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.
Vokoun tried to stop it, but the puck went into the net.
"That's how it's gone for me this year,'' Ballard said Wednesday morning. "When it's bad, it's bad. I'm not beating myself up. It's a bad bounce. It didn't come in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Ask any defenseman and they've done something similar whether it went off their skate or stick. You stand around the net, it's going to happen.''
Ballard is an affable a player as there is in the league. Ballard laughed when we brought up the incident, shaking his head recalling how it all went down. The puck got stuck on his glove apparently and he didn't even know where it went.
This comes at the end of a season in which Ballard smashed Vokoun with his stick and ran over former teammate Craig Anderson in successive games.
"It's been one of those years,'' Ballard said with a laugh.And now, the video: