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Ballard & Michalek: +/- discrepancy

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01-29-2006, 12:54 AM
  #1
c9orf
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Ballard & Michalek: +/- discrepancy

I know they aren't usually playing together any more, but it was my impression that they have for most of the season. So how did Ballard end up with our team worst +/- and Michalek our best? Has Ballard been neglecting his defensive responsibilities, been let down by his new partner(s), or..?

BTW, I realize that they play quite different styles, and didn't actually intend to compare the two, but if Ballard's greater enthusiasm and offensive contribution were a net positive (at this point) his +/- rating wouldn't be 20 points worse than Zed's.

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01-29-2006, 10:52 AM
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Michalek it seems is on the ice for more goals, and has the better partners. Ballard has been playing with Gauthier a lot recently....

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01-29-2006, 12:51 PM
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I haven't been playing close attention, but in the past few games hasn't Mara been playing with Seidenberg, O'donnell with Michalek, and Ballard with Gauthier? I'm not sure Gauthier is any worse than O'donnell.

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01-29-2006, 01:02 PM
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Michalek is alot more responsible defensively and is a better overall dman imo.

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01-29-2006, 01:18 PM
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Michalek is on the ice for more goals (he leads all Coyotes in ice time per game now) but that doesnt explain it at all because that could just as easily hurt your plus-minus as help. I find it puzzling because I dont consider Ballard poor defensively, and both have switched partners regularly.

Ballard is even at home, its on the road where he suffers (-11)

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01-29-2006, 01:50 PM
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Michalek is just a better two-way d-man. If I'm not mistaken, Ballard has gotten several of his points on the PP?

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01-29-2006, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenSteen
Michalek is just a better two-way d-man. If I'm not mistaken, Ballard has gotten several of his points on the PP?
He has 14pts to Michalek's 5pts on the PP - I was thinking of that explanation too..

But Ballard also has 12 even-strength points to Michalek's 10. And Michalek receives plenty of PP time too (3.32 per game vs Ballard's 2.37). So its another explanation that doesnt fit with the statistical evidence.

One thing I can think of is that Michalek does better on his matchups, whereas Ballard doesnt (possibly because he gets put into tougher situations) However Michalek has increasingly played more and more to the point where he leads all defensemen so again it shouldnt favor him.

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01-29-2006, 03:23 PM
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I think it makes sense, Ballard is the better offensively and Michalek is the better defensively. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because they are two standout rookies for Phoenix (still hard to believe) but they offer very different contributions to the team. Michalek is generally very consistent defensively while you will see a couple of games where Ballard is -2 or -3.

Ballard: # of games a minus: 21 (including 5 games -2 or worse), # of games a plus: 13 (including 2 games +2 or better)
Michalek: # of games a minus: 14 (including 1 game -2 or worse), # of games a plus: 20 (including 4 games +2 or better)

Polar opposites, both great young players.

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Old
01-29-2006, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaner89
Michalek is alot more responsible defensively and is a better overall dman imo.
I'd take Ballard over 2 Michalek's (but just barely, maybe just 1 & 1/2)....

I wonder how many of Ballard's minuses come from giving up empty net goals at the end of a game....When the Coyotes pull the goalie, you can usually expect to see Ballard & Mara on the ice.

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01-29-2006, 04:46 PM
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We've given up a total of 5 empty net goals, so I'd say not many.

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01-29-2006, 06:52 PM
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They are hard to compare because they are two different style players. Right now I would say Michalek is a better defensive player but Ballard is way more aggressive and sometimes you get pulled or caught out of position playing like that. If I had to pick I would take Ballard 100 times over Michalek but I sure love having both of them.

I just love how Ballard competes and his heart is emotions are in the game. He's going to have bad games even the great ones do but man he's a player.

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01-29-2006, 08:08 PM
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Wow, the Ballard : Michalek rating went from 2:1 (Buddhaful) to 100:1 (LT) awfully quickly!

Both of these guys have a lot to learn, obviously. But IMHO the stats don't lie: Ballard is more spectacular, but is definitely still a work in progress.

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01-29-2006, 08:24 PM
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Ballard is obviously a fan favorite (much the same way Gauthier was when he first came into the league) but the Coyotes have to decide whether his offensive upside is valuable enough to negate his poor defensive play. For a team that's struggling to make the playoffs, can they wait for him to iron out the defensive wrinkles or do they hype his solid numbers and look to deal him?

Right now Michalek is a far superior all-around defenseman.

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01-30-2006, 09:15 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwyddbwyll
Michalek is on the ice for more goals (he leads all Coyotes in ice time per game now) but that doesnt explain it at all because that could just as easily hurt your plus-minus as help. I find it puzzling because I dont consider Ballard poor defensively, and both have switched partners regularly.

Ballard is even at home, its on the road where he suffers (-11)
Ballard has impressed me this year and far exceeded my expectations of him but he has never been great defensively and he continues to get caught up ice or beat around the net or out of the corners. His defensive reads or mistakes remind me a lot of Mara but at least he plays with a lot more heart.

Ballard was one of the worst if not the worst plus minus player in the AHL last year for D. He has improved and lets hope he continues to improve. As for answering the original question the plus minus between Z and Ballard has been steadily growing since Day One. They don't play together as much as you seem to think. I think Ballard has 2 minus's for empty net goals against but I think he got a plus or two with the goalie pulled as well did he not?

At home Ballard usually faces a more passive forcheck as the opposition plays a more conservative road style game and he has more time to rush the puck and use his speed. Z is a solid all round D that was the pick up of the year for Barnett. You throw enough mud at the wall and some of it is bound to stick and nobody has thrown more mud than Barnett the last few years.

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