The Detroit Red Wings beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 to snap their winless streak. However, Anthony Mantha was absent from the lineup, and it was later noted that Anthony Mantha was a healthy scratch from the Sunday matinee contest.
Detroit Red Wings head coach, Jeff Blashill, commented on the matter, saying that Anthony Mantha was indeed a healthy scratch, but he did not want to comment any further on the matter. He went on to say that the conversation was between himself and Mantha, and it was not a public matter.
While it was great for the Red Wings to capture a win, Mantha’s absence is a big one, and it is ludicrous to bench one of their healthy stars when the team already lacks enough firepower as it is. With Tyler Bertuzzi being injured, missing some time during this road trip, the first line is already depleted.
One could say that the return of Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina offered much-needed help, but without Mantha, it’s like taking one step forward then two steps back. Sure, resting an important player is understandable, but not when they are healthy in this stage of the season.
The Detroit Red Wings decision to sit Anthony Mantha was a ludicrous one.
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After logging twelve games in the 2020-21 season, Mantha is the second-highest scoring player on this roster, tied with the injured Bertuzzi. So far, Mantha has four goals and three assists to make up his seven points.
In his last five games, Mantha has four points, including a goal in each of the three games prior to the recent loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He has been hot, so something must have happened prior to the game that caused Mantha to be healthy scratched.
There’s just no excuse not to have Mantha in the lineup unless there is something bigger going on in the background.
But, I cannot imagine Mantha has an underlying problem that makes him a healthy scratch candidate.
With the recent events the New York Rangers underwent with defenseman Tony DeAngelo, my mind goes that route, but DeAngelo has been a problem his whole career. Mantha has no issues that have been publicized, so sitting one of your star players seems beyond stupid.
While Mantha struggled at first and got off to a slow start, he has four points in his last five games; I do not see the reasoning for him being a healthy scratch. Especially when minutes that should be Mantha’s are going to Adam Erne, Sam Gagner, Darren Helm, and Frans Nielsen.
That’s a whole other conversation to have, but the question marks surrounding Mantha’s absence are something to keep an eye on. There is no reason he should not be dressing unless he is hurt; this was just a poor decision on Blashill’s part.
Keep an eye on Anthony Mantha and whether he dresses as the Detroit Red Wings are back in action against the Panthers on Tuesday.