The Key Stat: 75%. That’s the percentage of time Mantha spent with centers Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller this season. Why that’s important is because both Backstrom and Eller struggled this season with injury and sickness respectively. That’s a lot of time with centers who, with their ailments, are not top six center. Away from those two, in almost 119 minutes, Mantha sported a 61.65CF%, 64.80xGF%, 66.06SCF%, and 61.70HDCF. Those are very strong numbers and that’s with a shoulder injury.
The Good: Mantha simply does not get the love he deserves. Maybe it’s the bad taste in people’s mouths from a Jakub Vrana trade (which was good for both sides) or that Mantha missed a lot of time due to his shoulder injury, but he’s been very good for the Capitals. He’s turned into the Dmitry Orlov of the forward group. For some reason people don’t like them when everything points to them being very strong play driving players. Mantha has been arguably the Caps best forward since he’s arrived and hopefully, with full top six time and hopefully power play time, can start producing like the high end winger he is capable of being.
The Bad: One of the reasons people don’t like Mantha is they say he lacks fire, but he seems to be getting into a slew of after the whistle scraps. If you don’t care about the game then you certainly wouldn’t be putting any effort into stirring it up after a play ends. And as nice it is to see him with fire, this is actually one of his negatives. He takes way too many unnecessary penalties after a play ends, that have negated too many Cap power play chances. Outside of standing up for fellow teammates he needs to learn to skate away and not get baited into taking dumb penalties.
The Discussion: Will this season finally be the season Mantha breaks out offensively? Will a fully healthy season and time with a top six center bring out Mantha’s best? Will he get the respect he deserves? Can he stop taking unnecessary penalties? And finally, what would it take for you to give Mantha a 10 next season?
The Vote: Rate Anthony Mantha below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
How do you rate Anthony Mantha’s 2021-22 season?
This poll is closed