NO NURSE ON DUTY

Lowetide
December 02 2013 07:19PM

News today that Darnell Nurse is not part of the Canadian World Junior roster for Christmastime. It's a surprise, but Oiler fans shouldn't be upset about it. I'll tell you why after the jump.

INSANE!

Well, not really. The truth is that Canada has so much depth each season among eligible players they could ice two teams and the second group could win the entire thing. As fans, we have a right to be pissed off (I'm livid!) but there's so much quality in Canadian junior hockey the men choosing the roster really can't blow it.

Seriously.

Today's roster announcement tells us the following:

  • the recent Subway series had a lot to do with the final decision. Nurse made a couple of defensive errors and that was apparently enough to include him out. It IS insane to make these decisions on such a small sample size, but Canada has been doing that since Don Cherry chewed with his own teeth.
  • some of the more experienced defensemen (like Griffin Reinhart) had a similar skill set to Nurse.

That's my take, anyway. Sucks for Darnell Nurse, I hope he uses that as motivation to beat hell out of the OHL and win the Max Kaminsky trophy.

I'M NOT CHEERING FOR CANADA!

Oh come on. I agree the roster selection looks a little weird, but the Team Canada coach has earned the right to choose his team, and they'll be wearing the Canadian uniform at Christmas. That means you and I will cheer for these kids, just like we did for Jordan Eberle.

Well, maybe not EXACTLY like that (as I recall Wanye may have hovered over top of the arena in a Zeppelin for the Eberle games) but these are Canadian kids and chances are one day soon one or more will be Oilers (the Flames MUST owe us something in the Smid trade).

FACTS

History will tell us if Team Canada chose wisely today, and I hope to be around for all 25 of Darnell's NHL seasons and his HHOF ceremony. Best of luck to Team Canada without him, it'll be fun to see if they can win shorthanded.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Things happen for a reason. I don't know that Darnell Nurse needed extra motivation, but he found some today. Oiler fans have seen this young man for themselves—his training camp and pre-season was outstanding—and we're betting on Darnell.

All day. ALL day.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Kypreos
December 02 2013, 08:06PM
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OMG No Nurse!

I thought he was going to save Edmonton's defense.

Looks like dark years continue in Edmonton!

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#2 Gametime3000
December 02 2013, 07:28PM
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It's all day, every day!!!

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#3 mlcselli
December 02 2013, 08:24PM
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Strictly bias decision in my opinion. Anytime the Oilers are in line for any accolades, they are always overlooked. First it was Eberle, then Yak now Nurse. I guess we are always supposed to be the horses' arse. I am so sick of the perception that the Oil will never being quite good enough. Sutter must still be choked that he wasn't hired as the head coach in Oilerville. We all know that Nurse is a solid defender and would have been an asset.

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#4 Soccer Steve
December 02 2013, 11:02PM
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So I see Nurse is going to fit right in on the Oil.

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#5 Spydyr
December 03 2013, 06:44AM
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Maybe he just was not good enough?

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#6 VK63
December 02 2013, 09:13PM
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so does this deter dan tencer and oiler fans from "anxiously waiting" for nurse to return to edmonton. As Dan is the voice of Oiler fan… apparently.

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#7 Zarny
December 02 2013, 11:35PM
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Citizen David wrote:

Just for further stats on Jarry vs. Fucale:

Last 2 seasons Jarry 1.61 GAA and .936 SV% / 1.98 GAA and .923 SV% respectively.

Last two seasons Fucale 2.35 GAA and 9.09 SV% / 2.62 GAA and 8.99 SV% respectively.

Over that span Jarry has let in 1.69 goals per game. Fucale has let in 2.35 goals per game.

A statistical comparison is meaningless; they play in different leagues.

Jarry has never won anything. Fucale has a Memorial Cup ring and a Gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

You may not value winning but Hockey Canada does.

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#8 Smokey
December 02 2013, 07:29PM
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If they loose or are week on defence like last year then the omission of Nurse looks like the same old. I know his Subway series games he was off, but the body of work on display in the Soo has been steller.

I don't see how you leave a guy like him off just like they left off Dumba last year. You can't find these types of players that often, how can Sutter justify the decision. Leaving one of your best juniors at home is killing the Canadian juniors.

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#9 Serious Gord
December 02 2013, 08:34PM
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Saw dumba play several times the past couple of years - didn't surprise me he wasn't picked last year. Not sure he's much better this year.

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#10 Taylor Gang
December 02 2013, 07:29PM
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Sutter said something along the lines of they don't want Canada to be an all-star team, rather a team that had the best chance of winning.

That might make sense for the forwards, but wouldn't you want the best defense you could have?

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#11 nofool6110
December 02 2013, 07:29PM
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Edmonton Oilers 2013-2014: Breaking Blad.

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#12 shaner
December 02 2013, 08:11PM
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as oilers fans we need to be patient right? haha

I guess it is ek(BLAD) to the future

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#13 madjam
December 02 2013, 11:12PM
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Maybe if we gave him 9 games with big club it might have been different ?

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#14 David S
December 02 2013, 11:50PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Sutter said something along the lines of they don't want Canada to be an all-star team, rather a team that had the best chance of winning.

That might make sense for the forwards, but wouldn't you want the best defense you could have?

The head scout for Team Canada was talking to Stauffer today on Oilers Now (at least I think it was the head scout). Bob had to weasel it out of him but the consensus was "high event", which was showcased in the Subway Series (I imagine - don't really follow non-NHL activity). That could explain Sutter's comment about not choosing an all star team.

Problem is, as Oilers fans we've been conditioned to think one dimensional all-stars (i.e. "high draft picks") are the most desirable types of players to have on a team. And of course when one of our players is minimized at the world champs (see "Hall, Taylor") we get all girly about it.

Not saying it's right or wrong, but it seems to me the biggest problem our team has (beyond a lack of quality D) is a lack of the same qualities world champ teams are looking for. That being well-rounded players with a "200 foot game".

Maybe they see Nurse as a younger Justin Schultz.

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#15 TayLordBalls
December 03 2013, 07:23AM
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Solution: Put Nurse at center!

He could he be better than 50% of the other centers in the league.

Oilers could be sitting on a gold mine and don't know it

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#16 They're $hittie
December 02 2013, 07:25PM
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Which Edmonton Oiler would you rather see on the WJC,

Nurse or Ekblad?

LOL, Bad for Ekblad, does this ever end?

Please God Answer me

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#17 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 03 2013, 01:18PM
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Oiler fans should maybe take off the rose colored glasses when it comes to many of these prospects. The fact is, Darnell Nurse wasn't even a consideration to be on this bottom feeder hockey club from day 1, despite the horrible group of blue liners MacT/Eakins decided to go with.

Lets face it, if he couldn't supplant the Potter/Larsen/Smid/Grebeshcov/Belov types during camp, he must not be that good. MacTavish must've seen the same thing in his game that Sutter did.

Tankage must be on deck yet again this season, with sending one of their top 4 D'men at camp back to that shootin fish in a barrel league. Those kids will teach Nurse a lot down there i'm sure. This whole NHL Edmonton Oilers team is a work in progress. Nurse deserved to be a part of it like the rest of these kids are.

Wish I could say the first 2 paragraphs were sarcasm. With the management group on this team, it may be much closer to fact, than fiction/sarcasm.

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#18 Vaclav
December 02 2013, 07:31PM
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I think you're right LT. Sutter and his minions placed a significant premium on performance from the Subway Series rather than on their whole junior season thus far.

Bigras by all accounts had a strong Subway series but when comparing his OHL season to Nurse's they made a very poor selection.

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#19 Zarny
December 02 2013, 11:25PM
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Disappointing for Nurse and Oiler fans but it's not like they picked scrubs.

Good players get left off the team every year. They are playing on big ice, 5 of 8 D were drafted in 2012 and a guy like Reinhart already fills a similar role.

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#20 non descript
December 03 2013, 07:12AM
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Citizen David wrote:

Have to disagree. That blue line does not look all that great. Especially since Reinhart will miss the first three games of the round robin.

Nurse is 6'4'' and 193lbs but skates like a 5'10" 175lbs. He's physical and has a mean side. He has solid offence (over a point per game) and is sound defensively. The case could be made that he's the best defencemen in the CHL. He is the best in the OHL.

Also Jarry getting passed over for Fucale is sickening. Hockey Canada is the worst run organization in pro sports. Can't wait to see Kunitz playing in the Olympics...

im fairly certain the oilers hold that title.

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#21 Oiler Al
December 03 2013, 08:17AM
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Sliderule wrote:

The draft book on Nurse was that he was prone to mental gaffes.It sounds like he hasn't worked it out of his game as he did a couple in Super series.

Making the team doesn't guarantee an nhl career as Teubert found out.Then we have players like Weber who did not make it until his final junior year.

.. prone to metal gaffes.... hell, he is ready for the Oilers.

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#22 Zarny
December 03 2013, 11:54AM
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Citizen David wrote:

He was on a loaded team. If you win with a .909 save percentage it's not the goalie that's carrying the team.

This is jarry's first season as the starter. And it's the second year in a row he has the best stats in the WHL.

Actually a 0.909 SV% on a loaded team likely means he didn't face many shots.

A G can let in 2 PP goals in 18 shots and still have played great.

And great is exactly how Fucale played in the playoffs all the way through winning the Memorial Cup as well as in winning the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

However, the fact that this is Jarry's 1st season as a starter is entirely the point.

He only started 27 games last year. He has only played half of 1 playoff game. He has zero international experience. He's literally never started a big game in his junior career.

Now it's fine if you don't value that. There is merit to the argument he's just never had the chance.

Right or wrong, it does matter to Hockey Canada. Both at the junior level and the Olympics.

These are big games and big moments. When it's close they always go with the player who has been there before. They take players that have been in those big moments and already succeeded.

Like it or not, Fucale has been in those big moments and played great.

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#23 Abpotato
December 02 2013, 10:02PM
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I've been pissed off since the announcements were made and 11 hours later I'm still pissed off. I don't think I've ever been angry at Hockey Canada before, but am really frustrated at this decision.

So I've been thinking about why I'm angry, because it feels irrational for a fan to be angry about a decision to leave a player off of a selection camp. I think that as an Oiler fan my anger may come from my under lying anger at having my team at the bottom of the standings again. As a result I put my hopes in prospects, hoping that they'll be the key to change. So while I'm angry at Hockey Canada, the truth is that my anger is a mask for the frustration at the thought that Nurse may not be as good as I was hoping. The great NHL defenseman generally play for the World Juniours and with Nurse being left off it suggests that he's a cut below. Not only is my team struggling....again, but I don't even get to appreciate future Oiler "hope" over the holidays.

I know I'm supposed to cheer like hell for the Canadian kids, but a piece of the joy of cheering for the team just got sucked out of me. I know it's petty and small, but it reflects the sad passion I have for the Oilers.

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#24 Thinker
December 02 2013, 11:04PM
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I'm not very surprised nurse got cut, because like you said so many good players. That being said, there are weird decisions every year, especially as of late. It astounds me every year how they can cut kids like nugent-hopkins who were nhl ready within nine months, in favour of guys like freddy hamilton who was never really a prospect of much note. I can't believe it's been four years since we won gold, better cut that sh*t out. The world juniors are always my favourite time of the year, except playoffs, but I'm more apathetic about them since my team is a gong show. Too bad there won't be any oil prospects turning heads this year.

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#25 Oiler Al
December 03 2013, 08:20AM
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Sliderule wrote:

The draft book on Nurse was that he was prone to mental gaffes.It sounds like he hasn't worked it out of his game as he did a couple in Super series.

Making the team doesn't guarantee an nhl career as Teubert found out.Then we have players like Weber who did not make it until his final junior year.

.. prone to mental gaffes... sounds like he is ready for the Oilers.

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#26 S cottV
December 03 2013, 08:56AM
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Mikey wrote:

You want a shut down line, look no further than Nurse and Reinhart. Man I was looking foward to that.

Well - in the 2012 NHL draft, had the Oilers traded down and taken Reinhart, we could have seen Nurse and Reinhart in Oiler uniforms.

That would have eventually taken care of our top pairing d concerns and put the Oilers on track to build a winning hockey club, for many years to come.

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#27 Steven Olson
December 02 2013, 08:16PM
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Does anyone else find it weird how small the selection camp is? Only 3 total cuts? No goalie cuts? I don't ever remember a selection camp being so small. I think not giving the best junior aged players a chance to compete against each other at a camp is a really bad idea! I hope we do well, but if we don't, Sutter is sure setting himself up for (deserved) criticism!

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#28 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 03 2013, 12:37PM
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Brent Sutter has just made this easier for everybody involved. No, "never really had a chance anyways" guys in the way going forward, or slowing things up/getting in the way of the players who'll be on the team.

Good on Sutter for not wasting anyone's time. The Oilers should take notice of this. Why have a gong show with 65+ players for training camp when there's really fewer than 30 guys with a real shot at making the hockey club. The Oilers wasted two and a half weeks just getting down to that group of 30.

Of all teams, the Oilers would benefit the most by not wasting that almost a month of much needed prep time (new coach,system and GM).

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#29 Jamie B.
December 02 2013, 09:18PM
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Completely depends on the outcome. If they win gold, we can't argue the decision. If they don't, we argue about team selection whether Nurse is there or not.

As a Canadian fan, all I want is for them to win. As an Oilers fan, I'm really disappointed we won't get to watch Nurse. I feel bad for the kid too. Have to think he wasn't expecting this either.

So, we'll see.

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#30 BC BOY
December 02 2013, 10:16PM
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Chris Bigras making it over Nurse is an absolute joke!!!!! Lets get some real talent and hockey minds to pick our national teams.

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#31 BC BOY
December 02 2013, 10:16PM
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Chris Bigras making it over Nurse is an absolute joke!!!!! Lets get some real talent and hockey minds to pick our national teams.

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#32 Dog Train
December 02 2013, 11:27PM
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This is typical of Hockey Canada. They seem to do it at all levels. They have a certain arrogance about them and they leave all sorts of talent behind in an attempt to build what they feel is the best team. I look at our D corps and only Reinhart is clearly ahead of Nurse in my opinion. I'm not a big Dumba fan but given his age I am fine with him being picked as well.

I will cheer for Team Canada but if they don't win then at least it'll be fun to do the whole 'I told you so' thing.

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#33 Sliderule
December 03 2013, 07:21AM
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The draft book on Nurse was that he was prone to mental gaffes.It sounds like he hasn't worked it out of his game as he did a couple in Super series.

Making the team doesn't guarantee an nhl career as Teubert found out.Then we have players like Weber who did not make it until his final junior year.

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#34 Old School G
December 02 2013, 09:02PM
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Man I would have liked to watch Nurse and Domi over Christmas I was looking forward to that. Skilled, aggressive hockey. I still look forward to it, its great hockey to watch, in any case, and am very intrigued by Dumba. How could you not be?

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#35 joshgladu
December 02 2013, 09:54PM
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yeah bigras going instead of nurse is a joke. same with fucale and paterson. both have been terrible this year.

hockey canada doesn't seem to want to embrace skilled players and instead like to bring plugs like JC Lipon year after year

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#36 ?
December 02 2013, 10:06PM
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joshgladu wrote:

yeah bigras going instead of nurse is a joke. same with fucale and paterson. both have been terrible this year.

hockey canada doesn't seem to want to embrace skilled players and instead like to bring plugs like JC Lipon year after year

Flames fan here, and I agree. Emile Poirier didnt make the cut, even though he has 44 points in 28 games in the Q, so 5th in QMJHL scoring.

Nurse and Poirier should've both made this team.

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#37 ?
December 02 2013, 10:10PM
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Abpotato wrote:

I've been pissed off since the announcements were made and 11 hours later I'm still pissed off. I don't think I've ever been angry at Hockey Canada before, but am really frustrated at this decision.

So I've been thinking about why I'm angry, because it feels irrational for a fan to be angry about a decision to leave a player off of a selection camp. I think that as an Oiler fan my anger may come from my under lying anger at having my team at the bottom of the standings again. As a result I put my hopes in prospects, hoping that they'll be the key to change. So while I'm angry at Hockey Canada, the truth is that my anger is a mask for the frustration at the thought that Nurse may not be as good as I was hoping. The great NHL defenseman generally play for the World Juniours and with Nurse being left off it suggests that he's a cut below. Not only is my team struggling....again, but I don't even get to appreciate future Oiler "hope" over the holidays.

I know I'm supposed to cheer like hell for the Canadian kids, but a piece of the joy of cheering for the team just got sucked out of me. I know it's petty and small, but it reflects the sad passion I have for the Oilers.

I wouldn't worry. Nurse seems like a really good defenceman (and this coming from a Flames fan).

I know this is cherrypicking, but Duncan Keith didn't play for Canada at the WJC.

Don't forget, Nurse was a 99% top 10 pick in last years draft. There's an awful lot of potential for that kid.

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#38 Citizen David
December 02 2013, 11:14PM
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Have to disagree. That blue line does not look all that great. Especially since Reinhart will miss the first three games of the round robin.

Nurse is 6'4'' and 193lbs but skates like a 5'10" 175lbs. He's physical and has a mean side. He has solid offence (over a point per game) and is sound defensively. The case could be made that he's the best defencemen in the CHL. He is the best in the OHL.

Also Jarry getting passed over for Fucale is sickening. Hockey Canada is the worst run organization in pro sports. Can't wait to see Kunitz playing in the Olympics...

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#39 Citizen David
December 02 2013, 11:24PM
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Just for further stats on Jarry vs. Fucale:

Last 2 seasons Jarry 1.61 GAA and .936 SV% / 1.98 GAA and .923 SV% respectively.

Last two seasons Fucale 2.35 GAA and 9.09 SV% / 2.62 GAA and 8.99 SV% respectively.

Over that span Jarry has let in 1.69 goals per game. Fucale has let in 2.35 goals per game.

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#40 lucky
December 02 2013, 11:38PM
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Like last year they anointed Subban and cut Broissoit, regardless how badly Brossoit schooled Subban at camp. Politics. Ain't that what hockey is all about?

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#41 Doug Diggler
December 02 2013, 11:39PM
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In a couple years they will say they should've taken nurse just like they did with the nuge

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#42 @Oilanderp
December 03 2013, 12:46AM
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The last time I watched, my impression was of a canadian team with 10 billion offensive d-men none of whom could grasp the idea of backing the **** up to prevent a breakaway. Bunch of hot dog kids on the blue-line trying to make fancy risky plays and getting burned. Hey, they're kids, but let's hope this year is different.

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#43 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 06:39AM
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Zarny wrote:

A statistical comparison is meaningless; they play in different leagues.

Jarry has never won anything. Fucale has a Memorial Cup ring and a Gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

You may not value winning but Hockey Canada does.

He was on a loaded team. If you win with a .909 save percentage it's not the goalie that's carrying the team.

This is jarry's first season as the starter. And it's the second year in a row he has the best stats in the WHL.

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#44 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 06:44AM
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David S wrote:

The head scout for Team Canada was talking to Stauffer today on Oilers Now (at least I think it was the head scout). Bob had to weasel it out of him but the consensus was "high event", which was showcased in the Subway Series (I imagine - don't really follow non-NHL activity). That could explain Sutter's comment about not choosing an all star team.

Problem is, as Oilers fans we've been conditioned to think one dimensional all-stars (i.e. "high draft picks") are the most desirable types of players to have on a team. And of course when one of our players is minimized at the world champs (see "Hall, Taylor") we get all girly about it.

Not saying it's right or wrong, but it seems to me the biggest problem our team has (beyond a lack of quality D) is a lack of the same qualities world champ teams are looking for. That being well-rounded players with a "200 foot game".

Maybe they see Nurse as a younger Justin Schultz.

The problem is that that's not nurse. He's got good defensive game. At the draft he was labeled a defensive defenseman. It's just this season he's added the offence. For a justin Schultz look no farther than Derrick Pouliot. Who they selected to the team.

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#45 BigOil84
December 03 2013, 08:26AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Saw dumba play several times the past couple of years - didn't surprise me he wasn't picked last year. Not sure he's much better this year.

I'm from Red Deer and seeing Dumba enough times, I have to agree. Great on the PP, but handles the puck like a grenade at times. I have heard the same about Nurse, but his stats are so much better than some of the d who were picked ahead of him.

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#46 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 08:43AM
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The pairs I imagine they'll go with once Reinhart's done his three game suspension IF everyone is healthy.

Reinhart Dumba,

Pouliot Severson,

Morrissey Ekblad.

While Reinhart is out the line up doesn't look quite as good. Will they run with a Pouliot Dumba first pairing? That might be a little more than a little chaotic.

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#47 Citizen David
December 03 2013, 08:56AM
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I actually found it interesting that none of the defencemen of the year from the QMJHL, OHL, or WHL made the world junior team last year. Kevin Gagné from the Q, Ryan Sproul from the O, and Brendon Kitchon from the W.

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#48 Ducey
December 03 2013, 09:58AM
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It doesn't detract from Nurse's long term NHL future one bit. Many of the guys selected to Team Canada will never make it.

Look back ten years (presumably guys have had enough time to make it) to the 2003 defense:

Brendan Bell Carlo Colaiacovo Steve Eminger Alexandre Rouleau Nathan Paetsch Ian White Jeff Woywitka

2004: Derek Meech Dion Phaneuf Josh Gorges Kevin Klein Braydon Coburn Brent Seabrook Shawn Belle

2005: Cam Barker Shawn Belle Braydon Coburn Dion Phaneuf Brent Seabrook Danny Syvret Shea Weber

Some studs in there but also lots of busts.

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#49 Rob F
December 03 2013, 10:05AM
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I'm protesting by cheering for switzerland....just to be neutral

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#50 S cottV
December 03 2013, 10:48AM
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Smokey wrote:

We will get Ekblad who is way better then Reinhardt

How are we going to get Ekblad unless we tank this season and or get lucky in the lottery?

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