Canucks Defence

ping
10-12-2003, 11:04 AM
I was surprised to see Marek Malik sit out last game as I figured Allen and Slegr would be alternating out at the start. I guess it would be these 3 alternating throughout the year then? I can't see Jovo, Ohlund, or Salo sitting out unless they're injured. Does Sopel alternate in and out then too? Has Crow said what they're going to be doing with regards to that?

Slegr and Allen both played well last night. Allen seemed more calm then opening night and let a rocket of a shot off at one point. He played tough as well, which we all know is something the Canucks need.

Slegr was a pleasant surprise. He showed a little bit of a physical side. He solidly checked a few people into the boards instead of just running into them like Malik, Salo and some of the other defencemen do. He also notched the third goal which is always nice.

maruk14
10-12-2003, 11:31 AM
People were underrating Slegr's physical play all summer. He will give you a physical presence on the blue line, you just need to learn to live with his occasional bad pass. Overall he skated very well, and seemed to get into the game after a shaky first couple of shifts.

Sopel scares the crap out of me every time he is on the ice. I would much rather see him scratched until he learns how to skate again.

Jovo's pass on Cooke's 2nd goal was a beauty, and coming to Linden's defense is only going to make this team grow closer.

Malik had a good 1st game, and he will be playing a lot more often than not this season. I think this was just a case of getting Allen another game early on, and needing to get Slegr in the lineup. I would rather they scratched Sopel, but oh well.

skoalski
10-12-2003, 11:48 AM
Sopel should have been scratched instead, he's just a liability to the canucks every time he's on the ice.

SedinFan*
10-12-2003, 11:53 AM
Sopel, Ohlund, Malik, Jovanovski are all +2.

Slegr and Allen are +1.

Salo is an even.

The whole defensive unit has played well. Don't single someone out, they've all played well in the first two games.

Edler Von Gud
10-12-2003, 11:58 AM
I'll bet the house that Sopel isn't still a Canuck by this time next year. He will be traded in a package for another forward, or a defensive defenseman, I would like to see the lader. It makes sense since you have Koltsov, Mojzis, and even Vydarney who could possibly fill Sopel's role in the future, no time letting them just sit in Manitoba forever.

maruk14
10-12-2003, 12:26 PM
The whole defensive unit has played well. Don't single someone out, they've all played well in the first two games.

Throw all the stats you want. Anyone who has been watching the games knows Sopel has been horrible. How many times in the first two games has he fallen on his own? I counted 3 times last night, and at least that many against Calgary. His skating was never great for a defenseman, but this year it has been atrocious. On top of that he is still making poor decisions with the puck. I would sit him next game. Maybe he needs a wake up call.

cyrisweb
10-12-2003, 12:37 PM
I'll bet the house that Sopel isn't still a Canuck by this time next year. He will be traded in a package for another forward, or a defensive defenseman, I would like to see the lader. It makes sense since you have Koltsov, Mojzis, and even Vydarney who could possibly fill Sopel's role in the future, no time letting them just sit in Manitoba forever.

I was thinking the same thing really. Especially if Koltsov puts some muscle on and plays well in the Moose. Sopel becomes very expendable.

ZadorovNJD*
10-12-2003, 12:56 PM
Throw all the stats you want. Anyone who has been watching the games knows Sopel has been horrible. How many times in the first two games has he fallen on his own? I counted 3 times last night, and at least that many against Calgary. His skating was never great for a defenseman, but this year it has been atrocious. On top of that he is still making poor decisions with the puck. I would sit him next game. Maybe he needs a wake up call.

Hey, maybe he just can't see through the visor! But in all seriousness, I would rather scratch him than Slegr or Allen, and I still don't know how he's kept a permanent spot on the roster...I have Ohlund in my pool and I'm worried about his +/- having to go out there with Sopel all the time.

jeffbrown
10-12-2003, 12:59 PM
Sopel scares me too!

I don't understand it though. He can pass it well, shoot it hard, and handle the puck well....in the neutral and offensive zone. But it seems whenever he has it in the defensive zone, he handles it like a grenade and throws some awful backhand passes that have no force behind them and they're ripe for picking off. I am not down on Sopel, but I would have figured after 3 + years in the NHL, he would have calmed down by now. Becuase it seems like he just gets nervous....

monster_bertuzzi
10-12-2003, 01:42 PM
Jovanovski will make the leap into the elite, I'm talking elite defenceman in the NHL this year IMO.

nazzy
10-12-2003, 02:09 PM
I wasn't surprised that Malik sat out yesterday, from my eyes he had a hell of time trying to cover his man against Calgary and was a reason why the Canucks were hemmed in their own zone on the down low play. I was pretty impressed by Slegr, good pickup by BB.

ehc73
10-12-2003, 02:14 PM
Sopel really needs to work on his skating. Please please please take some tips from Salo or Jovo, Brent. Stop falling down all the time!

Peter Griffin
10-12-2003, 02:32 PM
I think Malik's lack of foot speed was a big reason for him being scracthed against the Oilers. He should be in against the Jackets on Monday though.

orcatown
10-12-2003, 02:54 PM
I agree throw out the stats. All we have to do is watch the play to see how bad Sopel is fighting it. He has been bad the whole pre-season and it's just continuing into to the year. He is very lucky Ohlund is around to bail him out.

Sopel has to keep it simple for the time being. Let his game come back to him. Maybe he didn't come to camp in the best of shape. He looks very clumpsy out there.

Thought Malik was no better than OK in the opening game. He's another that had a bad pre-season and will need to pick it up. However this is his history; slow starts and then gradual improvement through out the season As players wear down his skating disadvantage becomes less of factor. He's a big guy who doesn't wear down. One reason we got him was because he got off to a poor start in Carolina last year.

SedinFan*
10-12-2003, 02:54 PM
All of you are just babies.

Sopel's played well, sure he's had his moments, yet so has Jovanovski and no one says anything.

Boooo all of you, boooooo!

Impossibles
10-12-2003, 03:15 PM
All of you are just babies.

Sopel's played well, sure he's had his moments, yet so has Jovanovski and no one says anything.

Boooo all of you, boooooo!

You just don't want to make a new avatar :joker:

Jovo makes some give aways, but Sopel just falls down for no reason sometimes, and at the wort possible times.

I thought Malik played well against Calgary. I only caught parts of the game yesterday, so who was playing with Jovo?

Canucks-R-best
10-12-2003, 03:20 PM
is awsome. :D


Our team defence could be better though

nazzy
10-12-2003, 03:24 PM
Sopel sucks. Enough said.

SedinFan*
10-12-2003, 03:54 PM
If he's a plus player and scores 35 points then no, he doesn't suck.

If he's a minus player and scores whatever amount of points then yes, he does stink.

monster_bertuzzi
10-12-2003, 04:00 PM
Sopel sucks. Enough said.

A player in the NHL that sucks?

Isnt that an oxymoron?

maruk14
10-12-2003, 04:03 PM
If he's a minus player and scores whatever amount of points then yes, he does stink.

So then he stunk last year too :p

SedinFan*
10-12-2003, 04:12 PM
So then he stunk last year too :p

Year before that, plus 20? 30 points? Did he suck then?

quat
10-12-2003, 04:21 PM
I've watched and taped both games, and definitely Sopel put his foot directly into steaming piles a couple of times. But he also made some excellent defensive plays, took guys who were driving to the net off the puck, and was overall not that bad. The thing is the errors tend to stand out more because they are so glaring, and then you know if you wait long enough he'll do it again. Jovo is the same way, but people tend to cut the guy more slack because he makes such cool plays as well... though not all the time that's for sure.

Sopel actually does read the ice well, and can handle the puck, make decent outlet passes and can shoot from the point. He's still learning and so makes more than his fair share of blunders. I don't think he deserves the kind of rabid criticism he's getting, as lot's of young players make mistakes...and so do the vets. He'll get over them in time. HOwever, the hair on my floor can attest to the degree to which he can freak me out!

Peter Griffin
10-12-2003, 04:24 PM
If he's a plus player and scores 35 points then no, he doesn't suck.

He's yet to acomplish this...

PhillyNucksFan
10-12-2003, 04:37 PM
Its too early to tell on how sopel fairs this year.


but yes, I watched both games, Sopel been quite bad giving up the pucks in OUR OWN ZONE!!!!

He was bailed out by Clout on that Conroy shot, and overall D and Hedberg in 2nd game..

I dont see a point trading Sopel unless we can really get a bonafie 2nd/3rd line scoring... I'd say we still keep him, for he does quite have good potential of being a consistent 40pt scoring D and a hovering around +5 to 10 overall!

maruk14
10-12-2003, 06:08 PM
Year before that, plus 20? 30 points? Did he suck then?

No, but even then that was one good month. Have you been watching the same games? He has been horrible, +2 or not. Take off the Sopel glasses and see it for what it is.

Nalyd Psycho
10-12-2003, 06:13 PM
I only caught parts of the game yesterday, so who was playing with Jovo?

Jiri Slegr

Brent Sopel is playing decent and does not suck. He is not ripping a whole in the team and is a solid NHL calibre defenceman.

That said, he is the Canucks 7th best defenceman.

Rick
10-12-2003, 11:03 PM
As I read this thread, it makes me remember why, I don't wasted my time posting any more. MORONS

Waveburner
10-12-2003, 11:14 PM
As I read this thread, it makes me remember why, I don't wasted my time posting any more. MORONS

Thanks for not posting here. We are quite thankful for it :)

NFITO
10-14-2003, 07:48 AM
I've been a huge Sopel supporter for the longest time, but seeing his game early this season so far, he's got me worried.

I would still give him more games to see if he can take that next step towards consistency - but the time is now - this season - for him to take that step... not saying that he needs to be MacInnis out there or anything, but he's gotta stop tripping over at critical times and turning the puck over as much as he does...

I'm still a Sopel supporter... I would like nothing better than to see our own guys who we already have here, play those key roles in our success... but after watching the first few games, I can't help but think that Sopel is a weak link right now, in an otherwise excellent defense.

Forget the stats... anyone who's watched the games can see that Sopel has been our worst dman so far... right now he's our weakest link back there.... I really hope that he doesn't continue his current level of play, but if he does, I'll be changing my tune quickly from backing him up, to wanting him dealt... from the games I've seen so far this season, we're a better team without him then with him.

I had always hoped that he would develop into a consistent 2-way force... and he still can... the question is whether he can now, when the team needs him, or whether it will take a couple more years?

tantalum
10-14-2003, 08:52 AM
I've been a huge Sopel supporter for the longest time, but seeing his game early this season so far, he's got me worried.

I would still give him more games to see if he can take that next step towards consistency - but the time is now - this season - for him to take that step... not saying that he needs to be MacInnis out there or anything, but he's gotta stop tripping over at critical times and turning the puck over as much as he does...

I'm still a Sopel supporter... I would like nothing better than to see our own guys who we already have here, play those key roles in our success... but after watching the first few games, I can't help but think that Sopel is a weak link right now, in an otherwise excellent defense.

Forget the stats... anyone who's watched the games can see that Sopel has been our worst dman so far... right now he's our weakest link back there.... I really hope that he doesn't continue his current level of play, but if he does, I'll be changing my tune quickly from backing him up, to wanting him dealt... from the games I've seen so far this season, we're a better team without him then with him.

I had always hoped that he would develop into a consistent 2-way force... and he still can... the question is whether he can now, when the team needs him, or whether it will take a couple more years?

Finally you see the light NFITO ;)

What compounds the problem is that Sopel seems to have a complete inability to play with anyone other than Ohlund. I don't think he played like a decent top 4 last year and he hasn't the first three games this year. He should be able to be a good third pairing guy that gets PP time (he doesn't kill penalties at all), but to be that he has to play without Ohlund. Which as I mentioned he hasn't shown the ability to. If that doesn't change I honestly don't think Sopel makes it to the end of the season as a canuck. Jovo, Ohlund and Salo are the top 3. After that Allen received 20+ minutes his last game and Malik is a 17-18 minute guy. It isn't out of the realm of possibility that we are going to see Sopel and Slegr battle it out for a spot...similar D-men with similar deficiencies.

cc
10-14-2003, 11:04 AM
No, but even then that was one good month. Have you been watching the same games? He has been horrible, +2 or not. Take off the Sopel glasses and see it for what it is.

no, that wasn't just one month. You don't lead the dmen in takeaway vs giveaway differential from just one month.

it's also not fair to overlook the plus/minus stat for a player when that very same stat was used to burn Sopel in the first place last season.

cc
10-14-2003, 11:07 AM
Finally you see the light NFITO ;)

What compounds the problem is that Sopel seems to have a complete inability to play with anyone other than Ohlund. I don't think he played like a decent top 4 last year and he hasn't the first three games this year. He should be able to be a good third pairing guy that gets PP time (he doesn't kill penalties at all), but to be that he has to play without Ohlund. Which as I mentioned he hasn't shown the ability to. If that doesn't change I honestly don't think Sopel makes it to the end of the season as a canuck. Jovo, Ohlund and Salo are the top 3. After that Allen received 20+ minutes his last game and Malik is a 17-18 minute guy. It isn't out of the realm of possibility that we are going to see Sopel and Slegr battle it out for a spot...similar D-men with similar deficiencies.

he's played with Jovo and Allen last season
Jovo is horrible defensively and Sopel was being moulded to be an offensive player.
Allen has made plenty of mistakes positionally last season and I'd have to say he wasn't truly ready before.
Salo had a tough time playing with Jovo and Ohlund but seemed to have an easier time playing with Baron... thus, that's who he was paired up with.

cc
10-14-2003, 11:18 AM
I've been a huge Sopel supporter for the longest time, but seeing his game early this season so far, he's got me worried.

I would still give him more games to see if he can take that next step towards consistency - but the time is now - this season - for him to take that step... not saying that he needs to be MacInnis out there or anything, but he's gotta stop tripping over at critical times and turning the puck over as much as he does...

I'm still a Sopel supporter... I would like nothing better than to see our own guys who we already have here, play those key roles in our success... but after watching the first few games, I can't help but think that Sopel is a weak link right now, in an otherwise excellent defense.

Forget the stats... anyone who's watched the games can see that Sopel has been our worst dman so far... right now he's our weakest link back there.... I really hope that he doesn't continue his current level of play, but if he does, I'll be changing my tune quickly from backing him up, to wanting him dealt... from the games I've seen so far this season, we're a better team without him then with him.

I had always hoped that he would develop into a consistent 2-way force... and he still can... the question is whether he can now, when the team needs him, or whether it will take a couple more years?

far far too early to tell and that goes for Slegr as well. No one player should be judged so critically after 3 games. The encouraging thing for me is that Sopel is a plus and he's playing better with each game.

I wish the takeaway vs giveaway stat was available to the public.

NFITO
10-14-2003, 11:21 AM
he's played with Jovo and Allen last season
Jovo is horrible defensively and Sopel was being moulded to be an offensive player.
Allen has made plenty of mistakes positionally last season and I'd have to say he wasn't truly ready before.
Salo had a tough time playing with Jovo and Ohlund but seemed to have an easier time playing with Baron... thus, that's who he was paired up with.

who played with Jovo and Allen last season??

it wasn't Sopel, he played with Ohlund nearly all of last season....

Malik primarily played with Jovo last year... Allen would rotate in and out, and had different partners...

Salo looked very good playing with Ohlund last year (albiet it was only for a short time)... he couldn't play with Jovo though, as both of them are right side dmen... Jovo started camp with Salo, but that experiment ended when Jovo said he wanted to play the right side.

enough with the excuses for Sopel... he's now in his 3rd full season as a Canuck, and the mistakes he's making he's gotta snap out of.

Like I said, I'm a big Sopel fan, and I do still hope that he's a long term part of our team, but it's not going to happen if he doesn't become more stable defensively.... he was great a couple seasons ago, and he needs to get back to that... that's why I still have faith in him, and won't toss him aside so quickly...

but this team is ready now for that push... our defense overall is solid, and Sopel is the only one making those glaring mistakes so consistently... yes, in seasons past Ohlund and Jovo made more than their share of mistakes, and it's not unlike what Sopel is doing now... but the difference is that back then the team could afford it - we were still a young team that was just fighting to make the playoffs... the situation is different now... we're not able to make those mistakes anymore.

If by mid season Sopel doesn't improve, I'm on the side of moving him... but I will give him till midseason to improve, because he has been a big part of this team when his game is on... we just need it now to be on more often than not.

In the first 3 games, he's disappointed... his offense is still there... he still makes good passes out of the zone and has good vision in the offensive zone, but those positives don't outweigh his negatives, because the great things he brings we have in our lineup already... he needs to be more than that.

This guy is supposed to be on our top pairing... he can't be making those kind of mistakes when he's up there against the opposition's best... Ohlund needs more stability with him too, since he looks prime to take that next step offensively, which he can't do with Sopel's lackluster defensive play.... at this point Salo makes more sense on the top unit... and Slegr and Allen should be fine on the bottom pairing.

NFITO
10-14-2003, 11:24 AM
far far too early to tell and that goes for Slegr as well. No one player should be judged so critically after 3 games. The encouraging thing for me is that Sopel is a plus and he's playing better with each game.

I wish the takeaway vs giveaway stat was available to the public.

stats are useless.... watch the games!

Sopel has made some huge blunders so far in the 3 games... luckily it hasn't come back to kill us, but those kind of mistakes we can't afford from a guy playing on our top pairing, and against the opposition's best offensive players.

it is too early to tell... that's why I'm willing to continue being patient with him for about half a season... what disappoints me is that he hasn't turned it up defensively this season, and looks to be making the same turnovers and bad plays he did last season.

like I said before, his offense isn't the problem... it's as good as it has been in the past... it's his defense, or lack of, that has me concerned.

cc
10-14-2003, 11:28 AM
who played with Jovo and Allen last season??

it wasn't Sopel, he played with Ohlund nearly all of last season....

Malik primarily played with Jovo last year... Allen would rotate in and out, and had different partners...

Salo looked very good playing with Ohlund last year (albiet it was only for a short time)... he couldn't play with Jovo though, as both of them are right side dmen... Jovo started camp with Salo, but that experiment ended when Jovo said he wanted to play the right side.

enough with the excuses for Sopel... he's now in his 3rd full season as a Canuck, and the mistakes he's making he's gotta snap out of.

Like I said, I'm a big Sopel fan, and I do still hope that he's a long term part of our team, but it's not going to happen if he doesn't become more stable defensively.... he was great a couple seasons ago, and he needs to get back to that... that's why I still have faith in him, and won't toss him aside so quickly...

but this team is ready now for that push... our defense overall is solid, and Sopel is the only one making those glaring mistakes so consistently... yes, in seasons past Ohlund and Jovo made more than their share of mistakes, and it's not unlike what Sopel is doing now... but the difference is that back then the team could afford it - we were still a young team that was just fighting to make the playoffs... the situation is different now... we're not able to make those mistakes anymore.

If by mid season Sopel doesn't improve, I'm on the side of moving him... but I will give him till midseason to improve, because he has been a big part of this team when his game is on... we just need it now to be on more often than not.

In the first 3 games, he's disappointed... his offense is still there... he still makes good passes out of the zone and has good vision in the offensive zone, but those positives don't outweigh his negatives, because the great things he brings we have in our lineup already... he needs to be more than that.

This guy is supposed to be on our top pairing... he can't be making those kind of mistakes when he's up there against the opposition's best... Ohlund needs more stability with him too, since he looks prime to take that next step offensively, which he can't do with Sopel's lackluster defensive play.... at this point Salo makes more sense on the top unit... and Slegr and Allen should be fine on the bottom pairing.

When Ohlund was injured, they tried Sopel with Jovo and Allen and it didn't work out. I was pointing that out in respose to the statement that Sopel can't play with anybody outside of Ohlund.

He's had 3 season where one was poor and one year where he was good. In actual fact, this is more or less his third full season where one was poor and one was very good. His rookie year, he was average but I wouldn't consider that a full season because of his lack of ice time.

I don't agree that Salo has looked good with Ohlund... otherwise, they would be putting him there I think if that was the case.

Sopel's stats don't warrant your critical assessment of him. I don't think it's even worth it for me to tell you that I saw all the dmen make some pretty bad mistakes over the 3 games including Salo because I think people are going to think critically of Sopel regardless. I see errors everywhere and whether they are considered glaring or not is subjective.

There is such a thing as chemistry among defensive pairings. You can't always just throw two good dmen together at any time to make a good pairing.

cc
10-14-2003, 11:38 AM
stats are useless.... watch the games!

Sopel has made some huge blunders so far in the 3 games... luckily it hasn't come back to kill us, but those kind of mistakes we can't afford from a guy playing on our top pairing, and against the opposition's best offensive players.

it is too early to tell... that's why I'm willing to continue being patient with him for about half a season... what disappoints me is that he hasn't turned it up defensively this season, and looks to be making the same turnovers and bad plays he did last season.

like I said before, his offense isn't the problem... it's as good as it has been in the past... it's his defense, or lack of, that has me concerned.

whether Sopel earned all the minus he had last year is debatable, but pple still use that statistic against him. It's not fair that the plus/minus should just be ignored now.

I think his play has been better with every game and that's the thing that encourages me.

cc
10-14-2003, 11:54 AM
stats are useless.... watch the games!



I only want the takeaway vs giveaway stat so I could show that Sopel doesn't give the puck away as much as some people say he does relative to the other dmen. I can tell you that I believe that to be the case and it would help my argument a little if I had some stats to back that up.

MVP
10-14-2003, 12:11 PM
I only want the takeaway vs giveaway stat so I could show that Sopel doesn't give the puck away as much as some people say he does relative to the other dmen. I can tell you that I believe that to be the case and it would help my argument a little if I had some stats to back that up.


Not that i don't believe you, but provide a link to backup that statistic.

cc
10-14-2003, 12:13 PM
Not that i don't believe you, but provide a link to backup that statistic.

that stat doesn't exist for the public anymore.

the last time they had that stat available for public srutiny was 2001-2002

Canucker
10-14-2003, 12:14 PM
I don't think I've seen a defenseman fall down as much as Sopel...he seems like he has clumsy feet or his skates are gibbled.

NFITO
10-14-2003, 12:15 PM
cc... I'm not a Sopel basher... furthest thing from it... I've been a huge supporter of his throughout last season, and am still hopeful he remains a Canuck.

But I am losing more patience with him... I can't forever let his mistakes pass without criticism... the reason why I'm picking on him now is because of where the team is.

last season, ask anyone here how I felt about Sopel... I defended him in every post... but now the team is ready for a serious run, and we can't be having players that make those kinds of mistakes on our top defensive unit... Sopel has been making huge mistakes!

I had hoped to see a more stable Sopel this season, but so far he hasn't shown that he's put his brain freezes behind him yet... if this was last year or the year before, I could live with it, having more patience since the team overall required it...

now the team is ready, but Sopel isn't... it's in our best interest IMO that we are ready by this playoffs for a serious run, and having an error prone top pairing guy isn't going to help us in the least.

The other reason why my patience is running out on him is because we don't need his offensive contributions on defense as much as we needed it before... we should have more scoring depth up front, and Ohlund is really looking like he's going to have a career offensive season, possibly Salo as well.

as for the Salo/Sopel with Ohlund comments... the reason why Salo isn't playing with Ohlund isn't because he's not good with him... I think it's because Sopel isn't good with anyone else (as tant mentioned)... that's why that pairing is still intact...

I really do believe that Sopel can pull us down this season... but I haven't completely run out of patience yet... I am willing to see how he develops this season, but by the deadline if he hasn't developed more stability in his game, I'm joining the line (and the ever growing one) of fans who want to see him gone.... I still hope it doesn't come to that, but both my patience and my faith in him are decreasing.

MVP
10-14-2003, 12:16 PM
that stat doesn't exist for the public anymore.

the last time they had that stat available for public srutiny was 2001-2002


So that statistic was not available last season? Than we have been talking about Sopel two seasons ago, which i think we can all agree that he had a pretty good season that year, but the concern of his play has been the last year and the 3 games this year. Again it is just a concern but not bashing. Bashing would be saying he sucks, but i think he has to be more focus on the defensive end, that is all.

tantalum
10-14-2003, 12:20 PM
When Ohlund was injured, they tried Sopel with Jovo and Allen and it didn't work out. I was pointing that out in respose to the statement that Sopel can't play with anybody outside of Ohlund.

So he couldn't play with those guys which is what I said. He has shown he can only play with Ohlund.

I don't agree that Salo has looked good with Ohlund... otherwise, they would be putting him there I think if that was the case.

No they use Salo to anchor the third pairing. If Sopel could be counted on to do the same you would definitely see Salo with Ohlund...as you do on the PK.

And yes Salo didn't work out with Jovo but as NFITO said they both a right side D-men. That and it took some time for Salo to adapt to the system as it did with Malik.

Sopel's first "full" year was decent...made so be an a very good 4-5 weeks. Last year he wasn't very good at all and down right disastrous for an extended period of time. It is only his third year and he's young but he isn't a top-4 guy on an elite team. That's the problem. Much of the roster appears primed for a serious run with the exception of couple weak links. Sopel is one of those weak links IMO.

Chemistry between defence pairings is important yes but he's had a year with every D-man on the team except Slegr. The chemistry excuse I think starts to run out when you become that familiar with your teammates and wuite frankly he has to take responsibility for his own play. Chemistry plays no part in that.

cc
10-14-2003, 12:31 PM
So he couldn't play with those guys which is what I said. He has shown he can only play with Ohlund.



No they use Salo to anchor the third pairing. If Sopel could be counted on to do the same you would definitely see Salo with Ohlund...as you do on the PK.

And yes Salo didn't work out with Jovo but as NFITO said they both a right side D-men. That and it took some time for Salo to adapt to the system as it did with Malik.

Sopel's first "full" year was decent...made so be an a very good 4-5 weeks. Last year he wasn't very good at all and down right disastrous for an extended period of time. It is only his third year and he's young but he isn't a top-4 guy on an elite team. That's the problem. Much of the roster appears primed for a serious run with the exception of couple weak links. Sopel is one of those weak links IMO.

Chemistry between defence pairings is important yes but he's had a year with every D-man on the team except Slegr. The chemistry excuse I think starts to run out when you become that familiar with your teammates and wuite frankly he has to take responsibility for his own play. Chemistry plays no part in that.


Sopel hasn't been paired up with Malik at all. He was paired up with rookie Allen in Ohlund's absence and Jovo who is a right dman like he is.

Previously, it was Ohlund and Baron playing on the pk, but when they were paired outside of the pk, Ohlund suffered. At one time they played well together but it became obvious later on that the pairing only worked for the PK. I don't think Salo worked out that well with Ohlund but that's just my opinion.

Before he is judged as the weak link, we should be able to see that statistically. If he's that bad defensively, it will show up in his stats, especially since he plays against top lines and logs a lot of minutes.

cc
10-14-2003, 12:36 PM
So that statistic was not available last season? Than we have been talking about Sopel two seasons ago, which i think we can all agree that he had a pretty good season that year, but the concern of his play has been the last year and the 3 games this year. Again it is just a concern but not bashing. Bashing would be saying he sucks, but i think he has to be more focus on the defensive end, that is all.

that was the point of my original argument... out of his last two season, he's had a good season, and a poor season. 3 games is hardly enough time to give a critical assessment of a player, especially when his stats don't warrant it.

everytime I see even one mistake by Sopel, I'm thinking to myself... "ok, here come the sopel bashers." He could make a dozen good plays defensively and I just know, that one mistake he could make will still come back to bite him on these boards.

tantalum
10-14-2003, 12:45 PM
Sopel hasn't been paired up with Malik at all. He was paired up with rookie Allen in Ohlund's absence and Jovo who is a right dman like he is.

Previously, it was Ohlund and Baron playing on the pk, but when they were paired outside of the pk, Ohlund suffered. At one time they played well together but it became obvious later on that the pairing only worked for the PK. I don't think Salo worked out that well with Ohlund but that's just my opinion.

Before he is judged as the weak link, we should be able to see that statistically. If he's that bad defensively, it will show up in his stats, especially since he plays against top lines and logs a lot of minutes.

I think it does show up in his stats...He's the only D-man not used on the PK.

cc
10-14-2003, 12:48 PM
I think it does show up in his stats...He's the only D-man not used on the PK.

that's by Crow's choice... just like the defensive pairings. perhaps he likes the taller players over 6'1 to play on the PK. Sopel hasn't played enough on the PK for me to guage how good he'd be on it. Still, goals against on the PK wouldn't show up stat wise anyway.

tantalum
10-14-2003, 12:52 PM
that's by Crow's choice... just like the defensive pairings. perhaps he likes the taller players over 6'1 to play on the PK. Sopel hasn't played enough on the PK for me to guage how good he'd be on it. Still, goals against on the PK wouldn't show up stat wise anyway.

You're right it is by Crow's choice. But it seems odd that the guy that's a "top 4" who is trusted and brilliant against opposition top lines would not get PK time while every other D-man does. It was the same last year.

cc
10-14-2003, 01:03 PM
You're right it is by Crow's choice. But it seems odd that the guy that's a "top 4" who is trusted and brilliant against opposition top lines would not get PK time while every other D-man does. It was the same last year.

like I said, his reasoning is his own. My own theory is that he's more comfortable using dmen with a longer arm span.

cc
10-14-2003, 01:16 PM
cc... I'm not a Sopel basher... furthest thing from it... I've been a huge supporter of his throughout last season, and am still hopeful he remains a Canuck.

But I am losing more patience with him... I can't forever let his mistakes pass without criticism... the reason why I'm picking on him now is because of where the team is.

last season, ask anyone here how I felt about Sopel... I defended him in every post... but now the team is ready for a serious run, and we can't be having players that make those kinds of mistakes on our top defensive unit... Sopel has been making huge mistakes!

I had hoped to see a more stable Sopel this season, but so far he hasn't shown that he's put his brain freezes behind him yet... if this was last year or the year before, I could live with it, having more patience since the team overall required it...

now the team is ready, but Sopel isn't... it's in our best interest IMO that we are ready by this playoffs for a serious run, and having an error prone top pairing guy isn't going to help us in the least.

The other reason why my patience is running out on him is because we don't need his offensive contributions on defense as much as we needed it before... we should have more scoring depth up front, and Ohlund is really looking like he's going to have a career offensive season, possibly Salo as well.

as for the Salo/Sopel with Ohlund comments... the reason why Salo isn't playing with Ohlund isn't because he's not good with him... I think it's because Sopel isn't good with anyone else (as tant mentioned)... that's why that pairing is still intact...

I really do believe that Sopel can pull us down this season... but I haven't completely run out of patience yet... I am willing to see how he develops this season, but by the deadline if he hasn't developed more stability in his game, I'm joining the line (and the ever growing one) of fans who want to see him gone.... I still hope it doesn't come to that, but both my patience and my faith in him are decreasing.


I'm not suggesting that you are a Sopel basher at all, but I do feel that some of the fans look at him with more of a microscope than he deserves and that it's infectious to some degree... even to Sopel supporters. My position is that if he can help prevent more goals than he allows when he's on the ice, he's in a pretty good spot and we should just wait much longer than 3 games before we express our concern for his play.

Up to now, the one game that the Canucks lost, he was not responsible for the loss.

If you are going to blame him for his offensive style though, you may as well blame Crow for making him that way. Remember, he used to be just a guy with the golden stick... now he seems to be leading rushes and jumping into play at all opportunities.

NFITO
10-14-2003, 01:30 PM
I'm not suggesting that you are a Sopel basher at all, but I do feel that some of the fans look at him with more of a microscope than he deserves and that it's infectious to some degree... even to Sopel supporters. My position is that if he can help prevent more goals than he allows when he's on the ice, he's in a pretty good spot and we should just wait much longer than 3 games before we express our concern for his play.

Up to now, the one game that the Canucks lost, he was not responsible for the loss.

If you are going to blame him for his offensive style though, you may as well blame Crow for making him that way. Remember, he used to be just a guy with the golden stick... now he seems to be leading rushes and jumping into play at all opportunities.

I don't blame him for his offensive style... I blame him for falling on his ass when he decides to play his offensive style... I blame him for putting the puck on the opposition's blade playing that style.

I agree he was not responsible for the loss against the Jackets... but he did give up the puck a few times in his first 3 games, and he did fall down more than a few times as well...

that's where I'm concerned with his play.... after watching him in the 2002 season, I was willing to let his bad play slide in 2003, thinking that he can get back his consistency from the year before... this season, I'm more skeptical of it...

its' not like I'm writing him off... I do believe that he will one day get his act in gear and be consistent on the back end... it happens to every young dman... the offense he brings though is something that usually doesn't surface later on in dmen's careers.... so I do think that Sopel is a valuable player - an above average offensive dman...

but my concern is that he needs to develop quickly now... I don't care if Sopel is a top notch dman when he's 30, we need him to be stable and effective right now, this season, and that's where my concern in his development comes in... I was hoping to see a more stable Sopel, and so far he hasn't shown it... albiet early, it's still discouraging to see the lack of progress into a new season.

I'm not about to give up on him, but his play so far, being just like it was last season during his struggles has got me concerned... he hasn't gotten the minuses yet because the team has been able to bail him out, but they won't be able to forever... nor should the team have to bail him out everytime.

cc
10-14-2003, 01:39 PM
I don't blame him for his offensive style... I blame him for falling on his ass when he decides to play his offensive style... I blame him for putting the puck on the opposition's blade playing that style.

I agree he was not responsible for the loss against the Jackets... but he did give up the puck a few times in his first 3 games, and he did fall down more than a few times as well...

that's where I'm concerned with his play.... after watching him in the 2002 season, I was willing to let his bad play slide in 2003, thinking that he can get back his consistency from the year before... this season, I'm more skeptical of it...

its' not like I'm writing him off... I do believe that he will one day get his act in gear and be consistent on the back end... it happens to every young dman... the offense he brings though is something that usually doesn't surface later on in dmen's careers.... so I do think that Sopel is a valuable player - an above average offensive dman...

but my concern is that he needs to develop quickly now... I don't care if Sopel is a top notch dman when he's 30, we need him to be stable and effective right now, this season, and that's where my concern in his development comes in... I was hoping to see a more stable Sopel, and so far he hasn't shown it... albiet early, it's still discouraging to see the lack of progress into a new season.

I'm not about to give up on him, but his play so far, being just like it was last season during his struggles has got me concerned... he hasn't gotten the minuses yet because the team has been able to bail him out, but they won't be able to forever... nor should the team have to bail him out everytime.

this is where we disagree. I thought he played a strong 3rd game. Did he give the puck away? yeah, but so did every other dman including Salo... but Sopel was in position and where he was supposed to be in a lot of instances and he took away far more chances than he allowed. In fact, I don't see where Sopel is so far worse than any other dman on the Canucks right now factoring in giveaways and defensive positioning. I mean, if the team was able to bail out Sopel, how come they couldn't bail out Slegr?

the fact is, I'm confused by all this discussion with Sopel at all at this time. I don't feel he's a concern at all. I expect that he will make mistakes like every dman in the league and would need to have the goalie or team bail him out every now and then. I thought he had a good playoffs last season despite what people were saying about him. I thought he made a couple of mistakes so far in these 3 games, but has improved with every game. He played against the Iginla line a lot, Smyth line a lot, and the Cassels line a lot and all three lines were ineffective against the nucks. What more can you ask for?

NFITO
10-14-2003, 01:50 PM
this is where we disagree. I thought he played a strong 3rd game. Did he give the puck away? yeah, but so did every other dman... but Sopel was in position and where he was supposed to be in a lot of instances and he took away far more chances than he allowed. In fact, I don't see where Sopel is so far worse than any other dman on the Canucks right now factoring in giveaways and defensive positioning. I mean, if the team was able to bail out Sopel, how come they couldn't bail out Slegr?

that's faulty reasoning...

it's like saying that if the team bailed out Sopel in games 1 and 2, they should be able to bail him out every game...

Sopel didn't have a bad game 3... the errors I saw were mostly in games 1 and 2, and he did look awful at times in those games.

it's not even so much about positioning... his positioning isn't that bad compared to other dmen... what bothers me is his ability with the puck in 2 of the 3 zones... he's excellent in the offensive zone... rarely we see him give up the puck there, or make a bad play...

but in the neutral zone and the defensive zone, he's making big mistakes still.... it seems that he gets more pressure in those zones, and can't handle it well.

Sopel is key for our team because of offense... if we don't need that from him anymore, he's not contributing to our success... defensively he's an average dman at best, and if he played like that consistently, it wouldn't matter... but for too long now he's been below average defensively, and I had hoped (and still hope) that he overcomes that this season...

we've all seen him play in 2002... if he can play like that he's not a problem... I'm worried because I don't know if he will play like that this season.

cc
10-14-2003, 02:01 PM
that's faulty reasoning...

it's like saying that if the team bailed out Sopel in games 1 and 2, they should be able to bail him out every game...
.

That's not what I was trying to say. The team and goalie is expected to bail out their dmen every now and then. That's just the way it is. The way it almost sounds is that Sopel is the only guy that gets bailed out and that's simply not true. It's going to happen with all dmen whether we like or not.


Sopel didn't have a bad game 3... the errors I saw were mostly in games 1 and 2, and he did look awful at times in those games.

it's not even so much about positioning... his positioning isn't that bad compared to other dmen... what bothers me is his ability with the puck in 2 of the 3 zones... he's excellent in the offensive zone... rarely we see him give up the puck there, or make a bad play...

but in the neutral zone and the defensive zone, he's making big mistakes still.... it seems that he gets more pressure in those zones, and can't handle it well.

If he continued to play the way he played in game one, and it doesn't improve, there may be cause for concern... but it hasn't so I don't know why we are talking about him still. And even in his bad games, he moved the puck out of the zone in plenty of situations, and even whe he gave up the puck, he was still in position to correct his mistake.
Find me a dman who doesn't feel pressured against a forechecking team that can't be slowed down like they used to.
In addition, It's almost as if, when Sopel has the puck, it gives the green light for other players to move quickly up ice for the pass and increase the gap sometimes.


Sopel is key for our team because of offense... if we don't need that from him anymore, he's not contributing to our success... defensively he's an average dman at best, and if he played like that consistently, it wouldn't matter... but for too long now he's been below average defensively, and I had hoped (and still hope) that he overcomes that this season...


I disagree. He's used as a paring against the opposing team's top line. For now, that's what he's relied on in addition to offense so his defense is also crucial. I don't think he is below average defensive ability. He had a poor year last year but he was also playing through injuries.


we've all seen him play in 2002... if he can play like that he's not a problem... I'm worried because I don't know if he will play like that this season.

We don't know he can't either. There's no point in thinking about it now, especially after he had a strong game.

SedinFan*
10-14-2003, 02:03 PM
Praise Sopel!

Had a phenominal game yesterday. Yet no one here seems to want to give him credit.

SOPEL RULES

Thalia
10-14-2003, 02:09 PM
Praise Sopel!

Had a phenominal game yesterday.
Phenominal game? I think that's a stretch; he had a decent game. He's played better in the past but the season is still young and I still have hope that he'll improve.

SedinFan*
10-14-2003, 02:17 PM
Sopel rules, don't be afraid to admit it.

cyrisweb
10-14-2003, 03:43 PM
Sopel rules, don't be afraid to admit it.

Your constant chearleading isn't helping his cause.