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01-21-2013, 09:34 PM
  #26
Burke's Evil Spirit
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The other aspect of this Ballard thing was that if he was gone, we could have Edler playing his natural side. Yes we'd need a right-side d-man for the bottom pairing but we'd have $4.2 million with which to address that gaping hole. Ridiculous how badly Ballard screws this whole team up.

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01-21-2013, 09:36 PM
  #27
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I'm stunned at how poor he's been for us. Never expected it based on his past performance, though I admit I'd never followed him closely.

I really believe it's all psychological. His reads are just awful. He's squandering his physical tools, which sucks. He is an NHL calibre skater, and in the past he's played a scrappy, physical brand of hockey.

Obviously useless to speculate, but maybe he's dealt with some off-ice issues. Add to that the fact that his coach obviously doesn't trust him, pressure of his contract, etc.

If he goes to another team and turns it around I'll be happy for him, but disappointed that we couldn't find a role for him here.

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01-21-2013, 09:41 PM
  #28
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Mitchell is a guy you make room for but the loss doesn't hurt so much. He's not a Gillis defenceman. He's great defensively but he can't do much going the other way. Gillis didn't want to pay him for one way abilities.

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01-21-2013, 09:51 PM
  #29
Burke's Evil Spirit
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If we go into the 2010 playoffs with:

Hamhuis-Bieksa
Edler-Ehrhoff
Mitchell-Salo
Tanev/Rome/Alberts

...there is a Stanley Cup in Vancouver by now. And LA wouldn't have one either.

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01-21-2013, 09:52 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by YogiCanucks View Post
Mitchell is a guy you make room for but the loss doesn't hurt so much. He's not a Gillis defenceman. He's great defensively but he can't do much going the other way. Gillis didn't want to pay him for one way abilities.
Well, Mitchell provides about as much offense as Chris Tanev, and more than Keith Ballard or Andrew Alberts or Cam Barker...

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01-21-2013, 10:00 PM
  #31
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Psychological/Confidence issues aside, I think the majority of his points deficit is actually TOI related.

Points wise:

The problem is largely PP time and total TOI, including offensive starts with the team's best players.

Phoenix and Florida Ballard received, roughly, 2:10 - 2:40 minutes of PP time per game. In Vancouver he (quite rightly, given who is ahead of him) receives none. Ballard without any PP time is a 19-29 point defenceman (82 games), which is absolutely nothing to write home about (actually the 29 ES point season is quite nice, the rest are not).

Why does he only score on a 9-12 point (pro-rated to 82 GP) pace here? I'd be willing to bet it's TOI with the top-2 lines. Florida Ballard received 17:42 of ES ice-time a game for his 29 ES points. Phoenix Ballard received 15:54 of ES ice time for his 19 ES points. Vancouver Ballard receives 14:26 of ice time for his 12 ES points (pro-rated to 82 GP)

That's not a massive difference, but as I said, i'd be willing to bet that the major change has come from seeing time with the top two lines, to seeing time with the bottom two lines. Unfortunately leftwinglock doesn't go back to his Phoenix/Florida days, so I can't confirm that. I think that's more than enough to add the "extra" 12-14 ES points or so he scored in his Florida days (I say 12-14 and not 17 because if you adjust for the ES TOI, that's around what you get). CapGeek shows he was essentially the #3 D-man behind Bouwmeester and McCabe in Florida in 08/09.

If you played Edler exclusively with our 3rd and 4th lines for 14:26 a night, as opposed to our top 2 lines, he would probably be a 10-15 ES point defenceman, rather than a 27 ES point defenceman. And if you further took away his PP time, that's probably around where his points totals would stay.

This is not to say I think Ballard can be an effective top-4 d-man on this team, I don't think he can fulfil a permanent role there. The reason being his outlet pass is pretty average, and it's fairly obvious he prefers to rush the puck up through the neutral zone himself. The problem is this team doesn't play that way and isn't built to play that way. TBH he might be better suited to the eastern conference. If you do put him on a team that is comfortable with this, and give him ~17 minutes ES + 2-3 minutes PP time a night, i'm fairly confident that would be reflected in his points totals returning to the ~30 point level.

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01-21-2013, 10:03 PM
  #32
DennisReynolds
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I will probably the only one who will defend Ballard but ever since he got to Vancouver, he's been plagued with injuries and never had a chance to show AV what he's really got.

I honestly thought he was our best defenceman last year against the Kings.

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01-21-2013, 10:11 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMicrowave View Post
I will probably the only one who will defend Ballard but ever since he got to Vancouver, he's been plagued with injuries and never had a chance to show AV what he's really got.

I honestly thought he was our best defenceman last year against the Kings.
I'm with you. You can really tell which fans have no idea how to critique a defenceman's play without stat watching. The fools criticizing Ballard for his play so far this year are truly clueless.

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01-21-2013, 10:27 PM
  #34
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Still don't understand why he's been criticized this year... He's been solid and I actually thought he and Tanev were our best pairing in the Edmonton game.

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01-21-2013, 10:56 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit View Post
It hurts worse when you realize getting Ballard meant we couldn't re-sign Mitchell who went to LA and...the rest is history.

That being said the trade isn't the blemish, the fact that this situation has gone on for 3 seasons is. It's absurd that Ballard still has the role he has on this team. At least other Gillis mis-steps (like Marco Sturm) are very quickly corrected.
Ballard was there incase we didn't get Hamhuis, if anything Bieksa is the reason we didn't get Mitchell.

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01-21-2013, 10:58 PM
  #36
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Still don't understand why he's been criticized this year... He's been solid and I actually thought he and Tanev were our best pairing in the Edmonton game.
That play when he passed it right in front of luongo to an edmonton player was painful.

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01-21-2013, 11:01 PM
  #37
DennisReynolds
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Originally Posted by luongo321 View Post
That play when he passed it right in front of luongo to an edmonton player was painful.
It was indeed terrible but other than that, he's been very good. People tend to remember the negatives more than the positives. Even Hamhuis has been worse than Ballard in these two games.

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01-21-2013, 11:02 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by MajorCanuck View Post
He needed a strong defenseman to pair with him to be effective, someone who was able to bail out his gaffs. Instead, AV kept putting him with rome/alberts/tanev, who were decent d-men in their own right, but not strong enough to be able to make up for ballard's risky style.
Disagree with this completely.

Tanev is the only thing keeping Ballard from being chased off the ice by Canucks fans.

Outside of his ability to break out of the zone, Ballard is a complete disaster defensively. His positioning in his own zone is horrible, his offensive game is nonexistent, he plays like he is 4'11, and his compete level is embarrassing.

Gillis just needs to bite the bullet and cut his losses at this point.

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01-21-2013, 11:07 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by professorchaos View Post
I'm with you. You can really tell which fans have no idea how to critique a defenceman's play without stat watching. The fools criticizing Ballard for his play so far this year are truly clueless.
How about instead of making useless passive agressive comments, you offer some examples of what attributes you think Ballard brings to the table right now.

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01-21-2013, 11:07 PM
  #40
DennisReynolds
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Disagree with this completely.

Tanev is the only thing keeping Ballard from being chased off the ice by Canucks fans.

Outside of his ability to break out of the zone, Ballard is a complete disaster defensively. His positioning in his own zone is horrible, his offensive game is nonexistent, he plays like he is 4'11, and his compete level is embarrassing.

Gillis just needs to bite the bullet and cut his losses at this point.
I like how you said Ballard is a disaster defensively and add that his offensive game is terrible.

Anyways, have you even watched Ballard play? He's the only defenceman that actually gets involved and plays bigger than his size. You can see him keep getting involved and slashing/pushing the player in front of the net in order to clear him out. He's the only D who has been playing with some intensity.

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01-21-2013, 11:08 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by luongo321 View Post
That play when he passed it right in front of luongo to an edmonton player was painful.
So was Bieksa letting Eberle and Yakupov go, giving uncontested wristshots.
So was Hamhuis' terrible passing.
So was Edler getting dangled by Eberle on multiple occasions.

For all the **** Ballard is already getting, Bieksa and Hamhuis have been worse.

It's as if we need a scapegoat. If it was Raymond who made that ****ing terrible play on the GTG yesterday than we would be having a field day on Raymond. Burrows has by far been our worst player in the last 2 games and people haven't mentioned him at all.

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Originally Posted by TheMicrowave View Post
It was indeed terrible but other than that, he's been very good. People tend to remember the negatives more than the positives. Even Hamhuis has been worse than Ballard in these two games.
Thank you.

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01-21-2013, 11:11 PM
  #42
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How about instead of making useless passive agressive comments, you offer some examples of what attributes you think Ballard brings to the table right now.
How about instead of making useless passive aggressive comments, you offer some examples of what Ballard has done wrong these past few games?

Don't give me some qualitative, inarguable arguments such as "his gap control is terrible", "he makes poor decisions", "he doesn't fit in the Canucks system" without video evidence or something concrete, and concise.

I don't disagree he hasn't been what we've hoped for since we've gotten him. However, he's been more than fine this season so far.

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01-21-2013, 11:20 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortshorts View Post
How about instead of making useless passive aggressive comments, you offer some examples of what Ballard has done wrong these past few games?

Don't give me some qualitative, inarguable arguments such as "his gap control is terrible", "he makes poor decisions", "he doesn't fit in the Canucks system" without video evidence or something concrete, and concise.

I don't disagree he hasn't been what we've hoped for since we've gotten him. However, he's been more than fine this season so far.


Go watch his first few shifts of last nights game. Hes out of position in his own zone. He makes bad passes. etc etc

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01-21-2013, 11:21 PM
  #44
BrandonL
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Originally Posted by TheMicrowave View Post
I like how you said Ballard is a disaster defensively and add that his offensive game is terrible.

Anyways, have you even watched Ballard play? He's the only defenceman that actually gets involved and plays bigger than his size. You can see him keep getting involved and slashing/pushing the player in front of the net in order to clear him out. He's the only D who has been playing with some intensity.
Unfortunately I think that's just how far his game has regressed. IMO, the only reason he's even on the roster right now is his contract and the fact Mike Gillis doesn't want to admit he made a mistake.

As for watching his game, over the years I've been one of the fans preaching patience with Ballard. I thought he would eventually turn it around, but it's hard to ignore the evidence. Outside of the two or three times a season he makes a nice end-to-end rush, his offensive game is nonexistent. Defensively, his positioning and poor passes when under pressure are constantly putting Tanev in bad situations.

I would also disagree with the notion that Ballard plays bigger than his size. Since the NHL eliminated his hip check, his open ice hits are nonexistent.

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01-21-2013, 11:22 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by TheMicrowave View Post
It was indeed terrible but other than that, he's been very good. People tend to remember the negatives more than the positives. Even Hamhuis has been worse than Ballard in these two games.
Hamhuis has indeed been brutal. Yikes.

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Old
01-21-2013, 11:23 PM
  #46
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Ballard was there incase we didn't get Hamhuis, if anything Bieksa is the reason we didn't get Mitchell.
We needed guys who were expected to be healthy. Just our luck the two "iron men" (players with very low numbers of games missed) happen to get major injuries the first season they were Canucks.

You *really* roll the dice if you have Mitchell & Salo in two of the top four positions (with Bieksa coming off two major injuries).

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01-21-2013, 11:48 PM
  #47
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I still think he's overpaid but he's useful because if you lose a top 4 guy you can promote him.
The sad thing is that during the '11 Finals, AV played guys that needed surgery rather than Ballard. I predicted that one of Ballard or AV would be gone. Not that they hated each other or anything. I just couldn't imagine a productive relationship. How they are both still here is beyond me.

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01-21-2013, 11:55 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by shortshorts View Post
How about instead of making useless passive aggressive comments, you offer some examples of what Ballard has done wrong these past few games?

Don't give me some qualitative, inarguable arguments such as "his gap control is terrible", "he makes poor decisions", "he doesn't fit in the Canucks system" without video evidence or something concrete, and concise.

I don't disagree he hasn't been what we've hoped for since we've gotten him. However, he's been more than fine this season so far.
I agree. He's doing a lot things well. I think people are having their opinions swayed by one or two... or three or four... really bad plays. The game overall has been sloppy and Ballard is no exception. I still think he's going to have a bounce back season.

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01-22-2013, 12:03 AM
  #49
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I agree. He's doing a lot things well. I think people are having their opinions swayed by one or two... or three or four... really bad plays. The game overall has been sloppy and Ballard is no exception. I still think he's going to have a bounce back season.
Not if AV has a say

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01-22-2013, 12:05 AM
  #50
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Here is a video interview with some of the Canucks players, including Ballard. The last question is very topical.

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