It’s Christmas Eve and the New York Islanders have two back-to-back wins. Based on how they’ve been playing, that’s a miracle already. But I wanted to focus on something else the Isles desperately need.
In last night’s 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, the New York Islanders enjoyed goals from five different sources. None more important than the goal from Andrew Ladd.
Remember him? That guy the Islanders signed in free agency to a seven-year $5.5 million contract. The guy who brought two Stanley Cup rings, accountability, leadership, and a scoring touch to the Islanders.
Since that day in July, Andrew Ladd has scored five goals and three assists, for ten points in 33 games. Leading NHL Columnist Jonathan Willis to write a piece on how the Isles squandered their savings from letting Kyle Okposo walk in free agency.
Ladd’s goal last night in no way redeems his price tag. But we keep hearing that Ladd “scores in bunches”.
The Miracle of Bunches
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That’s the Christmas miracle I hope for. For Andrew Ladd to score a bunch.
Nothing ridiculous. But four in five games, or ten in his next 20 games even sounds reasonable and a miracle at this point.
There’s no telling what a few more goals on his stats sheet could do for his confidence. Recently Ladd’s been victimizing the Islanders not only with his subpar production, but he’s been taking bad penalties at bad times in the game, turning the puck over far too frequently, and just seeming all too disengaged.
I don’t believe this to be too big of a request. I’m not asking for the Islanders to make the playoffs. Twelve points out of the wild-card by Christmas is a near impossible ask.
Just last evening Eyes on Isles staff writer Chris Lizza and I were talking about what it would take for the Isles to make the post season. We agreed it would take the 2014 Ottawa Senators, and more specifically Andrew Hammond and Mark Stone.
I just want to get a fair representation of the Andrew Ladd the New York Islanders signed for $38.5 million in the summer. I’d love peak Andrew Ladd, the one from 2014-15 that scored 62 points for the Winnipeg Jets. But I’ll settle for an Andrew Ladd that scores even 30 points because even that seems like a miracle at this juncture of the season.