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Old
10-14-2003, 12:03 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by tantalum
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.

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10-14-2003, 12:16 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO
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.

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Old
10-14-2003, 12:30 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc
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.

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Old
10-14-2003, 12:39 PM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO
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?

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Old
10-14-2003, 12:50 PM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc
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.

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Old
10-14-2003, 01:01 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO
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.

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Old
10-14-2003, 01:03 PM
  #57
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Praise Sopel!

Praise Sopel!

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

SOPEL RULES

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Old
10-14-2003, 01:09 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergizerScotty
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.

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10-14-2003, 01:17 PM
  #59
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Sopel rules, don't be afraid to admit it.

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Old
10-14-2003, 02:43 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergizerScotty
Sopel rules, don't be afraid to admit it.
Your constant chearleading isn't helping his cause.

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