Alain Vigneault: Blatant Favoritism For Kevin Bieksa, Dislike For Keith Ballard?

Kevin WContributor IIDecember 2, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Alain Vigneault, head coach of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on October 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

We learned on Tuesday that Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa had battled the flu throughout the Canucks' eastern trip in mid-November before contracting pneumonia and missing last Saturday's tilt against the San Jose Sharks.

Remember last month when Keith Ballard sat out four straight games because offseason hip surgery and then a concussion sustained from a hit by Los Angeles Kings forward Brad Richardson set him back conditionally?

Apparently the Canucks defensive depth is so good that they had the luxury to play Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts over Keith Ballard, so he could get his conditioning up to par and his feet under him.

Using Alain Vigneault's logic for scratching Ballard, Bieksa should have been sitting out games since the Eastern road trip because there is tremendous depth on defence. The team has the luxury to keep Bieksa out of the lineup to heal up from the flu and pneumonia and away from the team so nobody else contracts it.

But nope, Bieksa gets to play through the flu and Ballard has to sit out two games when he has the flu.

It was also reported that Bieksa had lost eight pounds from pneumonia.

Once again, using Alain Vigneault logic, Bieksa should be a healthy scratch for the next week because there is tremendous depth on defence. He can sit out to work on his conditioning to regain the eight pounds he has lost.

This is blatant favouritism for Bieksa and blatant dislike for Keith Ballard.