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Mantha And Athanasiou On Last Night’s Criticism

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Friday morning saw Anthony Mantha admit just how bad he’d been the night before, when, after a 4-0 loss to Vegas, captain Henrik Zetterberg said there was too much poke-and-hope in some teammates, that they need to learn to play the right way. Zetterberg didn’t name names but the criticism fit Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou in particular, and Mantha owned it immediately.

“Oh for sure,” he said after an optional skate at Nationwide Arena Friday. “It wasn’t a good game for me. I made two big mistakes and it’s in the back of our net. I need to be sharper....

Athanasiou, who was on for the first and fourth goals, acknowledged a need to heed Zetterberg’s criticism.

“He’s talking to us as a group,” Athanasiou said. “Any time you have someone like that speaking out, it’s a little bit of a message to make sure you’re ready for the next one. If there’s one play where you can bear down a little more, it’s going to make a huge difference.”


added 4:39pm, Watch the game day preview below....

With Niklas Kronwall, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Jeff Blashil.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink



“He was the best player on the ice, so when you are the best player on the ice, you can say things like that,” Blashill said Friday.

And you’re the coach, do you have any responsibility when it comes to young players not learning the right way to play?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 03/09/18 at 04:37 PM ET


I made two big mistakes and it’s in the back of our net. I need to be sharper….

I honestly do not think he gets it. I think the criticism is about the effort, not particular mistakes.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 04:50 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I wonder when a couple of Vets will stand up and take some responsibility?  Against Team policy?

Anyway , good for AA and Mantha.  I still despise HSJ!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/09/18 at 04:56 PM ET


While Z is correct, I detest some of these boneheaded statements. Z as Captain and leader of the PP first unit has been a failure the past two seasons. His +/- of 1 is jaded because of PP time. Mantha and AA are two of the higher point scorers with considerably less ice time. What’s Z’s excuse, he’s virtually been on set lines the past 2.75 seasons. Maybe we have cliques that affect some of the direction of the team, reading in a possible Sheahan hint. While I won’t question his heart Z needs to look in the mirror. This team is almost the lowest goal scoring team in the league and that’s not two players fault.

Posted by stateofmifan on 03/09/18 at 05:26 PM ET


Admitting to not playing well does not translate to future success for these two.  They don’t have ( never have had) the inner drive.

Larkin is not a great hockey player right now, but he is driven to become better.  He works his ass off every shift, sometimes it pays off and sometimes it is behind Jimmy.  But he is constantly working…..and getting better.

Posted by NEWing on 03/09/18 at 05:28 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Game day preview added to the post, Mantha and AA plus others included.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/09/18 at 05:41 PM ET


What’s Z’s excuse


Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 05:41 PM ET


His +/- of 1 is jaded because of PP time.

Please explain this statement.

This team is almost the lowest goal scoring team in the league and that’s not two players fault.

Or this one.

Because Z didn’t call anyone specific out, and +/- has absolutely nothing to do with the PP

Posted by neffernin on 03/09/18 at 05:41 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News on the same topic, Mantha and Athanasiou.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/09/18 at 05:44 PM ET


How is Mantha being blamed for the shorthanded goal? When Green is nonchalantly skating to the bench like we were up 10   - 2? Kronwall’s skates hadn’t even touched the ice. To me that was far more inexcusable then Mantha having the pick stripped from him.

Posted by benzanato on 03/09/18 at 06:11 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

When are Helm, Abby, Nyquist, Green and the rest of the veterans going to be called out? These are the players that are not showing up. Coaches also.

I expect the younger guys to make mistakes. I do not expect them to shoulder the entire blame for failure.

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 03/09/18 at 06:36 PM ET


——How is Mantha being blamed for the shorthanded goal?
——He had to put the puck deep. But I am with you that Green imo is more at fault as he totally checked out with the puck being two feet away from him.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 06:39 PM ET


we can’t hurt greeners feelings, we want to re-sign him

Posted by akwingsfan on 03/09/18 at 07:13 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Discouraged that so many seem eager to object to the criticism of half-assed effort.

Posted by RWBill on 03/09/18 at 08:50 PM ET


Posted by neffernin on 03/09/18 at 04:41 PM ET
First part is self explanatory, being two of the higher scorers and point producers on the team Z is going to insinuate they weren’t or aren’t playing up to par. They’re in contract years, surely they’re trying to reduce their value with bad numbers and PR ??? Z is virtually on the ice for most PP goals because his line is given first chance and uses up most of the PP.  Without those numbers his mostly set line isn’t a big goal producer. The PP makes it look like he’s on the ice when actually 1g. and. 14 a for a to total of 15pts(over 40% of his production) comes from the PP.  Compare Z, AA and Mantha’s TOI. I apologize for the +/- remark, it is incorrect, shouldn’t have been there.

Posted by stateofmifan on 03/10/18 at 12:26 AM ET

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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