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The Daily: Anthony Mantha ‘Fights’ His Way Back; Trade Rumors



Anthony Mantha, Washington Capitals

Anthony Mantha comes into Detroit today as a top six forward who is scoring, setting up goals and fighting to help Washington Capitals stay relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

You are reading that correctly. He’s fighting, winning that fight, and not injuring himself in the process. (Remember when he broke his hand fighting for the Red Wings.)

The hockey world took note of Mantha’s unanimous decision over Florida’s Nick Cousins. Some fans around the league believed Cousins had it coming. Cousins plays a feisty style that isn’t appreciated by opponents or fans around the NHL.

But the important aspect of the story for Mantha is the Capitals are happy with his performance level.

The Capitals have mostly been disappointed with Mantha since acquiring him from Detroit. But he lost some weight last summer, worked on his game and this season is going well. He has rehabilitated his reputation with a quality season. Currently playing on Washington’s second line, he boasts 18 goals and 31 points. His plus-minus is +10. He posted two assists Monday night when Washington downed the Ottawa Senators 6-3 to pull within six points of the final wild card spot.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

  • Red Wings are the desirable underdogs in the betting world.
  • Bob Duff wrote the obituary for former Detroit player Ed Poile.
  • Paywall story: Duff also writes about the how Detroit’s improved depth has taken the pressure off Dylan Larkin to always drive the bus.
  • Sebastian Cossa continues to play impressive hockey for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He beat the Milwaukee Admirals with a 37-save effort.

Red Wings Next Game

The Capitals and New York Islanders both won Monday to reduce the Red Wings’ lead in the Eastern Conference wild card race. The Red Wings have home games Tuesday against the Capitals and Thursday against the Islanders.  The Red Wings have a seven-point lead over Washington, and are eight points in front of New York.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Derek Forbert was a healthy scratch Monday for the Boston Bruins because he missed a team meeting.

Colorado: The NHL and NHLPA announced that Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has been cleared to play. He has been in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

New Jersey: It seems like GM Tom Fitzgerald is overdue to make a major move to help the New Jersey Devils. James Nichols weighs in on this issue.

Pittsburgh: Injured Jake Guentzel is on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Western road trip. He skated by himself in Vancouver. He can’t come off the Long-term Injured Reserve (LTIR) until March 10, two days after the NHL trade deadline.

San Jose: Luke Kunin may be an under-the-radar trade candidate for the San Jose Sharks.