This season has not been an easy one for Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment.
After missing almost two months with what is believed to be a wrist injury, Marchment came back with a three-game point streak spanning from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1 — four games if you count the goal he scored on Nov. 8 before getting injured against the New York Rangers.
Marchment did not get to stick around for long.
It certainly was not by the choice of interim coach Andrew Brunette.
On Jan. 3, Marchment was placed on the Covid-19 protocol list and missed the next six games the Panthers played.
He was away from the team for 10 days while recovering from Covid and spent another five days getting back into game shape.
“You have to pass a certain threshold with the Covid in order to come back and I am feeling good and ready to go,” Marchment said after returning to the team.
“I have had some bad luck but everything happens for a reason. I’m just trying to get better every day and be ready to play whenever I am in there.”
When he got back into the lineup, things started out a little slow.
Drawing back in when the Panthers started their road trip in Calgary he registered an assist to extend his point streak to five games but did not see the scoresheet for the next three games.
“I’m starting to feel better,’’ Marchment said. “The first couple of games, I felt a little step behind. I was a step behind a play here, a second behind a play there. It’s starting to come.
“But it’s tough coming in and out of the lineup and then Covid and all of these things. But no excuses, got to put my head down and work harder.”
Following a disappointing loss to the Seattle Kraken, Brunette decided to put Marchment with two guys he is familiar with: Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart.
The trio played together in the early going of the season, including a stretch where they combined for 10 points in a two-game span in wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche in October.
“I think we read well off of each other,” Marchment said. “I know me and Lundell have played together quite a bit through the last couple of months and you know Reinhart is a great player and a great passer he sees the ice really well.
“I think we gelled really well together, we had a great start of the season, but got split up, so it feels good to be back together.”
When they were put back together when the Panthers took on the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, they did not miss a beat.
Marchment’s line set the tone for the Panthers, helping them establish play early. Not to mention, they scored three goals during the first period.
Florida ended up finishing off their five-game road trip with a 5-3 win over the Jets.
“They got three goals in the first and they were buzzing right from the start,” Carter Verhaeghe said. “They gave us a spark that we need, especially coming off of a tough loss in Seattle.”
Two of those goals belonged to Marchment.
“It was good to see him get a couple of goals tonight and make some plays and gain some confidence because we’re gonna need him going forward here,” Brunette said.
In the 18 games he played this season, he has been effective, scoring four goals and 14 points.
“He had a great start of the year and then went through some injury things and Covid, it took him a few games to get going, but I thought he showed some signs here and there,” Brunette said.
“Tonight was his best game by far and he’s a unique player for us. He brings a dimension that not a lot of our players have, he creates a lot of different things with his size, his reach, his tenacity, and gives us a little physical presence.”