DETROIT– Statistically speaking, Anthony Mantha had a pretty good rookie campaign.
Called up from Grand Rapids on November 11, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound right wing appeared in 60 games for the Red Wings before he was sidelined for the Wings’ final five contests with a fractured finger he suffered in a fight with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Luke Witkowski on March 30 in Tampa.
Mantha finished the year tied for sixth in total points on the Red Wings with 36, his 17 goals were tied for third on the team, he was second on the Wings with a plus-10, was third in penalty minutes with 53 and his three game-winning goals were tied for third on the club.
He also finished 12th in overall rookie scoring in the NHL and finished in or near the top 10 in every major rookie category, which was impressive considering the number of total games played.
As his rookie season progressed, Mantha hit a snag and was a healthy scratch for two consecutive games, March 10 against the Blackhawks and March 12 versus the Rangers.
It was an eye-opener for him, but he understands the message head coach Jeff Blashill was sending. You show up for every game or your lineup spot is in serious jeopardy.
That’s a message and lesson Mantha started learning from observing the daily routine of Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg.