Ladd notched his 15th goal of the season in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Devils.
Ladd has been awful with the Isles and has just 21 points on the season. But he may be starting to warm up -- Ladd has nine points, including seven goals, in his last 11 games. He's probably on the wire right now given his poor numbers. Ladd is a proven producer in the past and could be valuable down the stretch.
Ladd picked up a pair of goals -- one on an empty-netter -- in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Rangers.
It's been a tough campaign for Ladd on the whole, with this outing ending a personal three-game pointless skid. The veteran winger remains an important piece for the Isles as they continue their surprising battle for a playoff spot.
Ladd scored his first two goals since New Year's Eve -- including the game-winner in the third period -- and went plus-2 against Montreal on Thursday.
In fact, the two tallies were also his first points in January; yes, he just came back from an injury, but he still had six games under his belt in 2017 entering Thursday, and he had nothing to show for them but a pitiful total of five shots and a minus-2 rating. This has been a brutal season in general for Ladd, who owns a miserable 14 points in 43 games, but there's no reason he should be fading this hard at age 31. The Isles' system and the players around him may just not be a good fit, which would be a bit of a problem, considering Ladd has six more years left on his contract. Both New York fans and Ladd fantasy owners can only hope he gels there soon.
The struggling Ladd will likely slot into the Isles' third line, as teammate Anthony Beauvillier is out with a foot injury. After 10 days without any game action, perhaps Ladd's body will be fresher and he'll be able to play a more physical game. While hitting your opponent doesn't put the puck in the net, playing a physical style goes a long way toward making some players effective and difficult to play against for opponents; Ladd is one such player. During the three seasons preceding 2016-17, Ladd averaged 2.2 hits and 0.68 points per game. This season, Ladd has averaged 0.98 hits and 0.29 points per game. In addition, Ladd dished out just two hits in the six games preceding his injury. The Isles and fantasy owners alike will be hoping that Ladd returns with an added degree of physicality.
Ladd (upper body) could return to the lineup Tuesday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
Ladd was able to participate during an optional skate Monday and if he doesn't suffer any setbacks, is expected to line up Tuesday versus Columbus. Ladd has been a huge disappointment in his first season for the Islanders. He was expected to provide John Tavares with a reliable wing but instead has found himself playing as a bottom six forward. Ladd in some ways is the poster child for the Islanders offensive struggles this season.