The dust has finally settled from the recent NHL trade deadline and teams around the league are getting to know their new acquisitions. For the Anaheim Ducks, there are many new faces and names now on the roster. Gone are those who fans have come to love and cheer for, and I'm sure they wish them all fairly well.
With the recent roster adjustments, players have been given new opportunities to play on different lines. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has been mixing and matching his players on different lines since the trade deadline, trying to find the best combinations and chemistry.
Out of the dust has emerged the Ducks' energetic veteran forward Todd Marchant, who I believe has been one of the best Ducks since the March 4 deadline. Since March 4, Marchant has earned 1-3=4 points, has been winning just above 59 percent in the face-off circle, and is logging more ice time.
With the departure of Travis Moen and Samuel Pahlsson, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has been toying with different combinations for his shutdown line. Recently, Carlyle has been sticking with the combination of Marchant alongside Petteri Nokelainen and Rob Niedermayer. This combination has seen to be a pretty good fit, shutting down opposing teams' top lines in previous games.
Resuming his role as Carlyle's top penalty killer, Marchant has been pestering the opposition's power play units, as well as finding quality scoring chances. Marchant scored his second short-handed goal of the season and the 25th of his career on March 8, vs. Minnesota. He continues to find his way to the opposing teams' nets during the penalty kill and has had multiple short-handed attempts in recent games.
On March 11 vs. Vancouver, it was Marchant who "muscled the puck out form the left wing boards" to his fellow teammate Chris Pronger, who found the streaking Scott Niedermayer breaking away to score the overtime winner. Since the March 11 victory over Vancouver, Anaheim has only lost one game and that was a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Pacific division leading Sharks. The Ducks are now on a three game winning streak and heading into Nashville to face the Predators, who are sitting tight in the eighth and final playoff spot.
Both Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger have turned up their games as of late, contributing three points each in the Ducks' previous win over Phoenix, and are ranked one and two in total on ice time in the NHL. The Ducks will continue to need the veteran leadership of both Niedermayer and Pronger, as well as the continuing energy and grit from Todd Marchant, if they want to sneak into the playoffs.
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