Mantha scored the game-winner in overtime Tuesday against Montreal, snapping a six-game point drought. He'd been absolutely miserable over those six games, putting only seven shots on goal with a minus-3 rating while averaging a mere 13:17 of ice time. Concerningly, Mantha only skated 14:32 on Tuesday, although that was enough time for him to fire seven shots on goal. The 22-year-old winger has only scratched the surface of his potential this year, netting 34 points in 55 games; if you buy in at a reasonable price next season, you should expect to be rewarded.
Mantha is expected to draw into Wednesday's game against the Avalanche after serving as a healthy scratch in the last two, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. While the imposing power forward has done remarkably well with 14 goals and 19 assists in 50 games, he's still a rookie picking up the nuances of the NHL, and Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill reportedly sent him a message about changing bad habits. Look for Mantha to climb out of the dog house, likely reprising his role as a top-six winger and bumping either Drew Miller or Mitch Callahan out of the lineup.
Mantha will be a healthy scratch for Friday's matchup against the Blackhawks, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. The youngster has been having a solid year with 33 points in 50 games, and it's not like he's been scuffling lately (four points in eight games), so it's unclear exactly why he is getting the day off. Detroit's next game will be Sunday against the Rangers, so owners should check back to see if Mantha is back in the lineup for that contest.
Mantha found twine in Saturday's 4-3 road loss to the Oilers. Team captain Henrik Zetterberg threaded his pass to the rookie Mantha so quickly that opposing goalie Cam Talbot didn't have any time to react. Last year, Dylan Larkin led the Wings with the highest plus-minus as a rookie, and Mantha is well on his way to accomplishing the same feat. He's at plus-14 with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 47 games. We owe you a tip of the cap if you had the foresight to draft the breakout power forward.
Mantha provided a secondary assist Sunday in a 5-2 road win over the Penguins. Mantha linked up with captain Henrik Zetterberg, who then dished to Tomas Tatar to put the Wings up 3-1 early in the third period. A massive net-front presence, Monster Mantha is up to 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 44 games to complement a plus-14 rating. It'll be worth checking your waiver wire just to make sure he's not available -- depending on the size of your league, there might be a slim chance that he's been overlooked based on being a relative unknown as a rookie on a Red Wings team struggling with several facets of the game this year.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||10||2||1||3||-5||2||0||1||0||0||0.5|