Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: keith ballard
The Minnesota Wild have pulled two fast ones on the Chicago Blackhawks, utilizing home ice to their advantage (Minnesota's 5-and-0 at home). All of a sudden, the defending Stanley Cup champs have won two consecutive games, as the AP notes:
The Minnesota Wild have turned their home ice into a deafening, discouraging place for opponents to play in the playoffs. For the second straight game, they dominated the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Jason Pominville scored in the second period off the back of Chicago goalie Corey Crawford's skate, and the Wild beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Friday night to even their Western Conference semifinal at two games apiece.
"It's been fun to play here. I don't know what it is, but we have to find a way to bring that on the road as well," said Jared Spurgeon, whose third-period goal gave the Wild a cushion for the final stretch while the fans cheered and chanted louder and louder.
"They play hard in their building, and they're good in their building, and they check well so it's tough to get momentum in here," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Matt Cooke returned from his seven-game kneeing suspension to give the Wild a jolt, assisting on Justin Fontaine's opening goal, and Nino Niederreiter also scored.
“I had a lot of different stuff. I had dizziness and a lot of headaches during the day. I was sleeping 16-18 hours a day and, when I tried to do some light workouts, I ended up getting real sick and I’d be in bed for four days. By around the end of February, we almost had no choice but to just shut me down and not do anything. At that point, I couldn’t get through a day without a lot of symptoms.”
Keith Ballard of of the Vancouver Canucks on dealing with a concussion. More concussion talk (Daniel Sedin) from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun.
Keith Ballard, although he was sent off the ice with two minutes for clipping, puts a classic hip check on Jordin Tootoo.
via Matthew Sekeres tweets,
“We don’t have any idea how severe it is” Canucks GM Mike Gillis on Keith Ballard’s injury.
Gillis said the injury was caused by a “violation of the rules” and “not a respected play.” Ballard was slew-footed by Milan Michalek.
Futility in Sunrise has persisted for far too long, with the Florida Panthers on the brink of a dubious record after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons. Incoming general manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly in putting his stamp on the team with several transactions since taking over, but nothing to this point appears bold enough to turn his club from last season’s Southeast Division cellar dwellers into a postseason participant.
Sadly, more patience may be in order for long-suffering Panthers fans.
Even so, all is not lost for the NHL’s southernmost franchise, with several key pieces already in place for the future (and others right around the corner) and it isn’t as though the current roster is without talent as is. Still, a couple of major stumbling points remain for the Panthers. The 24 games they will play versus fellow Southeast clubs, three of whom look to be vastly improved and the fourth being the stalwart Washington Capitals, certainly won’t help and the expiring contracts for defenseman Bryan McCabe and goaltender Tomas Vokoun will have to be dealt with (and quite possibly dealt altogether), without either situation becoming a distraction.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: andrew+peters, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, chris+higgins, dale+tallon, david+booth, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, gregory+campbell, jacob+markstrom, jason+garrison, kamil+kreps, keith+ballard, marty+reasoner, michael+grabner, michael+repik, nathan+horton, nathan+paetsch, scott+clemmensen, shawn+matthias, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, tomas+vokoun
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
It’s been one of those years for Keith Ballard—and like Randy Moller, he’s becoming a YouTube sensation.
In the first year of a six-year deal with the Panthers, this season has been filled with ups and downs for the Florida defenseman.
Tuesday, he had another one of those moments. Trying to clear the puck away from goalie Tomas Vokoun, Ballard went to swat the puck away and instead tossed the puck backward.
Keith Ballard with the ‘deflection’.
“I saw it on tape, and it looks awful. The sad part is people see this, little kids see it, and they think maybe that’s the way professional guys act. It’s not something I’ve ever done, and it’s not something I’ll do again. I’m terribly sorry.”
-Keith Ballard of the Florida Panthers on the Vokoun incident. More from Keith by Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel.
via Reid Cherner & Tom Weir of Game On Blog at USA TODAY,
If Ballard’s swing had felled an opponent, the call would be out to have him banned for the season. Just because his stupidity hurt only a teammate is no reason to go lightly on his punishment. He needs at least a couple of weeks off the ice.
added 12:42pm, from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Yes, what Ballard did was stupid. But it’s a stupid action that’s commonly done in frustration and accepted as the norm in the NHL.
But it’s easy to be almighty and righteous and pile on Ballard—Hey, who’d be stupid enough to smack his own goalie, right? It’s also unfair.
added 1:10pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Suppose an NHL player wound up and took a two-handed swing with his hockey stick, baseball-style, which connected with another player squarely in the face.
Suppose that injured player received a laceration on the ear and was forced to leave the game on a stretcher.
What would be the penalty?
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Ballard didn’t talk to the media after tonight’s game, which is understandable considering what he went through with accidentally smacking goalie Tomas Vokoun in the head with his stick and then having the winning Thrashers’ goal score on a shot off his stick.
I feel bad for him personally.
Yes, what he did was stupid, and unneccessary. But I see players smashing their sticks on the crossbar or post after a goal or after a loss all the time. It’s as common in hockey as fighting.
That said, I wonder if players around the league will think twice now before doing it. Bryan Allen said after the game: “I’ve done the same thing—break a stick on the post—and I didn’t even think twice. Obviously I won’t do it again. I’m sure he won’t either.
I give Ballard credit for coming back and playing. If it was me and I had skated off the ice in shock and horror at what happened, I’m not sure I could have come back on the ice again that night.
Everyone was supportive of Ballard concerning the incident.
via the CP at TSN,
Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was accidentally hit in the head by the stick of teammate Keith Ballard in the opening period of Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Vokoun had a laceration to his ear but was alert when he was placed in an ambulance and taken to a local hospital, a Panthers spokesman said.
The incident occurred after Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal at 8:54 of the first period, knocking in his own rebound. In apparent frustration, Ballard swung his stick at the net, inadvertently striking Vokoun in the head.
Sidney Crosby and Keith Ballard go at it today after Ballard delivered a hip check to Evgeni Malkin. Both received five for fighting and Crosby also had two added for unsportsmanlike conduct.
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond
The Panthers just called to tell me that defenseman Keith Ballard has signed a six-year contract extension. Ballard, the key part of the Olli Jokinen deal, was set to become a restricted free agent after the coming season.