Chris Wagner, Derek Grant stepping up for injury-plagued Ducks
If there is a silver lining to the Ducks’ myriad of injury issues, it is that Chris Wagner and Derek Grant are getting increased roles and instilling belief that they can handle them until the ailing return.
The two have been accustomed to playing fourth-line grinding roles throughout their careers, but have been elevated to the top two center spots because of the long-term absences of Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler.
In Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay, Wagner had an assist on the Ducks’ only goal, and it gave him eight points in 17 games. Before this season, the forward had only nine points in his previous 69 contests over three seasons.
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Grant has taken advantage of the opportunities presented in Anaheim after failing to stick in other locales. He has his first three NHL goals this season, and his nine points are more than he totaled over four other seasons shuttling between the NHL and the minors.
“This is an opportunity for those two guys,” Carlyle said. “There was going to be positions available for people to jump and grab, and those players have stepped up. Both players have climbed the depth chart ladder in doing so.”
Being the top two centers […]