#23 / Defenseman / Chicago Blackhawks
Apr 30, 1983
|2008 - Aaron Johnson||38||3||5||8||19||33||0||0||1||0||27||11.1|
#5 / Defenseman / Chicago Blackhawks
Jan 07, 1977
|2008 - Brent Sopel||23||1||1||2||-4||8||0||0||1||0||15||6.7|
The Good: Figured we'd might as well do these two together, as they barely played a season combined. So, the good for Sopel.....um.....uh....hang on, I'll get this. Oh right, there wasn't any. From the opening bell Sopel was a disaster, the coup-de-grace being getting pick-pocketed by the corpse of Jeremy Roenick during the Hawks 6-5 loss to them in November. He couldn't move, he couldn't pass, he couldn't do anything. So good times, then. Eventually, the Hawks came by and informed Catfish that he was hurt, and would he please go sit in a corner the rest of the season. Thankfully, he obliged. Oh, wait, this was supposed to be the good part.
Johnson is another story. Leaping into the lineup when Sopel was dismissed, Johnson turned into a shockingly competent defenseman. He was the league leader in +/- in November, as well as Behind The Net. Then Mike Grier decided to leave AJ's shoulder in the corner with the rest of him somewhere else. Johnson couldn't get back into the lineup after that, except for a brief flash in March when he looked quite physical and determined to stick around. Didn't work though.
The Bad: For Sopel, see above.
Johnson, after his initial return from injury, was the journeyman d-man he always was, allowing Walker to supplant him firmly in the lineup. But other than that, we can't find too much to complain about from a #7 or 8 blueliner.
Playoff Beard Strength: Who would know?
Nicknames and Photoshops: Well, I don't think I can print the things Sopel was called without getting reprimanded. Johnson sometimes went by AJ.
The Grade: We'll only ask you about Johnson's season, I think I know what you all would say for Sopel.