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01-31-2013, 09:55 AM
Stomacheache AllStar
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Manitoba
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Originally Posted by Jet View Post
I think the expectation of a top 6 forward is:

- fast
- dangler
- sniper
- great passer

Of course some of the very best are all of these but top 6 forwards can excel in some areas but not other. Ladd is a very high end grinder. He has better than average finish which allows him to score at a top 6 rate.

I think his hockey awareness is below top 6 level. That is why he tends to turn the puck over in bad spots and make some less than smart decisions. He is more gritty than a typical top 6 winger which is a benefit, but at the same time makes him prone to the odd bad penalty.

He might not be a picture perfect top 6 winger, or captain for that matter, but I am glad he is on the team. I think his true worth will emerge in the post season.
I get that this is the "expectation" of a lot of fans, but it takes a preliminary look here: to realize that most teams have at least one player on the TOP line that is more inline with ladd, and ladd's production is one of the highest of these types of players.

I don't know if it's semantics, or ignorance, but the idea that your top six needs/should be what you've just described is ******** (i'm not calling you out in particular on this, this is a widespread belief). Quite clearly, not a single organization believes that, as i haven't come across a single team that doesn't have a Ladd type player in the top 6, and in truth MANY have one in the top 3.

This is just another in a long line of unrealistic fan expectations including
30 goals makes a goal scorer (any less and he's "average")
60 pts + for "MINIMUM" top line work
40+ points is third line production.

I get it, we don't often pay a lot of attention to other teams, mostly what we get is highlight real/superstar coverage (aside from our own team). So there's a tendency to accept those players as the "norm" on your top line (top 120) when in reality, there are only 10-20 players putting up that kind of production in a season.

Sorry for the rant, this topic really gets my goat. There's mountains of evidence that say Ladd is top line forward (one of the best "complementary" top line players) and an exceptional second line forward, but no one seems to believe it.

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