Anthony Mantha Providing Much Welcomed Offensive Spark For Red Wings

The great thing about using some of these advanced stats, is that it evens things out between those who play top line minutes, and others who do not. But at the same time, it can be dangerous because taking into account someone’s numbers who hasn’t played a lot, they may not be telling you the whole picture.

Sample size. Player’s numbers jump up and down. Evaluate someone too soon, and you won’t get the full story, as their numbers could just as easily come back to earth the more he plays.

Auston Matthews scored four goals in his first ever game. That right there would skew any numbers you try and take from him the first few games of the season. At this point now, though, he has played enough to get a better look at him analytically.

So any numbers posted here should be taken with a grain of salt, as the player spotlighted here hasn’t played much, but the small sample size we have been given, along with his quick rise to the team’s top six, are both encouraging signs that his start may be somewhat maintainable.

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Anthony Mantha for his goal scoring ability – he notched over 100 markers in his last two years in junior hockey with Val d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL.

As is the case with any Red Wings’ prospect not named Dylan Larkin, Mantha got some seasoning in the American Hockey League, scoring another 44 goals in 132 games with Grand Rapids.

He got his first taste of the NHL last year, posting just three points (2 G, A) in ten games played, finishing out the year with the Red Wings. After starting this season in the AHL where he was leading all players with eight goals scored in ten games, Mantha was recalled after the Red Wings placed Andreas Athanasiou on injured reserve.

It may be hard to justify Mantha needing any more seasoning, as the 22-year-old has played so well that he has been elevated to the team’s top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar.

In 12 games now, Mantha has registered seven points (4 G, 3 A), and since his arrival has been a possession-driving, offensive spark plug that a struggling Red Wings’ offense have been in dire need of.

Mantha leads the Red Wings in unblocked shot attempts percentage (Fenwick%) with a 56.59 mark. He is second best in shot-generation (31.62 Shots-For-per 60) and tops in shot suppression (23.07 Shots-Against-per 60). Detroit also generates the highest rate of scoring chances when Mantha is on the highest, with a 9.67 SCF/60.

Personally, Mantha has registered the second best, behind Athanasiou, in Goals-For-per 60, with a 1.12 mark.

Plain and simple, when Mantha is on the ice, the action is going in the favor of the Red Wings.

Mantha has brought with him from the minors a nice spark of offensive play that is certainly welcomed.

It is a small sample size (only 161 5-v-5 minutes, 12th among Red Wings forwards), and again it should be taken with some caution.

Then again, isn’t this what Detroit drafted 20th overall to do?

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