Embed from Getty Images Back from a seven week stint on IR (injured reserve) due to a punctured lung and the flu, Detroit Red Wings Anthony Mantha has a rather ambitious goal for the remaining seven weeks of the NHL season. The young forward has the skill set to math his goal.
For the 20-some remaining games in the Detroit Red Wings season, Anthony Mantha wants to be a point a game player. Fresh off the injury that derailed his season, Mantha is logging around 20 minutes of ice time.
At 25 years old Mantha is going to be a restricted free agent. With 5 goals in the first two games of the season, Anthony had a good start to the season. By December 21 the young forward had 12 goals and 12 assists. Until he challenged Toronto Maple Leafs defensman Jake Muzzin to a fight and punctured his lung.
In his return from injury, Anthony Mantha looks like he did to start the season. Big strong on the puck and making life difficult for defenses around the league .The Detroit Red Wings want Mantha to know both his limits and when to and not to instigate a fight.
Mantha is an outstanding talent and player. He does more good when he is on the ice. Weather he has the puck or is making the defense play honestly, because of his skill-set.
Anthony Mantha has the ability to be a point-per-game player. If he continues to develop that part of his game he will make the young Red Wings a much better hockey team.
Embed from Getty Images 5 goals, 7 points in two games. The Detroit Red Wings, Anthony Mantha has come out of the gate swinging. Mantha has started playing like teammates, coach’s and the Red Wings front office always believed he could, using his 6′ 5″, 234-pound body to bulldoze opponents.
Anthony Mantha’s teammate and line mate Dylan Larkin said this about the Detroit forward, “He’s skating right now, he’s moving his feet, He’s flying. When he’s doing that, he’s fun to play with. He’s dynamic. When he’s hot, he can be one of the best in the world. You’re seeing that right now.”
Mantha credits former Detroit Red Wing Thomas Vanek with his improved play. “Vannie saw a lot of a players, had a lot of years behind him,” Mantha said. “He’s been a great mentor, just telling me to cut to the net, that’s one example, that not a lot of people can stop me. It was just little details that he told me that I brought to my game this year.”
Mantha, 25, says this is the most confident he has felt since his junior days. That speaks volumes to the start Mantha has had. The Detroit Red Wings home opener was on Sunday night. A night in which Anthony Mantha put on a show for the home crowd. 4 goals. Using speed, quickness and his physical ability the Dallas Stars defense had no answers for Mantha. Few team do and will have an answer.
There is one additional note to be made. Anthony Mantha has had a successful start due in large part by his other line mate Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi, has been great on the forecheck as well as boxing out opposing players allowing Mantha to spring open.
Anthony Mantha, credits his teammates and understands hockey is the ultimate team sport. “Playing with Bert and Larks, I can’t praise them enough. They’re playing unreal hockey right now.
The rest of the NHL has been put on notice, Anthony Mantha is locked-in.
Embed from Getty Images When the 2018-19 NHL season was nearing it’s end. Detroit Red Wings Anthony Mantha was on a roll. Mantha had achieved a level of consistency in his all around game that had eluded him. In the last eight games, Anthony Mantha had 8 goals and 15 points, and came alive on Detroit’s power play. It looks like Mantha is ready to take another step for the Red Wings.
This past spring, Anthony Mantha played in the IIHF World Championship. The big forward put up 14 points in nine games for Team Canada. Mantha had just finished his Red Wings season with a third 20 plus goal season, then turned in a fantastic tournament.
Through the first 3 season of his career, Mantha has been plagued by both injuries and inconsistency in his play. Often a target of Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill. Everyone can see the possibilities Mantha has. He looks ready to take the next step.
This coming NHL season, the question is once again, is this the season Mantha joins his Red Wings teammates, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou in the 30 goal club, or another 20 plus goal season.
If Anthony Mantha can stay healthy and consistent the 30 goal plateau will be within reach. Playing on Detroit’s top line with Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi gives Mantha the talent he needs to advance his game. Yet, when top Red Wings prospect forwards Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno are ready, Mantha could slide on a line with Athanasiou and one of the top young forwards.
The sky is the limit for a player like Anthony Mantha. A big, fast player with a wicked one-timer. Anthony Mantha is perhaps the key player in the Detroit Red Wings rebuild. A rebuild that is nearing it’s end.
The Red Wings who the past two seasons were blown out in many games. Are in much better position to compete and they should not be blown out this coming season. If Anthony Mantha can find the back of the net 30 times, it sets the Detroit Red Wings up for a playoff run in the 2020-21 season.
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.
Embed from Getty Images He drove his coach crazy. He drove fans crazy. It probably safe to say he drove his general manager (Ken Holland) crazy. Anthony Mantha lacked consistency and I dare say confidence last season.
Scoring 17 goals, yet missing so many opportunities for more goals. He also had big lapses in his defensive game and was benched at least two different times during the season.
This season has seen Mantha, more focused and more mature. Standing with 24 goals is nice. But, there is more. Anthony has greatly improved his passing and his defense has been stellar.
I do not believe it is a coincidence that young center Dylan Larkin has found his game and taken to playing center and suddenly Anthony Mantha has found his game.
Mantha and Larkin. Larkin and Mantha. They form a really good duo on Detroit’s second line. They will be on the first line down the road.
They have great chemistry together and give the Detroit Red Wings a bright future as two staples in the Wings rebuild. It will be a lot of fun watching these two grow and continue to get better and better.
This years NHL draft is one of the best in recent years will help Detroit speed up the rebuild.
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Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Evgeny Svechnikov. Detroit Red Wings fans need to commit these names to memory. They are 3 of the building blocks to the next Red Wings next great team.
In the middle of a rebuild that has netted more and more losses 35 to be exact. Hasn’t left a lot for fans to cheer about. But let’s focus on the future. It’s looking a little less cloudy.
A future that fans can see young center Dylan Larkin wearing the captain’s “C.” His growth as the man in the middle has been eye opening. Along with Anthony Mantha gives the Red Wings the making of have a nasty young line.
And young Evgeny Svechnikov. The Red Wings have handled this pure goal scorer with kid gloves. Recently they have removed them and let him go. I look forward to seeing him grow more as a player.
The Red Wings have 2 first round draft picks in the 2018 NHL draft. They also have 2 second round picks and have amassed 5 that’s right 5 third round draft picks.
This is a great year to have a plethora of draft picks as this is widely considered to be the best group of prospects is the last 15 years. That will help the franchise moving forward.
The Red Wings need to focus on two positions. Left wing and first line defensemen. Names to watch are Brady Tkachuk LW Boston University. His game is being compared to the great Brett Hull.
And defenseman Quinton Hughes from the University of Michigan. He is sure to take his place in a long list of Michigan Wolverine defensemen like Jack Johnson, Zach Werenski, and Jacob Trouba.
The Red Wings will be able to speed up they’re rebuild in this years draft. I for one will be keeping close tabes on Larkin, Mantha & Svechnikov the rest of this season.