Thursday, June 01, 2006

Below The Radar

Here's a guy who's starting to come into his own of late. Andrew Ladd's ice time has basically doubled in this series. He's logging hits and finding his way to the front of the net. His goal of the other night off a rebound caused by his screen of Ryan Miller was Holmstronesque. He's also carrying the puck with more confidence and being smarter about the physical side of his game. Ward and Staal get all the glow as the young bucks, and rightfully so. My gut tells me Ladd is gonna be a factor tonight.

The vets want this so bad that they might be squeezing the stick a little hard tonight. A fresh and fearless kid like Ladd might be the on-ice catalyst that turns that tension into a swagger-Notice I said swagger, not arrogance.

I'm a big fragged with all the head games going into the deciding game of the series. ChampPipplegate, the Doug Weight boarding call re-sets, sniffs of arrogance, I'm numb to it. JP's comment got me thinking that there are two things either team can control and two they can't. The team that demonstrates the best balance of discipline and focused aggression should win. But luck and officiating might more than offset the best on ice effort either team might muster. The two are sooo evenly matched. The perfect storm of factors beyond either team's immediate control might just spell the difference tonight.

Dear Lord,
I'm pretty convinced that while Lindy Ruff might be an ass, he's not the Anti-Christ. I know that in the greater scheme of things, this little contest is but a blip...but but if you find a moment and are so obliged to intercede, please let the playmakers decide this game.
Your humble servants,


James Mirtle said...

Andrew Ladd's going to be a phenomenal player in this league. He was a late-bloomer in junior hockey, but when he bloomed, he was fantastic. I think it's easy to forget the kid just turned 20, but there's a big future there. Given how strong Carolina's forward group is right now, it just might be two years before Ladd finds himself on a scoring line, however.

Chris said...

I wasn't sure Briere was going to get up after Laddy levelled him. What a hit!

CasonBlog said...

Laddie's no pass feint also set up Whitney to hit Dougie for the tying goal.