After serving his penitence on the fourth line maybe it’s time for the New York Islanders to reinstate their big name free agent to the top line?
When the New York Islanders spent $38.5 million over seven years to bring in free agent Andrew Ladd it was to have him sit on the top line alongside John Tavares. The Isles finally brought in that top line buddy for Tavares to play with.
But just under a month into the season and Andrew Ladd found himself relegated to the fourth line. At least on paper, that is.
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His 16:55 minutes of ice-time against Florida is less than only the top line, Nelson, Kulemin, and Cizikas. Slotting Ladd into a bottom six role. Still fitting with his fourth line tag.
But since moving Ladd to that fourth line he’s produced two goals in the last three games and four shots on goal.
It’s not a blistering pace, but the importance is that he’s found the back of the net. In the goals column of his stat sheet no longer will you find a goose egg.
It Is Enough
But is it enough to bump him back to the top of the depth charts? On any other team absolutely not. On this team however, yeah, that should be enough to get him back there.
It’s not like the Islanders have been on a tear since he was demoted, nor were they any better when he was on that top line. Sending him down to the fourth line was a message from the coaching staff that more was expected from Ladd.
So why not send him back up? It’s not like Cal and Bailey have been a lights-out success with Tavares. The trio has four points and 15 shots on net in the last three games. Those arent’s stats you write home to mom about.
Unless your mom is some sort of hockey genius, in that case, ask her how to set up a proper penalty kill.
The case for putting Ladd back up on that top line is simply: he’s done what was asked of him, and that top line isn’t producing much at the moment.
Jack Capuano wants us all to focus on the positives. OK. Got it. Deal with the good, forget the bad. So then why not put Ladd back up to the top? What has Capuano got to lose? His Job? That’s hanging on by a thread anyway!