Defending Keith Ballard

Cam Davie
June 22 2011 12:20PM

Keith Ballard doing what he does best.
Honestly, was there anything more majestic this season for the Canucks than a Ballard hip check?
(Photo by Darryl Dyck/AP)

Keith Ballard had a tough year. Of that, there is no doubt.

Starting with off-season surgery, Ballard wasn't quite able to hit his stride in a system and role different than anything he had seen on his two previous teams. With Florida and Phoenix, Ballard was a high-minute, shut-down defenseman and thrived in that role. In Vancouver, he was a bit player on the blue line - a role into which he never did sink his teeth.

So Ballard had a rough go of it. Blocked shots, turnovers, giveaways, constant views from the press box in the playoffs, even as teammates were felled with injuries and suspensions. What do the Canucks do with Keith Ballard?

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Stacking the deck on draft day

Cam Charron
June 21 2011 05:06PM



I want to point you all in the direction of a fantastic bit of research written last week by CIS Blogger and math graduate Rob Pettapiece. Rob expands on research he did into the CHL draft and found that players born earlier in the year were more likely to get drafted than players born later in the year. He divided the players into four camps, 'Q1' through 'Q4' and concluded that, since there were 4.3 times more Q1 players drafted, there are teams that make decisions, particularly in the late rounds, based on player size and strength rather than observable skill.

"If you’re down to “projectability” at that point, rather than stats and performance, then fine, pick the tallest kid if you have no other information about them."

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Colin Campbell's Failure To Communicate

Jonathan Willis
June 21 2011 01:41PM

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, last night I was listening to Colin Campbell’s interview with the Fan 590 from earlier in the day and passing along some choice quotes. It was a bizarre interview in a lot of ways, ranging from Colin Campbell’s anger at the victims of hits from behind to his feelings that those pesky emails that were revealed earlier this season were totally appropriate to his not so subtly-worded desire to take a picture of his son, Marc Savard and the Stanley Cup and shove it up Tyler Dellow’s keester.

There was another point in the interview I found especially noteworthy however, one that I felt deserved more than 140 characters of consideration.

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Agony, Tradition, Hope.

Thomas Drance
June 21 2011 10:00AM

It's been hard to deal with, but in a contest of wills, the Bruins won. Now it's time for the Canucks, and their fans to look forwards.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Canucks fans tend to be pretty emotional, and I'm no different. It shouldn't come as a huge surprise then, that I haven't written a single word on the Canucks since last Wednesday's game 7 pantsing, and the thoroughly embarrassing riot that followed. It has been a rough week.

I watched Monday's game 6 at a bar, and within minutes regretted it. It's tough to be in public when the Canucks get blown-out, and the game 6 loss left me particularly dejected. Not even good company, delicious wings and ribs were enough to cheer me up.

I spent Tuesday in a fatalistic stupor, and though I managed to work up a certain false arrogance for Wednesday, I had a premonition of what was to come. I watched the game at home, I wasn't going to spend another night moping in a bar. Even before the first goal was scored, the game was agony.

To twist what Pat Riley said about the Heat-Mavs NBA Finals series recently – it's hip and popular to say that the Canucks choked, but really the Bruins went out and took the cup. Lets give credit where it's due: the Bruins dominated those last two games. Tim Thomas clearly got good value for his soul – because that old man was unbeatable. In game 7, the Bruins simply wanted it more and played a great game to ensure their Cup victory.

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Decisions, Decisions.

Thomas Drance
June 20 2011 01:52PM

The Canucks have some tough decisions to make, none more difficult than what to do with Roberto Luongo.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

 This is a fan-post written by Malcolm Ert.

I still can’t believe what happened on Wednesday night. Like a lot of you, I was so sure the whole year that the Canucks were destined to win it all. I think Bieksa said it best “I don’t think you ever get over a SCF game 7 loss.” I once lost a winner takes all championship game like this one, obviously, it was high-school sports so it's not even remotely on the same level – but I do know it hurts and that you never get over it. But there is nothing we, or anyone else, can do about it now - I know I did everything thing i could at game 5 as a fan, so on to the next one...

The one thing the 11/12 Nucks will have the 10/11 team didn’t is the taste of the finals. The desire to get back might have been absent had the team drunk from the cup. So yes, i will once again be put money on our boys in Vegas. The core will want this badly now, more so than before. However, Gillis and company do need to make some tweaks. Sure, I would take the exact roster again next year, but in a capped world – that's not really an option. Changes are coming.

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