Mar 25, 2013, 3:08 PM EST
Could the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks be onto something?
Much like the Burns move, it’s working.
“I love it,” Ballard told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s fun, it’s just different, right. It’s a different challenge. You’ve got a bit different responsibility. I don’t know how long it’s for, but I am fine with it.”
What was supposed to be a one-time thing — Ballard debuted at forward against Phoenix on Thursday before returning to play D against LA on Saturday — might turn into something much more.
Sunday’s game in Colorado marked Ballard’s second game as a winger and he responded with arguably his finest performance of the season, registering an assist, four shots on goal and a team-high three hits in 12:48 of ice time.
Since making the move up front on Mar. 12, Burns has scored six points in six games for the Sharks and, even when not scoring, has managed to be an effective player.
He’s been pointless over the last two games, but still recorded nine shots on goal and three hits.
As for Ballard, the biggest plus from this experiment might be earned praise from Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault, who hasn’t always been the biggest Ballard fan.
Vigneault offered a rave review following Sunday’s win.
“That line with Burr, Andrew and Keith was real good all night,” Vigneault said. “[Ballard's] a team guy, being versatile is a big plus for a player and he is able to play left wing.
“He did it two games and he did it real well for us in real tough environments and we’re really pleased with what he brought to the table.”
Note: Ballard’s time up front could be extended, as reports out of Vancouver say checking winger Dale Weise could be out for a while with a shoulder injury.
- Marian Gaborik suffers broken collarbone in return to action 8
- Martin Jones improves to 8-0-0, ties NHL record 18
- Vermette gets hat trick, including late tying goal, OT winner 2
- GM Wilson: It’s too early to tell if Hertl’s season is done 26
- A month later, Martin Erat still wants to be traded 11
- Devils lose Brunner for at least four weeks 0
- Video: Ovechkin becomes sixth fastest player to 400 goals in Caps win 14
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 16
- Assault charges against Varlamov dropped 37
- Carlyle on HBO presence: ‘It’s not normal what we’re living right now’ 7
- Reports: Thornton will appeal 15-game suspension (108)
- Lucic addresses fight video, says he’s ‘disgusted and outraged’ by Vancouver (104)
- Orpik: First days after Thornton attack were ‘miserable’ (72)
- Video: Penguins defeat Leafs, Bortuzzo called for illegal hit to head (71)
- Video: Marchand taunts Canucks with championship miming (69)