinced by the OEL declining narrative. He had a bad year last season (by his standards) to be sure but one season does not make a trend. And, the drawback on Klefbom, as good as he is, is that he's injury prone and gives up 20 or so games a year. That's just a significant liability when you are counting on him as 1st pair as Edmonton does. If he was 2nd pair, we might not struggle so much but when he's out of the lineup, it's just brutal. OEL has a history of being much more durable.
I'm not a subscriber to the Athletic but Lowetide is my favourite Oilers commentator. I'd certainly trust his perspective. I wonder if ARI says yes to Neal but it's better than some fan proposals that have tried to offset the salary completely. There's no way ARI makes this deal if they aren't saving REAL dollars.
The good news is that as the discussion as developed more and more people are realizing that ARI can't expect a very high return b/c of the salary and visions of 2-1sts or Klefbom and a 1st and other ideas are too high a price.</div></div>
OEL's 5v5 GF% (rel) for the past 4 years:
2016-17: 45.69% <strong>(+2.92)</strong>
2017-18: 45.76% <strong>(-0.47)</strong>
2018-19: 43.93% <strong>(-2.74)</strong>
2019-20: 48.28% <strong>(-3.34)</strong>
Do you see the decline now? OEL isn't as good as Nurse now and he certainly isn't going to be getting better in his 30's. It doesn't make any sense for the Oilers, even if they do get out of Neal's $5.75 x 3 deal. Neal provides something they need, OEL does not.
I think the savings LT proposed was based on AZ buying Neal out, as that would cost them $11.5M over 6 years vs $54M over the next 7 years. That's HUGE - if they could add the 2020 #14 overall pick to that savings it would be a big win for them. I don't see that it makes any sense for the Oilers, however.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Zmach</b></div><div>I've read all the stats before. Yes Nurse is a good puck transporter and makes as many mistakes as the top guys in the league and his carrying of the puck results in shots on goal. Nurse doesn't play 28 minutes a night though, he'd be a rolling Clutterbuck, and he doesn't make offense by clean passes and plays which is what you want from a guy who quarterbacks the breakout. Nurse plays best when he plays no more than 23 min a night. For an ideal first pairing you need a guy who plays 28 min and makes the seam passes to mcdavid or can find a soft spot and take it into the zone or set up a goal from the point or score from close to the blue line and or even hit the net from the offensive zone. Nurse only does half of those things.</div></div>
Nurse is 19th in the league for average TOI/GP over the past 2 seasons, making him a #1D easily.
<a href="http://www.nhl.com/stats/skaters?reportType=season&seasonFrom=20182019&seasonTo=20192020&gameType=2&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,1&sort=timeOnIcePerGame&page=0&pageSize=50" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">http://www.nhl.com/stats/skaters?reportType=season&seasonFrom=20182019&seasonTo=20192020&gameType=2&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,1&sort=timeOnIcePerGame&page=0&pageSize=50</a>
Here's the thing though: most of the guys ahead of him played a lot of PP time, something that is far less tiring than even strength work. When we look at the 5v5 game state, we see that Nurse is actually 4th in the league for 5v5 TOI/GP and 1st in the league for total 5v5 TOI.
<a href="http://naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&stdoi=std&rate=y&team=ALL&pos=S&loc=B&toi=0&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">http://naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&stdoi=std&rate=y&team=ALL&pos=S&loc=B&toi=0&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL</a>
You could argue that any player would be better with different TOI management, but there's no way of proving that one way or the other when it comes to Nurse.
He's not the best breakout passer, but he's one of the top players in the league at carrying the puck out. You need that too. This is partly why being paired with Bear has worked so well - Nurse is an excellent carry option, Bear is an excellent pass option. Both together make for a top-notch breakout tandem.
You want to talk about offense, but offensively Nurse in the 7th best defenseman at 5v5 over the past 3 years, stretching back to when he was just 22 years old. To match Hedman in his prime is a pretty decent feat if you ask me.
<a href="http://naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20172018&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&stdoi=std&rate=n&team=ALL&pos=D&loc=B&toi=0&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">http://naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20172018&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&stdoi=std&rate=n&team=ALL&pos=D&loc=B&toi=0&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL</a>