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Canucks Slump Without Ballard, Is Ballard The Key?


ChuckNORRIS4Cup

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I have a feeling that not having Ballard in the lineup is actually effecting this team more than I originally would of thought. It seems ever since Ballard has been out of the lineup this team has been in a bad slump, and their defensive game just BLOWS. I don't get the opportunity anymore to watch the games during the week since I work a night shifts now, but I listen to it on the radio and come home to see the highlights. All I ever hear is the other team coming down on breakaways time and time again, 2 on 1 and 3 on 1, I see the highlights and it looks like the D are running around with their heads cut off.

I just kinda find it bizarre that ever since Ballard has been out, this team has been in a huge slump. When Salo was injured and missed some games because of the Marchand hit, I saw the same thing with this team, the D fell apart, and I'm seeing the same thing now since Ballard has been out of the lineup. Maybe Ballard is the missing part to this team, even if he doesn't score offensively like he was expceted to do, but doing his job and keeping the D in core and just knowing where to be defensively seems to be what this team is actually missing.

Record since Ballard has been out!

GP = 17

W = 9

L = 8

46 goals scored and 44 goals allowed!

5 of those games had to go to a shoot out or overtime.

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All I will say is i thought he played very well after a slow start to the season, it was very unfortunate he got injured because i felt he was finally playing good before he got injured. He was fighting, he was defending, he was moving the puck well.

Any idea or time frame for his return?

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Yeah, most people don't notice but Ballard does the little things pretty well. Blocking shots, keeping an active stick, and winning puck battles. Sometimes he can just get carried away by trying to do too much with the puck. It's gonna be very nice to have him back alongside Tanev, they played really well together.

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so what if ballard came back and they were still slumping...whats our excuse then...were running out of people to pin it down on.

its not anyone person, our whole team is in a minor funk.

they can be brilliant at times and we are so pumped about them, and then they lose and we look for answers like it was this guy or that guy...or we call up this guy or scratch that guy.

I dont think we are hitting near enough, when our big guys are throwing big checks we can own the opposition....and YES Ballard will be welcomed back when he is out there throwing his big checks too.

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Ballard's presence on this defence is actually very underrated. Not only has he proven to us that it is key to have a veteran on our 3rd pairing, but we often forget that he is such a veteran and has played in many NHL games before, so this may be similar to the Salo-effect.

When Salo is out of the lineup, the entire defence crumbles including younger guys like Edler and Bieksa in particular. Now Salo may be fine, but we're missing a key part of our defence in Ballard who is as much a veteran as Salo is in terms of NHL experience, and it is likely that having 2 full-time AHLers like Gragnani and Tanev on our bottom pairing is leaving guys like Bieksa and Edler with more responsibility in terms of positioning and communication which they simply aren't used to.

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Ive said the same for a long time. An in form Ballard, playing on his natural side is imperative for our SC chances. I also saw him and Tanev as a key to our defensive depth.

Both are cool smooth and not easily rattled.........but Ballard also has a "nasty" side to him and you need that playing with a gifted rookie.

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It's something I've said before, the Canucks system is based around clogging up the neutral zone and the blueline to force the opposing team to dump the puck in. The defenceman then retrieve the puck and the Canucks attack with speed through the neutral zone whether that is by having the centreman circle around the net, the defenceman lugging it up, quick short passes, or a stretch pass.

Keith Ballard is our best defenceman at lugging the puck, although he coughs it up on occasion, and has great vision when it comes to the pass.

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That's a GF/GA average of 2.71/2.59. Our average for the year is 3.03/2.43.

Our goals for are down far more than our goals against are up. So the issue is more about offense than defense. And I'm pretty sure missing Keith Ballard, with his 14 points in 122 games as a Canuck, isn't the reason for that.

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Ballard's presence on this defence is actually very underrated. Not only has he proven to us that it is key to have a veteran on our 3rd pairing, but we often forget that he is such a veteran and has played in many NHL games before, so this may be similar to the Salo-effect.

When Salo is out of the lineup, the entire defence crumbles including younger guys like Edler and Bieksa in particular. Now Salo may be fine, but we're missing a key part of our defence in Ballard who is as much a veteran as Salo is in terms of NHL experience, and it is likely that having 2 full-time AHLers like Gragnani and Tanev on our bottom pairing is leaving guys like Bieksa and Edler with more responsibility in terms of positioning and communication which they simply aren't used to.

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