I'll be the first to say openly that I was impressed with the way Andrew Ladd played today. I'll go out on a limb and say he was effective in his role today. To those that will criticize or wonder what I'm on, hear me out first. Everyone has criticized Andrew Ladd since he was named to the selection team, which escaladed when named to Team Canada. Rightfully so, I'll say. He hasn't been close to the player he was last year, and this is coming from me, who has had the opportunity to watch damn near every home game from this time last year. Last year he was much more effective offensively and physically, and this year, I don't think he's shown the intensity that's required out of his game. That said, I'm still on his bandwagon, and his game today pushed me a little further on it. I think everyone is criticizing Ladd's performance based on lack of offensive opportunities he's created. Stop and take a look who he is playing with. Ladd isn't on that line to create offensive chances. He's there to provide a physical presence, establish the cycle and stand in front of the net. He did two of the three great today, and aside from standing in front of the net (due to a lack of offense being created completely on that line), he filled his role. Andrew Ladd is not paired with Ryan Getzlaf and Jeff Carter to be the offensive juggernaut. I'll be the first of the three to say his offensive potential is less then those two named. I get frustrated when I see such criticisms of Ladd when the entire line isn't producing all that well. Ryan Getzlaf in particular has not looked good. Given the two roles that I feel each are representing on the line, Getzlaf is playing poorer then Ladd. He is not creating offensive opportunities, and doesn't seem to be showing the desire I'd have expected from him after having the chance to talk to him about the tournament. Ryan Getzlaf has the talent to walk through most opposing lines. I've seen him do it almost at will in the WHL, and thought today when he wound up a few times, could've/should've done it again. Ryan Getzlaf is on the club to create offensive opportunities, which he isn't doing. Jeff Carter, in my opinion, has played well. I haven't had the chance to see Carter play with any sort of regularity at all, so I cannot comment on expectations, but I'd assume it is somewhere along the lines of Getzlaf. That said, I think he's been pretty effective thus far (dating back to the exhibition games). Back to the topic at hand, I question why Ladd is getting the brunt force of the criticism when quite a few players aren't playing up to par. I think it's fair to say that Ladd is playing just as well, if not better, then Fraser. Both have been good on the penalty kill, but aside from that, I don't think Fraser has been all that effective on the ice. As someone that has seen him a handful of times, I've expected more of a physical presence from him. Nigel Dawes is another player who I feel is underperforming, but there isn't much mention of him. For a player that lead the team in scoring last year, he has yet to show me, at least, the display he put on last year. For a player whose sole purpose is to generate offensive opportunities, I've yet to see a glimpse. I just really am not sure why there's such a hate for Andrew Ladd on this club. To me, he performed his role today, and as long as he continues to bang, crash, park himself in front of the net, and kill penalties with success, then I'm glad he's on the club.