| “Everyone has to step their game up,” Marchant says. “You have to look at yourself and say, What more can you do? What are my strengths? What has gotten me to this point? I’m just trying to go out and help this team win hockey games.” |
Tomorrow morning the Ducks will hold their annual team photo day at Honda Center. Only 13 of the 25 players from last season’s shot will be in the picture this year. And while much has been made recently of the replacements brought into Anaheim, a few mainstays are seeing an increase in their role with the club.
Todd Marchant and Ryan Carter have been given more stable spots in the Ducks lineup by head coach Randy Carlyle since the trade deadline. For Carter, formerly a center, it has been at a new postion on the wing. The move has given him a regular chance to get in games on the fourth line, also known as the “energy” line. Marchant, who has certainly become accustomed to being moved around positions and lines in his three-plus seasons with Anaheim, has seen an uptick in ice time as a center on the team’s new third grouping.
“We’ve tried to utilize more personnel,” Carlyle said. “If you see the minutes, they have been spread out more. Obviously, there are a couple of groupings that get more offensive time and then there is a grouping in the middle that gets the defensive aspect of it. When you can provide energy and be safe defensively that is always a boost for your group.”
The 25-year-old Carter has played well in 47 games this season, with nine points and a plus-three rating. But through roster moves and the depth at center position, Carter has been a healthy scratch in 22 contests, including half of the 12 games played in February. But he continued to work diligently and a new change arose recently on the left wing beside center Petteri Nokelainen and right wing George Parros.
| “It’s a little different game,” says Carter of playing the wing. “I feel like I get to skate a little more and get in there on the forecheck, which is good. It’s definitely an opportunity and I’m having fun with it.” |
“It’s a little different game,” says Carter, who actually played some wing at Minnesota State-Mankato, where his 34 goals over a two-year span led the team. “I feel like I get to skate a little more and get in there on the forecheck, which is good. It’s definitely an opportunity and I’m having fun with it.”
When two-thirds of the former checking line (Samuel Pahlsson and Travis Moen) were traded away March 4, Marchant was given the task of helping fill that void. He has done an admirable job both there and on the penalty kill, as he has tried to take his game to another level. Over his last three games, Marchant scored a shorthanded goal while scrapping on the penalty kill, assisted on Scott Niedermayer’s game-winning overtime goal against Vancouver and helped shut out San Jose’s top scoring forwards Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi.
“Everyone has to step their game up,” the 35-year-old says. “You have to look at yourself and say what more can you do? What are my strengths? What has gotten me to this point? It’s resulted in some added ice time. When you get more ice time, you feel a little more a part of the game on more nights. I’m just trying to go out and help this team win hockey games.”
While the Ducks lost another heartbreaker, 1-0 to the Sharks on Sunday night, the team is still immersed right in the mix for a playoff spot. Only three points behind Edmonton for eighth place in the Western Conference, the Ducks are going to need the efforts of their new and old members like Marchant and Carter to get things turned around over the final 13 games beginning with Nashville at home on Wednesday.
|"It’s a battle right now," Marchant says. "We’ve got 13 games to go. We have to get as many points as we can in those 13 games and give us the best possible opportunity to make the playoffs." |
“We’ve had that mandate really from awhile back, as far as controlling one game at a time and our effort in the game,” Carlyle said. “You’ve heard us talk about the process and that is all part of it. Just focus on the task at hand. Our next game is against Nashville. The importance of the games continues to ramp us in the situation we’re in.”
Said Marchant, “Nashville is fighting with us. It’s a battle right now. We’ve got 13 games to go. We have to get as many points as we can in those 13 games and give us the best possible opportunity to make the playoffs."