Anthony Mantha’s a hot topic right now.
Stuck in the minors with Grand Rapids, he’s gotta feel like he can be making a contribution to a team down 3-1 in the series.
For whatever reason, the Wings coaching staff and management group don’t feel the same.
So what would you do with Anthony Mantha? Both now, and in the future?
Today, Jeff Blashill discussed the idea of playing Mantha in the Wings playoff games… while then going to say he doesn’t think Mantha would make a legitimate impact.
blashill: mantha is something that was talked about, but does not think it is going to happen. not that much difference on PP, with sheahan.
— gregg krupa (@greggkrupa) April 20, 2016
To his credit, it’s not like he didn’t do the legwork about Mantha’s play in the NHL, especially on the power play.
It did sound like Blashill did extensive research, looked at every goal and they were definitely thinking about keeping Mantha up.
— Jeff Riger (@riger1984) April 20, 2016
However… the stats tend to suggest otherwise.
LRT: Sure, Mantha didn’t impact the PP one bit. Not. one. bit. pic.twitter.com/Iayxt3yEaI
— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) April 20, 2016
Last week, Ken Holland essentially threw Mantha under the bus, questioning why anyone would consider him “the answer” in Detroit.
Sure, maybe Mantha isn’t made of magic, but there’s considerable evidence to suggest he could be making noticeable strides in the NHL playoffs if up with the Wings. With the Red Wings losing a few one goal games…
For a formerly (still?) considered a key piece of the team’s future, this whole situation is a little… weird, to say the least.
Mantha’s still just 21, but the Wings are treading into territory where they’re risking him getting annoyed with the organization and feeling like he can start contributing to a team elsewhere.
Will he be in the NHL to start the year next season? If so, why not give him a shot now? The game plan clearly hasn’t worked out successfully, and the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. With virtually nothing to lose… why not play Anthony Mantha now and give him some much-needed playoff experience.
So, would you still call up Anthony Mantha for tomorrow’s game even if he won’t play that much? If not now, then, when? Is he a part of the organization? Would you consider trading him, seeing as the organization doesn’t value him that highly? Or would you just wait it out, and are we all overreacting?
Let us know in the comments below.