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Serious Jozef Balef Thread

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11-28-2004, 06:05 PM
  #1
vbox81
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Serious Jozef Balef Thread

Ok. We've been watching #20/57 for some weeks here and a few weeks with the Rangers last season. What are HONEST opinions of the player? I'll go first:

Doubt is starting to creep into my head about him. I see a Kovelev-like player: amazing talent but lacking in finishing ability. Balej plays on the outside but makes good passes. I wonder if he has a hard slap shot or depends on a quick wrister/snap shot down with accuracy. Bottom line: I am beginning to wonder whether he will be on the 2nd line in the future...

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11-28-2004, 06:09 PM
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You guys gotta get patient. One slump and everyone doubts him. Damn.

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11-28-2004, 06:13 PM
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I dont think Balej is a Kovalev type player. Kovalev had the ability to play a tougher, power foward type game because of his strength. If you wanna compare Balej to someone, i'd compare him to Dvorak...and with the flash of Pavel bure at times.

He was always touted as being a great finisher around the net...so im thinking he is just in a slump right now. he has loads of talent, he just has to put it all together.

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11-28-2004, 06:36 PM
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As a Hab fan, after Balej's great start last year I really felt he would be a decent 2nd line NHLer if he made the show. You know, a consistent 20-25 goal scorer, 45-50 point guy who in his best season could have a 30-60 season. I also thought he had some obstacles to overcome (going in heavy traffic zones, how will he react to physical play, adding some muscle, etc) in order to make the NHL. I feel his season last year really raised expectations to unreachable heights though. Many people started expecting he would be a superstar player or at least a first liner in the NHL. If your expectations for Balej are reasonable, I think you'll be satisfied with his performance in the future, just don't start expecting him to be a Pavel Bure type player who will put up monster numbers.

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11-28-2004, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan
As a Hab fan, after Balej's great start last year I really felt he would be a decent 2nd line NHLer if he made the show. You know, a consistent 20-25 goal scorer, 45-50 point guy who in his best season could have a 30-60 season.
Exactly what I think he'll be.

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11-28-2004, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balej20
i'd compare him to Dvorak...and with the flash of Pavel bure at times.

He was always touted as being a great finisher around the net...so im thinking he is just in a slump right now. he has loads of talent, he just has to put it all together.
Dvorak is the comparison I usuallly make and is accurate. And I would NOT even put him anywhere near Bure withanything, Balej's little dinky fancy moves are cute and all but the difference is Bure can do that and still score 50 goals a season at the NHL lever on any team anywhere he is just tremendous.So Balej just shows me a kid that can score 25 goals give or take a season, can do some cute little moves that will work in the AHL but not talented enough to pull them off in the NHL like Bure would be able to do. And saying 25 goals that's being his upside , I feel he will be more a 20-25 goal scorer who will have a couple 30 goal seasons..I myself am not down on him but yet never been so high on him either.

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11-28-2004, 06:55 PM
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Personally the comparison I've heard, and liked the best, was to Jan Hlavac.

A shifty guy with a nice arsenal of all-around offensive skills and hockey sense, but a tendency to get bullied of the puck and to lose focus on defense.

I like Balej, I think he's feisty and has a confidence that can't be taught (and that every scorer desperately needs *cough, Lundmark*.) But I don't see him as anything more than a stop-gap guy... a stepping stone that will fill a spot for a few years in the top six, and then hopefully be exchanged in a larger deal for a higher upside type of guy.

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11-28-2004, 06:56 PM
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I've thought Dvorak...

for a while. Good outside speed. Good puckhandler. And a lack of finishing ability. My biggest problem with him in watching him in the AHL (including last season) is that he plays too fancy and doesn't utilitze his teammates on the ice very well. Also, I don't see him fighting out there too much. He's not near Kovalev's skill level, even at that age. He's not near Kovalev's strength. And he doesn't have near the puck handling and shooting ability to Kovalev. The recent slump is something to worry about. This is the AHL, not the NHL. A top six forward would be more productive on a more consistent basis, in my opinion. But please read, it's a concern, not time to pack it in a forget about him.

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11-28-2004, 06:56 PM
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that or an average second line player. Unfortunatly were seeing some of these kids get oversold as the Rangers and their fans try to market/live with the rebuilding process.

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11-28-2004, 06:56 PM
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this comparison has been said over and over again but I agree with it completely

Radek Dvorak in his best year w/ the Rags

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11-28-2004, 06:58 PM
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Dvorak's a good comparaison. He may even be a better finisher than Dvo is. At worst, he'll be a Sergei Berezin IMO (very talented player who can't fix the holes in his game and will bounce around from team to team) or an AHL all-star but I think he's got enough to make it as a NHL regular.


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11-28-2004, 06:59 PM
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Korpikoski reminds me a lot more of a younger Dvorak than Balej.

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11-28-2004, 07:10 PM
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i honestly don't see a ton of dvorak in balej...i think he's closer to hlavac in terms of play than dvorak. i just don't see their styles of play being that similar

as for expectations...2nd liner, but i think his finishing skills need a little more work...needs a little more disciplin in his efforts

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11-28-2004, 07:38 PM
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His slump has to be preying on his mind right now. He hasn't looked compfortable recently on TV when hw has the puck in scoring position.

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11-28-2004, 07:54 PM
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Dvorak relies heavily on his speed to create oppurutunites... he doesn't have very good hands... countless times as im sure many others have, ive witnessed him struggle to corral the simplest of passes, his hands definitely have a bit of stone mixed in somewhere...

Balej's hands are far superior to Dovrak IMO, though that doesn't mean he's necessarily better...and while his speed helps him create, it's not his best asset... i think he just needs to get more involved, start heading to the tougher areas and the points will come... the perimeter play is whats killing him... when he was up last season he used his body much more effectively to get space then what ive seen so far this season...

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11-28-2004, 10:11 PM
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Dvorak is accurate as far as the style of game they play and their physical makeup. Where the two differ is offensive and defensive skills. Balej has better hands and offensive instincts, thus his average season will likely include more goals and points than Dvo's. But, I think Dvorak is/will be a more complete player because he is better defensively. Dvorak is probably a guy you can put in any situation, but I don't think I can say the same about Balej.

But, when you see Balej wearing #20 and skating around out there you can't help but think of Dvorak.

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11-29-2004, 12:15 AM
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Yeah, it's disappointing for sure that Balej is struggling. I believe he has exceptional skills and is a dynamic skater. His problem is that he tries to be too fancy. He needs to simplify things. Then he'll start scoring again. And sometimes, he does play on the perimeter too much. He needs to get more dirty.

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11-29-2004, 12:34 AM
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For those who've mentioned it, there is no sense in comparing Balej's talent to that of a Bure or Kovalev.

Despite the fact Balej is a talented Ranger prospect, he doesn't even come close to touching the level of talent that those two players have.

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11-29-2004, 12:42 AM
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Personally, I've never liked the Balej-Dvo?ák comparison. I see Balej as a stickhandler with nice moves and a second-liner who will demand respect from the opposing team, but not fear, except on great nights. Dvo?ák, to me, is a player who relies on speed on the outside to burn his opponents. He has good moves, but plays a very straight-line game. He is also a pretty good defensive forward.

That said, I see Balej's point production to be virtually equal to Dvo?ák's.

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11-29-2004, 12:58 AM
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I think Balej could be a nice 2nd liner who could put up 23-28 goals. He won't be an elite player, but he could be a contributor. I wouldn't be surprised if we moved him at some point if his defense doesn't improve in the NHL considering our apparent defense-first system.

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11-29-2004, 02:36 AM
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The Rangers should consider trying to get Balej on a European team. From the little i have seen of him this season he looks bored on the ice. Balej should be playing with better talent it would be better for his development.

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11-29-2004, 02:37 AM
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I don't think the Balej-Bure comparison is that off at all... if you're talking about Valeri that is. Balej, like Valeri is outstandingly fast, offensive minded, a good puck handler, but has an average shot, which has plagued Bure with inconsistanty throughout his career. If he does turn out to be the next Valeri, I'd say that bodes well for you guys, as he did sore 22 goals in his first full season in the NHL... could be something for you to look forward to next season.

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11-29-2004, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Personally, I've never liked the Balej-Dvo?ák comparison. I see Balej as a stickhandler with nice moves and a second-liner who will demand respect from the opposing team, but not fear, except on great nights. Dvo?ák, to me, is a player who relies on speed on the outside to burn his opponents. He has good moves, but plays a very straight-line game. He is also a pretty good defensive forward.
exactly...balej is much more shifty than dvorak ever was...just because they both have speed and are roughly the same size doesn't make them the same kind of player.

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11-29-2004, 07:26 AM
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Balej is going to need

a play making center, a Good playmaking center to play with to bring out his best years.

Unfortunately the Rangers don't have a good play-making center in Hartford.

Dominic Moore is a good player, I just don't think that he's the type that will bring out Balej's best, even on the AHL level.

Not that Jamie is that player, but since it's almost a given that both will be in NY when the season starts it would probably make sense to have them playing together in Hartford (if they aren't already)

just my opinion.

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11-29-2004, 07:33 AM
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jarkko immonen is a good play making center with the skills for a 2nd line spot...

i'd give it a go in the future, see if it works out

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