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Old
01-22-2013, 01:11 AM
  #51
ohnoeszz
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He's slow to read passing lanes so he doesn't get the quick outlet necessary in a system where forwards stretch for breakout passes. He can't rush the puck because our breakout doesn't have a forward back to replace him defensively. He simply doesn't have the passing skill to play the teams game.

He is our best damn transitioning to the defensive zone and slowing the rush. His speed is a true asset defensively for our style of play but that's all for nothing because he can't manage the breakout.

He needs a new team that plays a system with more forward support and we need a cheaper defenseman.

He has not been fine this season - he is still struggling to move the puck up ice. That is a huge issue in this system. He had the one bad turnover but his other passes have been poor as well handcuffing Tanev or getting it late to the forward who gets closed on.

Of our 6 defensemen he gets paid in line with the top 4. We really need to reallocate his money to the 2nd line and invest in some secondary scoring. We have a dearth of offensive creativity.

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01-22-2013, 01:32 AM
  #52
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I think it's a confluence of factors.

1)The obvious poor system fit. Ballard's high risk, puck rushing game just doesn't jive with the more measured, controlled, predictable style that this team embraces when they're on top of their games.

2)Injuries and lack of Confidence. You can practically see the guy second guessing himself out there. It just compounds the mistakes. And the injuries seem to crop up every time he looks like he might be turning a corner here.

3)He was never that great in the first place. It was my impression from the start, that Ballard was a real fringe top-4 guy on a quality team. He was a high-risk 2nd pairing type d-man on a bad team. A glorified offensive defenceman with a relatively limited offensive skillset. I mean, the guy was part of an Olli Jokinen trade not that long ago. Essentially, Ballard is to 'top-4 defencemen', what Jokinen is top 'top-6 center'. I think the #s and the big contract mislead some people into thinking he was something more than he was.


That said, i don't think he's been as terrible as many people seem to think. Value for the dollar wise, yes, he's absolutely atrocious...but he's still a much better blueliner than the Barkers/Vandermeers/Alberts of the world, and has more ability to step up to a larger role in an emergency than those guys, by far.

But Ballard suffers from the same fatal flaw that Bad-Bieksa does. When Ballard ****s up...it's extremely noticeable. His high-risk style means that when he's wrong...he's often really wrong, and it leads to very prominent, glaring mistakes. People seem to latch onto this sort of highly visible screw up and remember the glaring mistakes above all else. For better or worse, Ballard is never going to be a 'fly under the radar' type player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outside99 View Post
Just want to boast and say I called it a bad trade from day one and got flamed like crazy for it. But even I didn't think he would struggle that much. Like another poster said, its all in his head. He got off the wrong foot from day one and we know that AV has little patience for players who don't perform right away, day in day out so it was all downhill from there.
Yeah. There was a lot of accusations of Grabner fanboyism and the like being tossed around when posters weren't overly keen on that deal when it went down. And in balance, it's really not the end of the world that the deal didn't pan out, as we ditched a bad contract, and only gave up a guy in Grabner who likely would never have caught on in Vancouver under AV, and a relatively weak late 1st rounder. But it's still funny to think back to the backlash there was against those who weren't overly sold on Ballard and the price at the time.

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01-22-2013, 04:01 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by YogiCanucks View Post
Grabner wasn't working out (and remember that whole waived thing?!)
That he got waved has exactly nothing to do with it now. Its all 2020.

Grabner went on to get over 30 goals. And fastest skater at the skills comp.

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01-22-2013, 04:05 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Outside99 View Post
Just want to boast and say I called it a bad trade from day one and got flamed like crazy for it. But even I didn't think he would struggle that much. Like another poster said, its all in his head. He got off the wrong foot from day one and we know that AV has little patience for players who don't perform right away, day in day out so it was all downhill from there.
I was choked from fay 1 too. Its on record.

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01-22-2013, 04:12 AM
  #55
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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.
Booth seems to be starting off the same way Ballard did.

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01-22-2013, 04:26 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by blfr View Post
Here is a video interview with some of the Canucks players, including Ballard. The last question is very topical.
That kind of says it all doesn't it?

I think Ballard would flourish under another coach and system. He got off on the wrong foot and I think a lot of the blame should go on the coaching staff. They didn't handle the situation right. I don't think he's awful or anything but you can tell he has confidence issues. His decision making ability isn't great. Smooth skater though.

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01-22-2013, 04:41 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by opendoor View Post
Aside from him being ill suited for the Canucks' system (another great move by the team's pro scouting) I think his confidence is just completely shattered to the point that he's barely NHL caliber the way he's playing on the Canucks.

I mean not that there's anything too spectacular in these highlights, but he doesn't even look like the same player:




Hopefully he can get out of Vancouver and rekindle his career somewhere else. He's only 29, but watching him the last few years it seems unfathomable that he averaged over 30 points per 82 games in his first 5 years in the league.
what happend to his offensive? damnnn

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01-22-2013, 05:09 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Yossarian54 View Post
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.


Thank you ! I was just about to post something similar.

Different situations yield different results.

People saying fringe NHL player do not use the aforementioned information. He is definitely an NHL player. He's capable of 30 pts on any team given the proper minutes. Problem is, for him to get those proper minutes, the team has to either suck or play a much different style. I agree he doesn't work here, but for now, as a 6-7th defenseman, he's fine.

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01-22-2013, 05:33 AM
  #59
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What's wrong with his eyeball?

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01-22-2013, 06:53 AM
  #60
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Originally Posted by jigsaw99 View Post
what happend to his offensive? damnnn
PP time. Seriously. That video is pretty much all hits and saves. Two of the four or so goals in that video are occasions where he is fed the puck completely unmolested in the high slot or the top of the face-off circle. That is generally going to happen on the PP.

The vast majority of NHL defencemen who score more than 20 points put up 35-50% of their points on the PP. The effect is more pronounced than for forwards, who generally put up 20-40% of their points on the PP.

Examples from last year (82 game pace):

-Nick Lidstrom is a 20 point defenceman with no PP time.

-Brent Burns is a 21 point defenceman with no PP time. So is Ryan Suter.

-Alex Edler is a 27 point defenceman with no PP time (actually pretty good in comparison). So is Alex Pietrangelo. So is Shea Weber. So is Duncan Keith.

All these are 1st pairing defencemen who play ~18 ES minutes a night, with their teams top 2 lines, in offensive situations. Most of them get around 3-4 minutes on the PP each night.

Keith Ballard is a defenceman who played ~14:30 ES last year, scored at a 12 point ES pace, and, in offensive situations, played with our 3rd and 4th lines. Who scored bugger all. This point production would be true of pretty much all the #3, 4, 5 defencemen in the NHL in the same situation. Hell, even some #2's.

This is all not to say I think Ballard can be an offensive machine, I think his shot is pretty average. However the demise of his offensive instincts are greatly exaggerated.

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01-22-2013, 07:34 AM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian54 View Post
PP time. Seriously. That video is pretty much all hits and saves. Two of the four or so goals in that video are occasions where he is fed the puck completely unmolested in the high slot or the top of the face-off circle. That is generally going to happen on the PP.

The vast majority of NHL defencemen who score more than 20 points put up 35-50% of their points on the PP. The effect is more pronounced than for forwards, who generally put up 20-40% of their points on the PP.

Examples from last year (82 game pace):

-Nick Lidstrom is a 20 point defenceman with no PP time.

-Brent Burns is a 21 point defenceman with no PP time. So is Ryan Suter.

-Alex Edler is a 27 point defenceman with no PP time (actually pretty good in comparison). So is Alex Pietrangelo. So is Shea Weber. So is Duncan Keith.

All these are 1st pairing defencemen who play ~18 ES minutes a night, with their teams top 2 lines, in offensive situations. Most of them get around 3-4 minutes on the PP each night.

Keith Ballard is a defenceman who played ~14:30 ES last year, scored at a 12 point ES pace, and, in offensive situations, played with our 3rd and 4th lines. Who scored bugger all. This point production would be true of pretty much all the #3, 4, 5 defencemen in the NHL in the same situation. Hell, even some #2's.

This is all not to say I think Ballard can be an offensive machine, I think his shot is pretty average. However the demise of his offensive instincts are greatly exaggerated.
Great post. People rag on Ballard because with a $4.2m contract, they expect him to put up the points but, unfortunately for him, Hamhuis and Edler are ahead of him on the depth chart so AV asks him to play a safe, unspectacular, feed up the ice and change kind of game, which is far from the kind of player he usually is. Ballard plays a very fast-paced, puck rushing, risky game and his style of play is best suited in the top 4 while paired with a stay at home type defense man. With no PP time, he can't be expected to put up the 30+ points he typically gets as well. Because of all the expectations, the role he's given, and being in AV's dog house, Ballard's confidence is gone. When he's on his game and playing with confidence, he's a quality player who makes exciting plays, whether it's a great rush or great hit. The play at the beginning of this video is the epitome of Keith Ballard type hockey, and that's just not suited for bottom pairing.

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01-22-2013, 07:45 AM
  #62
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I think we are over reacting to a start that most people should have predicted.
Ballard has had his dodgy moments but who hasn't?

We shouldn't be knocking anyone in the team just now. We have prepared with knockabouts while other teams have had players playing competitive games.

We are playing really well in patches but the timing, the shooting and even the net minding is off.

Ballard was one of our best players in the run in and even during the playoff games. The only reason people are picking on him is that they are turning a blind eye to their favourites.

Bieksa and Hamhuis have had shockers. Garrison has shown up well considering but has not been anything special. Tanev has looked his usual composed self but his lack of physicality is hurting us.

The third line for me has been invisible. Higgins is not on his game yet and neither is Hansen.
Arguably our best line is the 4th just now, especially Weise who coincidentally PLAYED competitively during the lockout.

I get up in the early hours of the morning to watch the Canucks on GCL and believe me I am as disappointed as any of you but I don't think seeking scapegoats serves any purpose.

The whole team is trying to get up to speed and it is not helping that we are without players like Kesler and Booth. That in itself puts additional load on the others.

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01-22-2013, 09:56 AM
  #63
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I'm willing to give Ballard more time. Gillis doesn't have to deal him until the offseason. However, if he should get a solid offer at the deadline, I'd pull the trigger. Can go either way really.


This team has one of the highest scoring D corps in the league. Almost every year now. A big reason I think people get on Ballard for offense is that they feel a 4.2m Dman should be able to create for those around him, even if those around him are offensively challenged. Tanev is not good at creating offense. Neither are the depth lines on this team. Specifically, I think the Cs on this team from lines 2-4 struggle to be creative in the offensive zone. They in turn stifle their wingers and accompanying Dmen. What's more, the zone usage going on here does more to hinder Ballard's point totals than if he were on almost any other team. It's a perfect storm.


Is Ballard supposed to create on his own 5 on 5? Who is he creating with? Malhotra/Lapierre/Weise/Volpatti/Raymond/Tanev/Alberts etc... (possibly Higgins and Hansen, which would be the best he could hope for) Do you see him putting up good totals with these types? I don't.





This teams needs to look at the offense coming from the centre ice position before it starts looking for points from its 3rd pairing IMO. He's not the greatest at creating offense from back there, but he's not alone.

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01-22-2013, 10:08 AM
  #64
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I think Gillis's move to acquire Ballard was defensible. The fact that he has yet to move him off the roster to make better use of the cap space is not. One of very few awful moves by MG

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01-22-2013, 10:13 AM
  #65
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I think Gillis's move to acquire Ballard was defensible. The fact that he has yet to move him off the roster to make better use of the cap space is not. One of very few awful moves by MG

Use the cap space for what though? Unless Ballard is blocking a trade, I don't think it's wise just to deal him for cap space alone. A subsequent move would make much more sense.


With Grabner scoring and Howden waiting in the wings, it almost demands MG recoup assets with a Ballard trade because he gave up so much. That also plays a factor in when Ballard moves. I hope he gets ransomed at the deadline for strong futures, ideally.

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01-22-2013, 10:18 AM
  #66
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But Ballard suffers from the same fatal flaw that Bad-Bieksa does. When Ballard ****s up...it's extremely noticeable. His high-risk style means that when he's wrong...he's often really wrong, and it leads to very prominent, glaring mistakes. People seem to latch onto this sort of highly visible screw up and remember the glaring mistakes above all else. For better or worse, Ballard is never going to be a 'fly under the radar' type player. .
This is definitely a big part of the problem. He should take those ADHD medications to help him concentrate.

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01-22-2013, 10:20 AM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I think Gillis's move to acquire Ballard was defensible. The fact that he has yet to move him off the roster to make better use of the cap space is not. One of very few awful moves by MG
I was vehemently against the trade but I agree with this - falls under the fail fast meme. Also would have been better for Ballard. Still not too late to make a move (just need to eat some cap space) save for the fact we have no D depth to speak of.

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01-22-2013, 10:22 AM
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I was choked from fay 1 too. Its on record.

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01-22-2013, 10:25 AM
  #69
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That he got waved has exactly nothing to do with it now. Its all 2020.

Grabner went on to get over 30 goals. And fastest skater at the skills comp.
Well actually getting traded and then waived had a lot to do with it. During that 30 goal season where he caught lightening in a bottle the last half of the year he attributed a lot of his success to a couple of things. One was the dual wake up calls of being traded and then waived. The other was going to a team like the Islanders who had little depth and were prepared to let him play while he figured things out. He was not good for the Islanders the first half of the season but they had little choice but to play him. He figured some things out and excelled the back half of the season. He doesn't get that wake up call or the chance to pull things together for 40 games with the canucks or any contender. And then of course last year he simply wasn't that good yet again.

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01-22-2013, 11:58 AM
  #70
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Originally Posted by Bleach Clean View Post
Use the cap space for what though? Unless Ballard is blocking a trade, I don't think it's wise just to deal him for cap space alone. A subsequent move would make much more sense.


With Grabner scoring and Howden waiting in the wings, it almost demands MG recoup assets with a Ballard trade because he gave up so much. That also plays a factor in when Ballard moves. I hope he gets ransomed at the deadline for strong futures, ideally.
I would have moved him at the latest by last summer and overpaid a UFA for a one-year deal if nothing else was available. I just think Ballard has negative value for the Canucks right now.

On a team like the NYI that need a Top 4 D, he could be worth a gamble.

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01-22-2013, 12:00 PM
  #71
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Hell, move Ballard and Luongo and toss a one-year "we know you want to play here" offer sheet at Jamie Benn

Edit: this is the Canucks, so it would subsequently be followed by an accidental tank and Dallas drafting Seth Jones.

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01-22-2013, 12:51 PM
  #72
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The issue is plain and simple, Ballard needs to be playing in a free wheeling defensive style to be successful, and unfortunately the Canucks already have a defenseman (Bieksa) who plays that style. The team cannot afford to have two players out there playing an undisciplined, roaming sort of play.

AV has also asked Ballard to simplify his game to the basics and keep it simple, which does not lend to Ballard's strengths. He needs to go to a team who will let him free wheel, make hits, and has a stalwart stay at home guy who can cover for him.

In my opinion, that team is Colarado or Dallas, they need a player like Ballard as they already have a number of steady stay at home types and only have Johnson and possibly Barrie to create any sort of offense or creativity.

I am not saying Ballard is overly creative, but his skating ability allows him to take risks with the puck and jump up into the play to create chances for the offense.

My suggestion would be to move him to:

Colorado

for Cameron Guance

or to Dallas

for Stephane Robidas

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01-22-2013, 01:28 PM
  #73
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I mean, the guy was part of an Olli Jokinen trade not that long ago. Essentially, Ballard is to 'top-4 defencemen', what Jokinen is top 'top-6 center'. I think the #s and the big contract mislead some people into thinking he was something more than he was.
To be fair, Jokinen had averaged 37 goals and 84 pts a season over the 3 years before he was traded for Ballard. He certainly wasn't thought of as a generic spare part back then.

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01-22-2013, 01:44 PM
  #74
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As long as Ballards contract isn't stopping Gillis from making some trade or deals involving Lou. Let him play bottom pairing minutes with Tanev. We have no one we can replace him with (barker and vand not any better). If he regains part of his game it would be awsome.

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01-22-2013, 02:28 PM
  #75
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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.
It's hard to create offence when playing with 3rd and 4th liners and Tanev but since he hasn't shown that he can't produce offence albeit he was successful. So I'll have to agree with you there. I'd like to see him on the second powerplay instead of Hamhuis but we all know that's never going to happen.

But I always paid close attention to Ballard when he was with us and it really seems like he is one of the only defencemen who would get involved in scrums and etc. I'm not talking about big open hits, I'm talking about a glove to the face of the opponent, keep pushing/slashing when the opponent is in front of the net, and generally making them hard to play against him.

The only other defenceman who does that is Bieksa, who we all know plays on the edge and is physical (I'm not talking about open ice hits). Edler hits big time but he doesn't get involved as much as Bieksa or Ballard. Hamhuis is like Edler but less hitting and more quiet play I should say, and we haven't seen much of Garrison and Tanev's Tanev.

I don't want to see him gone, I'd like to give him this year and next year as a chance unless we desperate need cap space.

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