Embed from Getty Images Anthony Mantha had hoped this would be the season he would break the 30 goal marker. A bad start to the season coupled with a injured hand due to a fight Dec. 2 – which kept Mantha out of 15 games just as he was turning his season around has left the Detroit Red Wings forward seeking consistency.
While Mantha does have 19 goals on the season and a real shot at 20, Anthony Mantha was asked if 20 goals is a satisfying, “No, it’s not,” Mantha said after Saturday night’s game. “I’ve had ups and down this year, but I had to focus a little more on the downs and try to build off of that for next year, and try to be an even better player next year.”
This has been the feeling for the Detroit Red Wings and Mantha. For three seasons now this was supposed to be his break-out season. Once again it was not. That is the bad. Not to just key in on that, there is good as well.
For instance, Anthony Mantha, has played much better defense and on the power play. He has proven himself to be a key player for the Wings. Mantha needs to take the next step.
Mantha broke his hand defending teammate Dylan Larkin, in turn making himself a better one. “There’s inherent risk in getting into a fight. He was sticking up for Larkin in that case, who got his head rung against the boards.” Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.
Mantha said he would and will do it again with hesitation. It did appear that when he came back after hand surgery, Mantha was not as aggressive. He looked tentative. Which is somewhat expected. Mantha did not bounce back into form for three weeks post surgery.
For Anthony Mantha and the Detroit Red Wings, he needs to take the next step and become the consistent scoring threat he has flashed so many times in the past. Mantha needs to show he is ready to take his game and the team to the next level. Something he is capable of doing.