What happened to Keith Ballard ?
Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:27 PM
A lot of it has to do with AV scratching him for the likes of Rome and Alberts, hence him losing his confidence and not performing at a top 4 D man level. Although I feel Ballard's performance in the playoffs is a sign of good things to come.
When he was scratched for Alberts and Rome way back then, Rome and Alberts were actually playing better than him. I do agree that this messed up his confidence though. He's improved over time though.
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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:34 PM
Ballard didn't play alongside Bouwmeester. He was paired with McCabe and basically made Bouwmeester expendable.
But the second as yet un said reason is the partners Ballard has had. On the 3rd pair, he simply has not had guys like Bowmeister (as he had in Florida) to partner with. He's not had that big stud who could anchor the defense, so Ballard could use his speed to roam. Maybe Garrison can be that guy???
In Phoenix he played with Michalek/Boynton, so he didn't really need that much talent to succeed.
The problem with him is that AV doesn't know how to choose the right partner for him.
I remember when AV thought he was giving Ballard a good chance when he paired him with Bieksa; which was horrible since Bieksa is basically a dependant defenseman and plays a similar game compared to Ballard, making them both look horrible.
Alberts and Ballard worked for a while (when Ballard had 7 pts in 10 games and a high plus/minus) but for some reason AV split them and they weren't the same after that.
Ballard and Tanev worked well because Tanev simply makes other dmen look better (see Alberts in the cup final) just like Hamhuis and Mitchell. But the problem with him is that he's not strong enough to go up against the energy guys and grinders of the other teams, guys who Ballard is put against. So if Tanev comes up stronger and better than before, then we have an amazing 3rd pairing, just look at how steady Ballard and Tanev played against the kings.
Something else I've noticed is that Ballard succeeds when he plays against star players. Just see how he was able to take star players like Malkin, Crosby, Sedin, Spezza, and others off of their games in his previous teams.
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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:00 PM
Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:10 PM
Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:04 AM
You mean what's wrong with AV? Not one chance on the PP and bottom pairing minutes. What do you expect?
You'd be wrong.
When Edler was out for back surgery Ballard was moved up into his spot. He performed so poorly Rome replaced him even strength and Samuelsson replaced him on the PP. Last season AV tried Bieksa with Edler on the 1st pp and Ballard on the 2nd with Hamhuis. He also tried Ballard on the right side with Edler and on the left side with Bieksa. None of these combos worked well for Ballard. So where did that leave him? Back on the bottom pairing.
It's not like Ballard has never been given any opportunities.
Edited by Baggins, 04 October 2012 - 05:08 AM.
Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:39 PM