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 Ballard back in AV's doghouse Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5686 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  21:01:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keith Ballard has been a healthy scratch for the past two games. This comes after a great start to the season for him where he was paired with the ever steady Chris Tanev for the first month plus. This tandem was the Canucks most reliable and consistent for the first 4-5 weeks until AV decided to split them up? Apparently he wanted to see if they could help a couple of the other guys who were struggling? Then, when the Canucks lost a couple including the blow out in Detroit, he's moved to the press box.

There really seems to be something between Ballard and AV and now his agent is going to the media to express their displeasure. It's a shame his contract is so high as i think he'd be a great fit on another team and would likely play top 4 elsewhere.

Here's a great article in defense of Ballard's play and what the Canucks may or may not be able to do with him.

http://www.nucksmisconduct.com/2013/3/4/4064920/the-keith-ballard-drama-unfortunately-continues

nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3562 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  21:16:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
plan for ballard:

1. try to trade him
2. if that fails, buy him out in the summer.

I too think he could do well on another team, for whatever reason AV does not like him or his style of play. But you can't be spending 4.2M on a 5/6 dman, and thats all he's going to be in VAN - so he's gotta go, anything else is a moot point.

FWIW, I thought Barker played a great game in against LAK. I suspect we'll see more of him in the 5/6 spot going forward.
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Guest4508
( )

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  23:11:50  Reply with Quote
I never understood what all the healthy scratches were about, even from the beginning. My friends and I had a theory that he was injured last year, using 'healthy scratch' as a media excuse. But obviously that was not the case. I would really love some commentary from Alain regarding Ballard's play. Because, like the article said, nobody else has (m)any issues with him.
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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3562 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  11:05:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4508

I never understood what all the healthy scratches were about, even from the beginning. My friends and I had a theory that he was injured last year, using 'healthy scratch' as a media excuse. But obviously that was not the case. I would really love some commentary from Alain regarding Ballard's play. Because, like the article said, nobody else has (m)any issues with him.



From the article:

"I do have to say this though, I have heard from a Canucks player that Keith Ballard is probably the most gifted defenceman with his offensive game and skill. The team sees it in practice but it disappears as soon as he plays in a game

That pretty much sums it up. If you don't produce in games, you're not going to get into many of them. Fast skating is not going to cut it.

To me, Ballard has not shown that he is markedly better than Alberts or Barker defensively, and is a far cry from Tanev, Bieksa, or Hamhuis in that regard. He has not shown that he's better than Edler or Garrison offensively, and therefore doesn't get those chances. He's a fish out of water - a top-4 salary without a top-4 position to slide into on an otherwise pretty deep Vancouver defense.
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just1n
Rookie



244 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  12:30:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Barker played against the Kings on Saturday? I saw Alberts was in that game, but wasn't sure that Barker has even played this year. Alberts played well I thought, a physical presence back there.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5686 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  14:07:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
nuxfan....it's tough to judge this, but what i have a problem with is the short leash he's ALWAYS been on. If he and Tanev were the best pairing for the first 15 or so games, why were they split up? It's one thing to split them up to see if they can help the others, but is it fair to bench Ballard after a bad game or two when the other guys aren't held accountable in the same regard? Edler has had back to back bad games, and had never been benched for it! Garrison, while fighting back through off season surgery rehab, has not been lights out! Etc. I just think there's something personal with AV and Ballard and we may or may not ever find out the truth.
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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3562 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  20:30:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by just1n

Barker played against the Kings on Saturday? I saw Alberts was in that game, but wasn't sure that Barker has even played this year. Alberts played well I thought, a physical presence back there.



Sorry, not LAK, it was the CGY game. Had an assist, looked good.
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Maverick9
Top Prospect



Canada
16 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2013 :  21:34:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great article nuxfan! I, for one am a HUGE Ballard fan. He has shown unbelievable perseverance and class regarding his situation in Vancouver. He is the ultimate team guy in my mind. That being said the way Ballard has been treated in this town in his time here is beyond unfair. He can't catch a break with anyone at all. He gets almost no credit for mentoring a young defenceman in Chris Tanev to the point where he is today, he has become AV's "fall guy" in that whenever the team starts losing you can expect Ballard to become a fixture in the press box for the next little while! Lately, when he has been playing, he always gets shifted to the right side, his off side, because Vigneault wouldn't want precious Edler or Garrison to play there. Then catches hell when he has an off game!

I read this article in the paper the other day

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/hockey/canucks-hockey/Vancouver+Canucks+defenceman+Keith+Ballard/8054367/story.html

and this particular quote really stuck with me

"But, in Ballard, the Canucks bought an SUV, customized it with four spare tires and then parked it every time it didnít handle safely on the highway in the rain.

They didnít want to see the creative, risk-taking, puck-carrying defenceman they acquired. They wanted safe.

Ballard didnít play himself onto the bottom pairing, Vigneault pigeonholed him for it, never allowing him the chance to play up the lineup


The comparison is totally accurate, Ballard could have been a Jovanovski type defenseman here in Vancouver! Personally, Jovo was my favourite D-man when he was here. Vigneault has taken away everything that made Ballard successful in the past.

OT: Coach V has to go IMO. The only games the Canucks look interested to be playing in are the ones against teams that have knocked them out of the playoffs recently. Getting teams in the right mindset before a game is up to the coaching staff! The Canucks look bored in the vast majority of their games this year. Unless they manage to hit Chicago, LA, and Boston this year they will not be getting anywhere near the Stanley Cup without some changes
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5686 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2013 :  14:28:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mav, where's this great article that nuxfan supplied for you to enjoy?

All kidding aside, i don't know if Ballard has the physical game in him to be another Jovo, though he does have a pretty nice hipcheck we've seen from time to time! Either way, he's def been curbed by AV. I sometimes wonder if he hit on AV's wife at a team function or something?

Also, i've been big in defense of AV over the years and think he's good overall. However, i don't like the way he handles Ballard and i'm getting sick of his "glass half full" mode when interviewed after recent losses. It seems the Canucks have always "played quite well" or "outplayed them" or "ran into a hot goalie", etc. With the injuries, esp Kesler's, it's hard to outright throw the blame his way, but i'm getting to the point of frustration overall with him.
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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3562 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2013 :  16:24:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Maverick9
Lately, when he has been playing, he always gets shifted to the right side, his off side, because Vigneault wouldn't want precious Edler or Garrison to play there. Then catches hell when he has an off game!




Edler has been playing on his off side nearly all year long - AV has been trying to turn him into a right side shot. It has definitely affected Edler's game...
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Maverick9
Top Prospect



Canada
16 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2013 :  22:42:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hahaha whoops! Credit to Alex on the article, not nuxfan.

True, Ballard is not quite as physical as Jovo was, aside from that fact though, their games are quite similar. Which is really disappointing on the Canucks end because they have wasted a player who could have been another fan favourite and key contributor

I agree with you wholly on "Optimist Vigneault". He has accepted mediocrity for far too long, usually going on the excuse of the team winning. Now that the team isn't winning, he's had to get a little more creative with his excuses lately!

Nuxfan, while Edler has been playing the right side quite a bit, he still ends up on the left side quite often. May I remind you of the Columbus game when Edler got walked in OT on the left side? My main point though, is that Ballard is expected to play well on the right side or else he's in trouble, while Edler often gets a free pass when things don't go his way on the right point

Edited by - Maverick9 on 03/11/2013 22:46:00
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