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Oilers’ failure: Darnell Nurse gets the finger pointed at him… And he’s fed up!

The Oilers can’t take the next step.

For years, the team has been looking to lift the Stanley Cup… and the prowess of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl isn’t enough to make it happen.

So what’s the problem in Edmonton?

The consensus is that until the Oilers have a goaltender who can do the job in the playoffs, they’ll never enjoy the success they’re hoping for. Others say that the team’s defense is a problem, and that we’re too focused on scoring goals instead of defending the net…

And on defense, it’s Darnell Nurse in particular who gets the brunt of the criticism from fans and pundits alike. The reason is simple…

Nurse earns $9.25 a season and doesn’t play like a guy who earns $9.25 a season.

In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers defenseman says he’s aware that he needs to give more… But Nurse is also fed up with being pelted with rocks for his team’s failures.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been blamed for everything, from a goal against to traffic on Stony Plain (a road in Edmonton). – Darnell Nurse

I understand where this is coming from. There’s a big market in Edmonton and the fans, like in Montreal, are game lovers.

They take it seriously and want to see their club win on the ice. After all, the foundation laid by Wayne Gretzky and the former Oilers in the 80s and 90s means that the team’s fans are salivating at the thought of seeing the club lift another Stanley Cup…

And that’s why there are always high expectations for the Oilers.

But on the other side, it’s up to Nurse to give more. I said it earlier, but at $9.25 million a year and as the 7th-highest-paid defenseman in the NHL, Nurse is supposed to be able to play a bigger role on the ice.

There are other players in Edmonton who didn’t get the job done in the playoffs. But those guys don’t make as much money as he does.

It’s up to him to find solutions so that the criticism stops. Because when it comes down to it…

The Oilers will need him if they are to win the Stanley Cup. He’s Edmonton’s defensive leader, and he needs to set an example.

Maybe this is just a bad time for him. The good news? He knows what to expect next year if he doesn’t produce to the fans’ liking, and that should serve as motivation.


– Drew Doughty was at the Dodgers game last night.

– He is, without question, the new face of MLB.

– The opposite would be surprising.

– Hopefully it’s not too serious.

– A former teammate of T.J. Oshie passed away suddenly. [Habs and NHL]

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