Andrew Ladd is ‘true captain’ for this Thrashers team

On November 18 the Atlanta Thrashers found themselves with a record of 7-9-3. They had just come off a very disappointing 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers the night before, had lost three straight and six of the last seven games played. Atlanta was also looking at upcoming games against such teams as the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians and Boston Bruins, among others.

Times were tough and the waters ahead looked rough. Needless to say, there was much grumbling, griping, wailing and gnashing of teeth going on throughout Thrasherville at that time.

But that morning, the Thrashers also named Andrew Ladd as their team captain.

The Thrashers are 11-2-2 after naming Andrew Ladd team captain. But he's quick topoint out that has little to do with the recent run of success...rather it's the coaching staff and the team's chemistry (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The Thrashers are 11-2-2 after naming Andrew Ladd team captain. But he's quick topoint out that has little to do with the recent run of success...rather it's the coaching staff and the team's chemistry (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The next night the Thrashers went out and beat the division leading Caps 5-0, beginning the current 11-2-2 run they are currently on. It’s a run that had landed them, even if for just one day, atop the Southeast Division following Saturday night’s 7-1 slap down of the New Jersey Devils.

Let’s see…the Thrashers made Ladd the captain then they go off on a month-long tear. So, is this all just coincidence?

“It might be a bit of a coincidence…I don’t think it was me getting the ‘C’”, Ladd told me prior to the games against the Devils. But he then added with a wry grin, “But I’ll take the credit if you want to give it to me”.

In all seriousness, Ladd is quick to point to the men behind the bench as the main reason this team is experienced what many fans are calling the best stretch of hockey Thrasherville has ever experienced.

“Everyone starting here was brand new to the systems, coaches and players, and it took a little time to get everyone on the same page. But right about that time [when he was named captain] it started to click and it’s really started to come together since”.

“They’ve been good [with the team]. We’ve got a young group of guys and still learning a lot of little things it takes to be successful in this league. Rammer’s a patient guy. He takes his time and makes sure everyone understands what their job is and what they need to do on the ice.”

“It’s definitely been working well this year”.

Ladd, the fourth overall pick in 2004 by the Carolina Hurricanes, began his NHL career after the lockout playing for a ‘Canes that won the Stanley Cup…a team captained by Ron Brind’Amour. When I asked if that type of leadership experienced then is something he can draw upon now, Ladd quickly replied, “Yeah, definitely. I think being so young your eyes are really wide open and you look to some of the older guys to see how they hold themselves and prepare to games.”

“I don’t think there is anyone who prepared for games better and worked as hard as Rod did, so he was a big influence on me and what I do now”.

In his short time as team captain here, Ladd has already gained a great deal of the same respect from his teammates. Winning certainly has a lot to do with it, of course. But one can’t help but get the feeling that the guys in the locker room honestly feel that the right man was tapped for the job.

“He’s just a great person to be around”, Anthony Stewart said of Ladd. “He’s blends in with any group of guys or any one guy and I think that speaks a lot to his character”.

It may seem like the recent run of success has been as easy as a stoll through the park for Ladd, Johnny Oduya and the rest of the Thrashers. But the team is working hard for one another and it's been paying off the captain says. Here, the two celebrate one of Oduya's two goals against the Islanders (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

It may seem like the recent run of success has been as easy as a stroll through the park for Ladd, Johnny Oduya and the rest of the Thrashers. But the team is working hard for one another and it's been paying off the captain says. Here, the two celebrate one of Oduya's two goals against the Islanders (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Continuing, Stewey added, “He’s a great guy. I played World Juniors with him and we won the gold medal there for Canada. We hang out together away from the rink.”

“He’s a true captain”.

To Stewart’s point about hanging out with each other away from the arena, Ladd feels this kind of comradery has played a big role in what this team has accomplished of late. Whether it’s on the practice ice, in the locker room or when they head out on the road, this group of players enjoy spending time together…and that can’t help but add to the team’s on-ice success.

“Everyone’s positive and upbeat and wants everyone to do good”, Ladd responded when asked about this team’s chemistry. “Everyone’s pretty close, fairly close in age”.

Then with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek he joked, “OK, we got a couple of old guys”.

“But we have a pretty good group who gets along really well on and off the ice” the captain pointed out as he returned to his natural serious demeanor. “Anytime you have that it’s a positive thing. It translates off the ice, on the road, to the game on the ice”.

Ladd has also noticed the fans in Atlanta are starting to take notice of the team’s good play. And he understand that Ws in the standing are what’s helping in the renewed sense of optimism around Thrasherville.

“[The organization] has been talking about getting people into the building and what we can do for them. The biggest thing we can do is winning and bringing an exciting brand of hockey. I think we’ve done our part and it’s fun to see the fans respond and get excited about it”.

11-2-2…not  tough to get excited about that at all.

149 comments Add your comment

Tom

December 20th, 2010
9:41 pm

Smoothie, great call on the Little pass on his belly to Stewart. That was pure teamwork. The broadcast crew played the replay 4 times and never noticed that play…

SomaAtl95

December 20th, 2010
9:42 pm

…and now to see how the Leafs “Almost Won” another game on TSN.ca. Hey Toronto – isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same stupid thing over and over and expecting a different result? Just checking :)

Tom

December 20th, 2010
9:44 pm

The Waffles came out in the 3rd period tonight.

What is the back story on Toronto and the waffles?

Tom

December 20th, 2010
9:47 pm

Researching the Waffles I came across this line:

“A waffle is an odd missile to throw at Leafs when they’re playing like crepe.”

More on the Waffles here: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2010/12/10/why-throw-waffles-at-the-maple-leafs/#ixzz18i7QqSSl

Sink

December 20th, 2010
9:53 pm

Terrible CALLS and we still pull out the substantial win!! See you at home tomorrow night.
LETS GO THRASHERS!!

HookyBob

December 20th, 2010
9:56 pm

Great game in To-rooon-to! ! !

In Brendan’s points contest I am registered around 85 points and missing the play-offs. Right now they are on track to score in the neighborhood of 100 points (smacking knuckles on forehead). I must say that the Thrashers far exceeding my expectations (and pinning my ears back) is one of the best Christmas gifts I can receive.

How about you folks?

Brendan

December 20th, 2010
9:56 pm

I didn’t see this game, but outshout 40-23, yet winning 6-3 is pretty effecient use of shot selection! Still in first place, right? Hard to argue with success. Glad the Chicago Blackhawk players, now Thrahsers, got to see their names engraved on the Cup. Pretty sweet for them.

Mason to start vs. the Blues? Bet he’s looking forward to that!

HookyBob

December 20th, 2010
10:00 pm

Oh yeah,… tonight was Colby’s turn to regret skipping out on this franchise.

Who’s next?

DavidR

December 20th, 2010
10:02 pm

hey rawhide about those nice seats and promo codes.. got anything that will work for the feb game in edmonton?? if ya want to have to was your undies go look at how much the oilers charge for standing room and go from there to mediochre seats and than to great seats. i almost died. *sigh* i can afford the calgary tickets but damn edmonton.. *SIGH*.

DavidR

December 20th, 2010
10:03 pm

*SIGH* not was your undies but WASH them…

ben

December 20th, 2010
10:09 pm

I’ll bet this team is better than a lot of people thought they were. This team would have beat 06-07. This year has better defense and a balanced attack, and a better goalie. Well, I dunno, what would Lehts have done with this D?

KLS1

December 20th, 2010
10:10 pm

Didn’t see the game but great win. Anyone got a link to watch the game online tomorrow?

Crush the Blues…keep it going boys!

Truth

December 20th, 2010
10:10 pm

This team is real….atl hockey fans need to grow up and support it or it’s gone

Cornbread

December 20th, 2010
10:11 pm

Yep, waffles were seved up tonight!

This was pure dominance by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first 10 minutes of the game. I don’t ever recall seeing a visiting ATL team do that to the home team for that long. After that, it was wide open end to end hockey. The Leafs were so far back that they had to open it up and they did. But, Atlanta was there to tell all of Canada, No Team For YOU!

Rawhide

December 20th, 2010
10:25 pm

With tonight’s win the Thrashers have 43 points. There are exactly 3 teams in the NHL with more than that.

Philadelphia with 49…Pittsburgh with 46…Detroit with 44.

That’s it.

The Thrashers have the 4th highest points total in the league, tied with Dallas, both with 43 points.

Also, our Thrashers now have 115 goals scored on the season. Only the Flyers and Colorado have scored more…117 and 121 respectively.

That is all…carry on.

litz

December 20th, 2010
10:26 pm

I hope the Canadian fans took note … the Leafs fans were PREPARED with the waffles, obviously expecting to use them … and true ’nuff, they used ‘em.

Says something, don’t it, that ATL can come to town and it’s no longer an automatic cakewalk?

I like it … a lot. :-)

One more tomorrow night and we KEEP the #1 slot.

LAC

December 20th, 2010
10:30 pm

Another GREAT WIN… Low Life leaf announcers making ALL kind of excuses for leafs…

Then another attack on attendence, Gee Whiz canada people, you guys throw waffles ???????

No wonder most canada teams STINK !!!!!

Two more very very possible points Tuesday night…

tfan

December 20th, 2010
10:38 pm

GM and Coach changed attitude – star player left – team concept works so well with a coach that loves kids eager to learn. Makes it funs for Thrasher fans, long time since we have seen real chemistry – all lines working hard- up and back- defense jumping up – not afraid to make mistakes -love it- what a roll-keep it up.

Smoothie

December 20th, 2010
10:50 pm

Can’t believe we’re gonna give the Toronto media a chance to say this game shoulda been theirs. Let the excuses poor forth like a torrential downpour!! Meh, who cares eh? We got the two points by jumping on them early and then frustrating them with blocked shots and swarming D. Just wish we had finished a bit better, but the two calls that led to PPG were both total BS. Good job fellas!

Now citizens of Thrasherville, get yo butts to da Bulb so we can rock da land, Blueland that is!!!!

R. Stroz

December 20th, 2010
11:15 pm

TORONTO SUCKS!

litz

December 20th, 2010
11:22 pm

They can excuse, complain, moan, and throw all the waffles they want …

*Despite* the officiating, we’re flying out of town with 2 pts … and they aren’t.

Says something, methinks …

Alan R.

December 20th, 2010
11:29 pm

“It’s shot in wide of the goal, aaaaaaand….”
“Waffles.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47knIsGbWu8

R. Stroz

December 20th, 2010
11:42 pm

So, let me get this straight, MacArthur likes playing on a lousy team where the fans boo them and shower them with waffles so he can have a free breakfast the next morning.

Alan R.

December 20th, 2010
11:45 pm

Stroz: I think you’re wrong. While he seems to like playing on a lousy team, and he does enjoy the waffle showers, he laments the lack of any syrup being present in the arena.

SomaAtl95

December 21st, 2010
12:17 am

Dear Colby and C-Mac – Us fans in Atlanta still take exception to the way you misrepresent us to the Toronto Media and Fans. You gave us poor performance and a lousy product and insulted what fans you actually had in Atlanta doing so. The next time you decide to say that we weren’t a good city for hockey you should look in the mirror and know that what you see is the reason why. We just had a chat with our ex-”leader” on Saturday, now you boys can enjoy being picked apart by a “real” hockey town while Atlanta sees what you failed to deliver – an exciting team that, while not perfect, never gives up.
We hope that you enjoy your waffles. Let us know when “leggo my eggo” night is.

Badger Bob

December 21st, 2010
12:20 am

Yep, the excuses fly like waffles in TO. “If it weren’t for the first two minutes, we could have won this thing”, per Phaneuf and Wilson et al. Yes, and if it weren’t for bogus officiating, it could have been 6-0.

I do respect MacArthur for calling his teammates out for not getting their noses in the game. But when you are leaning on Clarke for leadership, you’ve got a serious leadership crisis. I love watching TO lose and cry!!

Badger Bob

December 21st, 2010
12:28 am

“And best UFA non-signing award goes to Rick Dudley, for letting Colby Armstrong stumble away…”

At his current pace, Colby (1g, 1a, -6) in a whole season may not catch up to where Boulton is now. Another $3M well spent, Tronna!

Cornbread

December 21st, 2010
2:01 am

Hey Colby Mac, How You Like Me Now!?

Thrashers27

December 21st, 2010
2:02 am

I’m proud of our team!

Get two more tomorrow night boys!!!

World Be Free

December 21st, 2010
5:37 am

Soma-totally agree with your post, but remember Mac and Colby Cheese are just playing to the crowd. That’s what Tronna media and fans want to hear about Atlanta; doesn’t make it right, especially when Colby dogged it for last 2 seasons in Atlanta.

Everybody just needs to get to the Bulb and support the boys. If you are still sitting home cuz you are mad about Don or whatever – well, we will enjoy the 1st place team without you.

Zoomo

December 21st, 2010
7:48 am

That Kane>Little>Stewart goal was the epitome of how this team is playing. Kane with a little extra effort before exiting the zone, a quick poke, almost trips his man but gets the puck out to Little, who drives the net, starts to fall but as he’s falling to the ice, looks back and sees Stewart, and flips the pass back and Stewart fires it home. Beauty!

Quite a game by Enstrom too!

A few moments where the team took their collective foot off the pedal, but a nice win. Back to the bulb tonight.

DWTOO

December 21st, 2010
8:17 am

Be sure to check out the comments on the Youtube “waffle” link.

My Rankings:

1) They ought to throw panties because the Leafs play like PU$$IES.

2) The throw waffles because the Leafs are often toasted and soft on the inside.

World Be Free

December 21st, 2010
8:23 am

Badger-agreed, Duds knows a slacker when he sees one.

Dwayne

December 21st, 2010
8:35 am

LEAVES get raked again!!!! troooonna trooooonna troooonna…..you SUCK!!!!!

Alan R.

December 21st, 2010
9:31 am

You know something?

I saw some empty seats in Toronto last night. Quite a few, actually.

MAKE IT FIVE: Birmingham, Alabama could support the Maple Leafs better than Toronto!!

iamtheratio

December 21st, 2010
9:34 am

Kane’s solid play along the boards in the last 2 games has made me extremely happy and his play has lead to so many scoring chances. I didn’t realize Kane was this strong on the puck. I’m trying to grab a few friends and take advantage of the Rawhide coupon code tonight!

See ya guys there and GO THRASH!

Joe Friday

December 21st, 2010
9:43 am

the call on Buf for being too strong was weak sauce, but the call on Enstrom is ridiculous. You can high stick the crap out of someone on a shot follow through, it’s not a penalty. That the refs don’t know that is a sign of how poorly managed this league is from a front office standpoint. Awful.

The waffles crack me up. The story is that the guy who threw them the first night called in to a show yesterday up in TO saying he did it because obviously the Buds are playing so poorly because they aren’t getting their pregame meal and could use some nutrition to build strength, so he brought them waffles. I think it’s hi-larious on his part. Security didn’t look amused as they strong armed him away last night . . . how embarrassing for them but quite surreal to be a Thrashers’ fan these days. After taking apart Kovy and the Devils Sat. nite, to walk into Toronto and completely take them apart to open the game, and have them start chanting fire Wilson, throw waffles on the ice, and go home completely outclassed, it’s just . . . surreal. But I like it.

Don’t stress out when you see the empty seats tonight, Tues. nite game against the Blues in an awful location with a 7pm start time = 12k fans tops. But they’ll keep coming, lots of Friday night games in the 2nd half that are going to be packed

ThrasherTim

December 21st, 2010
9:48 am

Bloggers – No SportSouth or FoxSports South TV tonight and no FoxSports Midwest (St. Louis affiliate) TV either. Looking around on NHL Center Ice last night for tonight’s schedule, I didn’t find any coverage. Do you think NHL Center Ice will provide the Philips arena feed with Kamal calling the game? I think that happened last year once under the same situation. Does anyone have contacts to find out if we are totally blacked out tonight?

2 points last night and a great 5 minute burst to start the game and a similar burst to start the beginning of the 3rd period. Other than that, we should burn the tape. So many turnovers.

litz

December 21st, 2010
10:03 am

That arena feed last year was surreal … for the first part of the game it was arena video and audio (no Kamal) … they put up the text ticker, and people at home started sending in text messages …

Badger Bob

December 21st, 2010
10:18 am

Alan, I suggested on the TSN blog that the Laffs be moved to a more supportive environment in a southeast city, but quickly retracted that when I realized how much it would dilute our mighty division. Thanks to all you posters who fight the good fight on that unfriendly forum – Cornbread and Spud Webb (I think), I’m looking at you. And I’m racing with you to a “Karma” level of 1 out of 10.

Speaking of our mighty division, TSN was a bit dismissive of the Caps great record last year because they got to play so many games against the “weak” SE division. Any chance they’ll apply that same logic to Vancouver and Montreal, leaders of the two weakest divisions in hockey this year? Didn’t think so.

Zoomo, that goal epitomizes this team and how they’ll bleed for one another. Contrast that play with the play of No. 17 – not that y’all need any more examples, but the first goal by Nashville in Friday’s game epitomizes all that’s wrong with Kovy’s play. A Thrasher would have thrown their body along the boards to stop the puck, not wave at it whimsically with his stick. Again, good riddance!

World Be Free

December 21st, 2010
10:22 am

No game on TV? Looks like all Atlanta-area bloggers need to get to the arena and see the game first hand.

Rawhide

December 21st, 2010
10:57 am

WBF – I’ll be there.Until then…let’s discuss Anthony Stewart’s surprising season.

Dwayne

December 21st, 2010
10:59 am

Wish I could ride up tonight, 250 miles one way is to much when I got to work in the morning. Will pick a Friday game in January. We need a Savannah Thrasher Fan Club.

Red Light

December 21st, 2010
11:02 am

I fear another Ranallo warning, but I have been doing a bit of research this morning and thought you might be mildly interested in my findings.

From Dec. 9, 2005 to Jan. 18, 2006, the Atlanta Thrashers (13-2-3) earned a total of 29 points out of a possible 36. In the first 18 games of the 2006-07 season, the Atlanta Thrashers earned 27 out of a possible 36 points. The team also was 13-5 from Feb. 24 to April 3, 2009, including five wins in the shoot-out/OT, for a possible 26 of 36 points.

So, the Thrashers can establish a new mark for wins and points during any 18-game stretch in its history with two wins in its next two games.

The team record for wins in the month of December is 10, which was established in the Thrashers second season, when they posted a 10-5 record. Currently: 6, with 6 games left.

The team record for wins through the month of December is 23 in 2006-07 when the Thrashers were 23-11-6 in their first 40 games. Currently: 19-11-5 with 6 games left.

The team record for home wins in a season is 24 and the record for points earned in 41 home games is 52. Currently: 10/22 with 23 home games remaining.

The team record for road wins in a season is 20 and the record for points earned in 41 away games is 45. Currently: 9/21 with 24 road games remaining.

Every team in Thrashers history has had a losing streak of at least five games at some point during the season. Current longest: 3 games.

The team record for wins Jan. 1 and after was established in the 2005-06 season, when the Thrashers concluded the season with a record of 25-16-2 in its last 43 games. They were just 20-17-5 after Jan. 1 in the 2006-07 season.

And, even with the overall production, no one has gotten close to this record yet this season: In 2006-07, Marian Hossa had points in 11 consecutive games (Feb. 17-March 12, when he had 7 goals and 11 assists.

See you tonight?

World Be Free

December 21st, 2010
11:07 am

Red Light-the man with the numbers-see you tonight.
Rawhide-figures you would remind me of my dissing of Stewart. I’ll give the man his due, but we have the keep the proessure on “Tony”.

Brendan

December 21st, 2010
11:33 am

Red Light, I most enjoyed your research, as always. That’s a post I think you should repost. People might have missed it here.

By the way, I remember that 10-5 December under Head Coach Curt Fraser. Unfortunately, it was quite the anomaly of that season.

Flames

December 21st, 2010
11:49 am

I hope to see everyone tonight! This team deserves our support!

R. Stroz

December 24th, 2010
8:04 am

Rawhide

December 28th, 2010
8:12 am

R. Stroz – Nope