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No curse on Darnell Nurse: Big D playing best hockey right now with Edmonton Oilers

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Darnell Nurse is playing the best hockey of his National Hockey League career for the Edmonton Oilers.

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The timing of the nurse is exquisite. He has scored his hit cap of $9.25 million in the first year of his eight-year contract.

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After years of low wages, nurses are risking higher salaries this year. This would bring loud and constant criticism in a hockey market as obsessed with salary caps and performances as Edmonton.

But now, 12 games into the 2022-23 regular season, Nurse is skating better than ever, moving the puck with dexterity, defending smarter, and performing better on both sides of the ice than ever before. making judgments. He’s always been playing high event games, some bad and some better than usual, but this year he’s made fewer misreads and missteps.

Having played nearly 500 NHL regular season games at the age of 27, he has a welcome maturity and confidence in his game. He’s not running around looking for big hits. He’s not charging the ice in a spectacular way, he just loses the puck behind his opponent’s net. And he’s less likely to be on the wrong side of the check in his zone defensively.

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Nurse isn’t Doug Harvey, the Montreal Canadiens ace famous for sitting in a rocking chair in a defensive slot and letting him run the game, but he’s a true Grade A No. 1 NHL d-man and A trustworthy person. Shut down the opposition’s top players at crucial moments.

Having been one of the NHL’s best D-men in recent years, he’s reached new heights here. I rank the NHL d-men using a simple stats cheat code. Basically, how much my coach trusts his time on ice in critical situations (strength, his short hand, overtime, etc.) and how well they perform. to evaluate their play. Attack (even strength and percentage of points earned on power play).

One of the proofs of statistical analysis is whether it passes the odor test. Using this system, these metrics alone will tell you that Viktor Hedman was the NHL’s best D-man from 2018 until he was 2022. Second best is Dev0n Toews and Roman Jose. Also in the top 10 were Chris Letang, Adam Fox, Brent Burns, John Carlson, Aaron Ekblad and Jacob Slavin, while Cale Makar ranked his 11th for the period. rice field.

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Does that list pass the smell test of the last four years? If not, see our own stats list for a better representation of the NHL’s top d-men.

And Nurse, where does he rank? Overall for this period he was 4th, in the 2018-20 season he was 18th, in the 2020-21 season he was 2nd and in the 2021-22 season he was 9th.

His numbers made him an impressive companion.

Even though we only have a sample size game this year, Nurse ranks 14th overall in even strength minutes and 27th overall in even strength scores.

Cult of Hockey is doing more focused work to come up with fairer and more accurate player readings. See videos of all goals and grade A shots, see which players made the biggest contributions to grade A shots, and critical mistakes on grade A shots. We believe that Grade A shots are at the heart of hockey, the most important event in the game, so who is helping the Oilers create them? I want to know who is

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Faced with a massive stream of top-notch opponents such as NHL’s Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane, defensemen like Nurse face a huge challenge in avoiding mistakes on Grade A shots. A top attacker has the speed, skill, and intelligence to quickly outmaneuver even the best of his D-Mans. other his D-men, second or third his pairing If his players were faced with a competition like his, they would undoubtedly have a much higher percentage of critical mistakes on grade A shots than nurses. There is none.

However, this year’s Nurse has the lowest percentage of such mistakes and the lowest percentage of D-Men on the team, making impressive improvements and excellent results.

Last year Nurse made 177 major mistakes in 1501 games. This was his 1.77 in 15 minutes (about 1 game of his ES play). This year, he was just 18 in his 235 minutes and just 1.15 per game. Only Evan Bouchard has him close with 1.16 per game, but Bouchard has yet to face the toughest competition. Markus Niemelainen also has him making 1.26 major mistakes per game, but all he faces is final competition.

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Nurse’s strong play here is all the more encouraging as he has been overshadowed by himself in the 2022 playoffs due to injury.

If Nurse continues to play this well all year, it could be a big deal for the Oilers. If he can play like this in the playoffs, he’ll be able to run deeper, deeper, deeper towards the Stanley Cup.

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No curse on Darnell Nurse: Big D playing best hockey right now with Edmonton Oilers

Source link No curse on Darnell Nurse: Big D playing best hockey right now with Edmonton Oilers

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