Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Blashill And Mantha Talk It Out

from Will Burchfield of 97.1 TheTicket,

In Blashill's quest to turn Mantha into a star, the kind of star the Red Wings can build around up front, the coach pushed the young forward away. He alienated him.

For Mantha, a supremely-skilled 23-year-old still finding his way in the NHL, the seemingly constant rebukes were difficult to swallow. At times, his mom would call, wondering why her son was a favorite target of the head coach. It's part of hockey, Mantha would tell her. Not wanting to create any drama, either in the locker room or in the media, Mantha kept his head down and continued to work.

But Blashill's dissatisfaction nagged at him. It wasn't so much dispiriting as it was perplexing. Oftentimes, Mantha didn't understand the root of his coach's frustration. He didn't understand where he had gone wrong.

Finally, midway through this season, Mantha sought answers.

"The one thing he said to me was, 'Can you show me? Can you show me what you’re talking about?'" Blashill recalled. "And I said, 'Absolutely.'"

read on

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

TreKronor's avatar

That article is well worth the click.  Tons of insightful info there, whether you like the techniques or not. 

It’s also a matter of working his tail off this summer. Blashill told him to look at Taylor Hall, the 26-year-old winger for the Devils who turned into an MVP candidate this season and lifted New Jersey back to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

“He decided he wanted to be an impact player, and he’s been working pretty hard all season. Blash even talked to their coach, (John Hynes), and that’s the main key, was his work ethic this year was just unreal,” Mantha said. “I’ll try to bring that next year. With great power skating this offseason, if I could just bring my compete level to another level next year it should be good.”

This is a great example.  Everyone knows Mantha’s work ethic or drive can vary widely from game to game, or shift to shift.  If he can step it up and consistently bring it, he could be a difference maker for the club just like Hall was for NJ.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/11/18 at 10:06 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

agree, TK,
well worth the time to read;
good insights to “the process” Blash oft times refers to

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/11/18 at 10:23 AM ET

Avatar

Yes, good read. I am just not sure January meeting worked as Mantha was floating the same way he was before January. Maybe this is just the type of personality he is. I am glad he knows this is an issue.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/11/18 at 10:28 AM ET

Primis's avatar

This is a great example.  Everyone knows Mantha’s work ethic or drive can vary widely from game to game, or shift to shift.  If he can step it up and consistently bring it, he could be a difference maker for the club just like Hall was for NJ.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/11/18 at 11:06 AM ET

With all respect to Larkin, Mantha seems to be the one roster player right now that has a lot more to his ceiling.  I hate to say a lot is riding on him but… it is.  If he can’t take it to another level yet, that means one more elite forward DET would need to find elsewhere.  All the other forwards seem like 2nd or 3rd liners.

I think he can be a 30-goal guy for a number of seasons, though.

Posted by Primis on 04/11/18 at 10:35 AM ET

Avatar

So not only did he call out the youngsters publicly, but he also didn’t bother talking to them privately until they came to him.

What a phenomenal culture they’ve got in Detroit.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/11/18 at 10:42 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Blashill doesn’t talk to the players. I call BS. lol


/sarcasm

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/18 at 11:22 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Not going to denfend Mantha for any poor habits, but it never occurred to any of the wings coaches to “Show” Mantha exactly what they expected of him.

Again, Mantha is now a pro and should know what is expected, but if he’s not performing the way you want….it would seem obvious to demonstrate or more completely explain what it is your looking for…..Without having to have the player ask you. I believe that is the fundamental job of any coach in any sport….. confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/11/18 at 11:24 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

Yes, good read. I am just not sure January meeting worked as Mantha was floating the same way he was before January. Maybe this is just the type of personality he is. I am glad he knows this is an issue.
   
    Posted by
     
    VPalmer
     
      on 04/11/18 at 11:28 AM ET

The way Mantha played after january 22nd tells me he doesn’t know !

. From january 22nd and on, i can count on one hand the intense shifts Mantha had. 

The message/communication between Blashill and Mantha is none existent. They try but it doesn’t click, same with AA.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/11/18 at 12:05 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/11/18 at 01:05 PM ET

Is is the messenger or the heart below the ears of the recipient, because talent and ceiling alone on both indicated that they should have been drafted before they got to the wings had this not been their reputations.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/11/18 at 12:24 PM ET

Colin's avatar

Excellent read, and for those saying they should have shown Mantha from the beginning:

1. Mantha was an absolute beast at the start of the season. He scored almost half of his 48 points in the first two months of the season. First two months Mantha had a TP/60 of 2.89, which would place him in the top 60 forwards at Eichel and Draisaitl levels of production AND yield him a team-leading 67-point season. He then dropped significantly, netting only 14 points over the next THREE months. It seems like at some point Mantha either got lazy or complacent, which would explain why Blash waited until Mantha came to him. Blash saw a player who showed he could do it and was doing it that started slacking.

2. When you’re trying to get a player to play harder, play tougher, take a hit to make a play instead of blindly passing it away at the first hint of contact, be more aggressive and complete plays, make plays actively instead of waiting for them passively, it really isn’t and shouldn’t be a film thing. It’s an attitude and disposition thing. This isn’t a player that makes glaring errors because he doesn’t know what to do. It’s a player that knows what to do and even did it quite well to start the season but suddenly stopped doing it. I can totally see why Blash took the original approach that he did with Mantha - he was trying to piss him off and coax that aggressiveness back out of him. Granted, that didn’t work and Mantha didn’t understand it, so that led us to the video and the heart to heart.

I am also in the camp of Mantha still not really getting it, and have mentioned as much. I think that is why Blashill talked about Mantha needing to train like Taylor Hall and *brilliantly* seek out a psycho boxing coach. He is absolutely a player that needs to get tougher. Do that and we have a superstar on our hands. Don’t and we have another Franzen.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/11/18 at 12:35 PM ET

PierreC's avatar

Early in the season Mantha was Lucky. The puck was chasing him. And after a month in the seaon usually competition gets tougher…

Mantha doesn’t move his feet, most of the time he stops and look waiting for the puck to come to him.

I don’t know if he will ever understand.

On a positive note i thought he look better in the last few games of the season.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/11/18 at 03:04 PM ET

Avatar

If you aren’t showing a person you manage or coach what you want, and what your expectations are it’s you who are the failure.

Posted by RussianRocket10 on 04/11/18 at 08:14 PM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/11/18 at 04:04 PM ET

Early in the season Mantha WAS skating. I watched him closely and he looked like he had really turned a corner, even if he still hadn’t gotten it defensively. Then he just… stopped.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/12/18 at 08:12 AM ET

Colin's avatar

If you aren’t showing a person you manage or coach what you want, and what your expectations are it’s you who are the failure.

Posted by RussianRocket10 on 04/11/18 at 09:14 PM ET

You do realize that you have to actually have enough game tape to show a player what you want, right?

If you’re a player that can’t understand a coach telling you to stop slacking off, you are the failure.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/12/18 at 08:13 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com