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Keith Ballard: Goalie Enemy No. 1?

Mask2 About to get on a plane to head up to Washington DC for tonight's Southeastern tilt between the Panthers and Caps.

Thanks to astute reader Andy, just got forwarded a Tweet from someone named 'Jose Theodore.' Apparently he's a goalie.

josetheodore hope my new mask gets here in time to face Ballard & the Panthers http://bit.ly/5UhDyF

So is this a low blow from the Caps goalie?

Nope. It's a fake Twitter account, so says pal Tarik El-Bashir of The Washington Post.

But there's no doubt people in hockey (save for Adam Foote) are having fun with the Keith Ballard situation. In case you missed it, Ballard knocked out teammate Tomas Vokoun with a blow to the head on Monday, then bowled over Colorado's Craig Anderson and knocked him out of Wednesday's game in overtime.

ESPN made sure it had highlights of it on SportsCenter last night, and it seemed Denis and the NHL Network crew had fun with it as well.

Does Ballard go 3-for-3 tonight against the real Jose Theodore?

Doubtful. There's little doubt that Ballard didn't mean to hurt either guy; he's friends with both for goodness sake. Last night he was playing hard, coming hard at the net with a chance to win the game for his team. Andy was out of the crease and there was a collision. A hard collision. These things happen.

They just seem to happen to Keith Ballard more than anyone else these days.

Comments

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Keith Ballard is having some serious bad luck lately, I think every mistake he makes , gets amplified enormously in his head, making the bad streak perpetuate.

He is a great player to have and he will get back into the good groove soon enough.

The Panthers will play big tonight.


who cares about Ballard? We can only wonder what JM was thinking signing him to a 6 year deal last year.

Panthers are the most undisciplined and unfocused team on the ice. Worse, this team cannot even win when they have a 2 goal lead nearing the end of the third period. SERIOUS CHARACTER PROBLEMS ON THIS TEAM along with some BAD COACHING decisions. Oreskovich and Taffe barely played in the third period because Deboer wanted to just roll three lines. All of the Panthers are known for blown leads and you are just going to roll three lines? Deboer and Sexton need to be fired along with many of these players...Accountability missing in Pantherland for now 13years straight.

Tonight's Game:
The panthers allowed 5 goals last night. Panthers have allowed 11 goals in JUST two games against the Caps. Future is bleak tonight considering last night's defensive performance.

I like the way Ballard gives the other team fits, not so much when he gives our goalie his stick. Good for Ballard, wish more Panthers had his passion instead of playing like girls. More Panthers need to crash the opposing net. Ballard taking Andy out is good, I like Andy but he is on the other team now and the idea is to win and a better chance when you crash goalies and throw checks like Allen, Ballard and Oreskovich. Now if the rest of the team played with Ballard's emotion they might win some games in regulation.

I wouldn't fire DeBoer because he has to play the hand he is dealt. He readily admitted a need for more scoring forwards.

He is trying to put in a system in which he doesn't have the talent to execute the system.

As far as character, there is no question that this organization has lacked character since Cohen bought the team.

They lack character from the top down. Cohen doesn't keep Chuck Fletcher and brings in Keenan and Dudley who had two different philosophies in developing an organization, (Keenan with vets and Dudley through the draft, Keenan sets up a trade to the Rangers for Bure because Keenan was looking to get the coaching job in NY, Keenan and Dudley have a falling out because Keenan wanted to send Weiss to the AHL and Dudley didn't, Cohen fires Keenan and keeps Dudley, he then fires Dudley because Dudley would not hire Martin as coach. Martin insists on bringing in Keenan, Keenan realizes early on that Martin is not the right coach for this team and that starts a fight between Keenan and Martin which led to Luongo leaving.

Martin then stays and says he wants an assistant GM (he says too much work for one person but in reality he wants to coach only), so Martin brings in Sexton who has been out of hockey for years; Martin is then fired as coach and as GM is out looking for coaching jobs. He takes the Montreal Job and then the team promotes Sexton for a job that Mr. Torrey was suppose to be searching for yet Mr. Torrey is not around when they announce Sexton for the job.

Then you wonder why there is no character. This doesn't include the business side putting the teams logo in the urinals which would really explain how disfunctional this organization is.

What's extra sad about last night's defensive performance is that it was good for a change. That's why they had a lead for so long. The Avs' second goal was on a 5-on-3, and overall the Panthers seriously outshot them.

The problem was poor play at the end of the game. DeBoer made a mistake when the team got a break in the last two minutes (the play with the high stick forcing Andy to come back out for a defensive zone faceoff). Putting Kreps-Campbell-Dvorak out was a "playing not to lose" move, and we all know how well that works out for the Panthers. Seriously, why would he not put the team's best faceoff guy (Moore) back out there for such an important draw?

Even sadder is a game we dominated by outshooting them gets washed out by giving up 2 goals in the final minute. A really not-so-close game that the Panthers dominated for the most part fell into a shootout victory which has got to deflate them.

wrong wrong wrong.

last night's defensive effort from the 2nd on was far below those of the past month. coverage was poor but we were so dominant down low in their end, nobody noticed. as the game progressed though, you saw the coverage problems, bad decisions, lack of structure and discipline that we saw in first month resurface. i don't know why, perhaps it was just fear or lack of confidence.

anyhow, the game last night is one small piece of the picture. teams have off nights defensively. they've been very good in their own end of late so i'll give them a mulligan.

what kills me is the complaints about ballard's contract (please! the guy is a very good, tough, offensive Dman going through a rough patch); signing him long-term was a great decision.

also, this insistence that PDB is working with the hand he was dealt, which includes a bunch of crappy, no-talent players who can't execute his *system*. nonsense. his system in fact emphasizes speed through the neutral zone and into the attacking zone to the forecheck. this is similar to what many other teams are doing nowadays and it can be played very successfully without a ton of skill. look at CPR last year. THAT is textbook execution of our forecheck and it debunks this notion that we can't win because we don't have the skill. end of story.

i have problems with PDB's handling of the bench in the 3rd as well but i won't complain about him not playing the 4th line as he's given those guys a ton of minutes the past month. i didn't like the decision to go back to frolik after his awful penalty. same goes for soupy, who almost killed us with a 2nd dumb penalty late in that game. let's not talk about the fact weiss wasn't in the top 3 for the SO. still, pete's done far more good than bad.

this team is soft. someone sucker punches one of your teammates several times and no one comes to his defense. everytime we touched an avs player, the avs would go after one of ours. wish i saw the same from the cats

Zero-I agree with you-I dont think DeBoer should shorten bench as it has not worked.We play a team game and success can be had with good NHLers like Reinprecht.We should shoot 2nd in the shootout and Olesz needs to try something other than that predictable backhand.

GR, whose in net tonight? I wouldnt mind seeing Selak...not taking anything away from last nights solid goaltending...

Leave Ballard alone already. He's a good player who thankfully, is signed to a long-term deal. Let's move on.

What's interesting to note here is that the Cats are only 2 points out of the 8th spot. Let's hope the Cats can win some games in December and stay close. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath.

The team needs to learn how to shoot the puck on goal rather than the glass behind the net. With that said, they also need to take more shots rather than passing to each other. Like Potvin always said, "the best pass is the rebound."

Mike Kitchen is the problem. He was fired from St. Louis because he is a lousy coach. He is in charge of the Power Play, Penalty Kill and the Defensce. Talk about accountability. He needs to be fired immediately. Our d-men have played on good teams before and in the playoffs, so do not tell me it is the players. It is the coach of the defence who has them positioned all wrong every game.

Sorry, I was typing to fast and mispelled words. Had to run before my hamburgers burnt.

We do need to address the LONG Contracts, it is the symptom of bad management of this club. You can't trade players who are not producing such as Oslez, Ballard, Allen, etc. when they have long contracts... Bad management. You don't sign average hockey players to 6 year deals on a NON PLAYOFF TEAM.

I knew this game could be a blowout, and it is turning into one already.

When are Cliff and Stu going to show that if they want accountability from this team, they need to make DRASTIC CHANGES IMMEDIATELY. Fire all of the management and coaching staff, and let's start over. Bring in a real president of hockey operations and GM. Why would you want people that JM hand picked? Sexton has only picked one player from waivers when we have a losing record?


Panthers = Everyone's doormat


last in the penalty kill, 3rd from last in the power play. d-men running around instead of playing the system.

not coming to the defense of players 13th place in the east, sounds like the panthers of 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.

its groundhog year, another non playoff appearance coming up

Jim Hulton runs the Power Play, not Mike Kitchen.

Fire Jim then!

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