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Abel to Yzerman

The Improving Wings

from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,

“Why’s the scrum so big tonight?” Mantha asked with a smile, as reporters and cameras surrounded him.

You gotta admit, it’d be fun to see the scrums grow again, although no one is deluded on the first weekend in October. The Wings have missed the playoffs three straight years and are predicted to finish near the bottom again this season. Steve Yzerman’s arrival as GM stirred the masses, for sure, but his work will be done in the shadows, away from the lights, and it figures to be a long, tedious task.

In the meantime, there’s no rule in the rebuild handbook that says young players can’t accelerate timetables. Long-term patience is the plan but short-term impatience is natural. Wings players say they’re sick of being dissed, tired of hopes being iced before the first freeze. They say it to a fandom that would love to buy it, and apparently they’re not kidding.

“I surprised myself on this one,” Mantha said of the four-goal outburst. “We’ve said it over and over, we’ll surprise a lot of teams. My confidence has been there since last year, playing with Bert and Larks, and I can’t praise them enough. I think I just have a better mentality of putting pucks on net.”


Below, watch extended game highlights of the win over Dallas.

added 9:25am, Below, watch Blashill addressing the team after the win.




Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


Paul's avatar

Dana Wakiji did this in mid-February, 2018,

“Frky (Martin Frk) shoots the puck really hard and so it can dissuade you at times,” Blashill said. “I think he had to learn on those one-timers, when you watch any of those guys when they really hit those one-timers, lots of times there’s no screens. What you do screen is the pass. So I think he had to learn that although you don’t have to be right in front of the goalie when he actually hits the one-timer, you gotta make sure the goalie doesn’t see the pass.

“There’s little nuances like that that I think through the course of the year he’s gotten better at. I even showed a couple of thing yesterday from the Nashville game against Ottawa where Sissons did a real good job with a moving screen. It’s just a learned process that he’s continued to work at.”

Like many players, Mantha was successful in junior hockey playing on the half-wall.

“That’s not to say he wouldn’t be a good half-wall guy (in the NHL),” Blashill said. “I don’t know per se, but I know he can be a great net-front guy, and I also know there’s tons of points sitting around that net. I think he’s had to embrace it. I think he did a good job early in the year. There’s times when he’s been better than others of being in front of the goalie’s eyes, but again it’s a habit and part of a learning thing. I think in the end Anthony wants to be a real good player and he cares a ton and he’s willing to work to get better.”


I do believe the net front presence talk can be tossed out the window.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/07/19 at 10:05 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I never did get that inasmuch as Mantha always had a great shot from “out”.

Posted by RWBill on 10/07/19 at 11:16 AM ET

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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