With two Stanley Cups on resume, Andrew Ladd knows what it takes to win. (Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel offered an interesting take on leadership the other night.
“It’s a funny thing,” he said. “Everyone has some portion of leadership in them. The question is, is anybody following you? They follow Andrew.”
Andrew, of course, being Andrew Ladd, the wrecking ball on skates who has carried Noel’s Jets much of this season, but never more obviously than over this final, desperate charge for the playoffs.
He’s set the tone down the stretch with his grim determination and timely scoring, willing Winnipeg to four straight wins that have moved the Jets into a virtual tie with the Rangers for the final playoff spot in the East.
Ladd, a 6′-3″, 205-pound winger who plays much bigger than that, was at his beastly best in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, scoring the opening goal, assisting on the second, and tallying the third before clinching the desperately needed extra point with a beauty in the shootout.
“He really took charge and led the way,” said teammate Evander Kane. “He couldn’t have put it on display any better. [He's] showing the guys he’s here to win.”