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The Malik Report

The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Mantha in a funk

Being a healthy scratch for two games last week hasn't sparked Anthony Mantha, who has no points and three shots in three games since returning to the lineup. He has gone five games without a point, playing mainly on a line with Frans Nielsen and Helm.

Mantha flourished on Henrik Zetterberg's wing for much of the season, but Jeff Blashill isn't likely to put the 22-year-old forward back on the first line as long as Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are producing with Zetterberg.

Tatar's value increasing?

Tatar has eight goals in his past 13 games to become the team's first - and possibly only - 20-goal scorer.

Tatar will be a restricted free agent on July 1 and likely seek a deal similar to or slightly higher than the four-year, $19 million pact Nyquist signed a couple of years ago.

If the Red Wings are able to swing a trade for a top-two or three defenseman in the off-season, they probably would need to include Tatar or Nyquist in the deal. Tatar, especially after this late-season surge, appears to have more trade value.

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Comments

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Tatar’s value around the league is increasing but so is his value to the Wings. Although I’d certainly consider him in any trade to upgrade to top half of the defensive unit, I’d rather move Nyquist.

As for Matha, it isn’t surprising to see power forwards going into scoring slumps. The kid just needs to work through it and get more shots on net.

It’s pretty sad that the only way players seem to produce on the Wings is if they are playing with Zetterberg. He’s easily their best player and that gap between him and the next is one of the biggest issues facing the Wings offense.

Posted by evileye on 03/20/17 at 09:05 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Mantha in a funk

He has gone five games without a point, playing mainly on a line with Frans Nielsen and Helm.

Well, Nielsen is no Zetterberg, so that’s part of the problem. The other part of it might be solved if Nosek replaces “No Hands” Helm tonight. Of course, we all know that Bumbling Blashill won’t put Nosek on that line. Helm’s replacement probably will be that scoring dynamo Sheahan.

I’m sure that will get Anthony out of his “funk.”  confused

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/20/17 at 09:45 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Tatar’s value is increasing which is why he and Nyquist should be glued to Z’s hips, inflate them for as much as possible, and see what they return.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 03/20/17 at 09:58 AM ET

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I have no real evidence of this, but it is my feeling that the Red Wings, the coaching staff in particular, discourage players, especially young ones, from being creative.  I’ve heard Blashill after games say that Athanasiou needs to just dump it instead of trying to make a play.  The comments out of Chicago after the Jurco trade where Bowman was talking about how they try to make more offensive plays and don’t dump as much as the Red Wings should have been big news here but nobody seemed to really pay attention.  I think it has affected 14, 21, 71, 72 and 39 negatively.

Posted by jb61973 on 03/20/17 at 10:25 AM ET

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I really think Blashill should have left Mantha with Zetterberg. He’s the player that would probably most benefit from learning from him.

Posted by evileye on 03/20/17 at 10:27 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Tatar’s value is increasing which is why he and Nyquist should be glued to Z’s hips, inflate them for as much as possible, and see what they return.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 03/20/17 at 10:58 AM ET

Exactly Murray, though I will miss Tatar. There is also this problem:

I really think Blashill should have left Mantha with Zetterberg. He’s the player that would probably most benefit from learning from him.

Posted by evileye on 03/20/17 at 11:27 AM ET

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 03/20/17 at 10:46 AM ET

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Tatar’s value is increasing which is why he and Nyquist should be glued to Z’s hips, inflate them for as much as possible, and see what they return.

You are assuming here that KH can actually make a hockey trade which there is no evidence of. All recent Tatar’s success means bigger contract at this point.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/20/17 at 11:29 AM ET

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my feeling that the Red Wings, the coaching staff in particular, discourage players, especially young ones, from being creative.

According to Jurco, Blashill is always asking to make a safe play instead of a hockey play.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/20/17 at 11:30 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

You are assuming here that KH can actually make a hockey trade which there is no evidence of.

Guess all of those draft picks came out of thin air.

Posted by ilovehomers on 03/20/17 at 11:33 AM ET

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Guess all of those draft picks came out of thin air.

When I say hockey trade, I mean roster player for roster player. When was the last time KH made a trade like that? Kozlov for Hasek?
If you mean let’s trade Tatar for picks, then yes, KH is capable of it.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/20/17 at 11:52 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’d keep Tatar.  He’s a proud player and loves the team.  When Zetterberg is done, whether it’s next year or in a couple more, we’re going to need a new Veteran, and it’s going to be either Tatar or Nyquist. 

At Nyquist’s rate, we can’t count on him as a Veteran presence.  At his rate he’ll be playing in the Swedish Elite league.

Posted by TreKronor on 03/20/17 at 11:55 AM ET

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Posted by VPalmer on 03/20/17 at 12:30 PM ET

one players opinion does not make it a personality trait of Blashill. but hey, who am I to use reason and logic?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 03/20/17 at 11:58 AM ET

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I’d keep Tatar.  He’s a proud player and loves the team.  When Zetterberg is done, whether it’s next year or in a couple more, we’re going to need a new Veteran

I agree. Tatar puts his heart on his sleeve when he plays. While I wouldn’t say Gus doesn’t either, I get more of an excited vide from Tatar. How he is in the locker room compared to Gus is an unknown (to me) since I have never been there.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 03/20/17 at 12:00 PM ET

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At Nyquist’s rate, we can’t count on him as a Veteran presence.  At his rate he’ll be playing in the Swedish Elite league.

huh? Just looking at points, Gus is on pace to get as many points as he had last season and in fewer games. I bet the SHL would love to have a player of his caliber.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 03/20/17 at 12:02 PM ET

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If you mean let’s trade Tatar for picks, then yes, KH is capable of it.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/20/17 at 12:52 PM ET

picks turn into hockey players. some of those picks turn into players like Lidstrom. Just saying. I guess you are saying you would rather have a veteran to complain about playing time than a young prospect to complain about not getting playing time.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 03/20/17 at 12:04 PM ET

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I’d keep Tatar.

Me too, but it’s true that he has more trade value than Nyquist.
Tatar seems to be more emotionally engaged than Nyquist, he just looks more energetic any time he is on the ice, but this is very subjective, of course.
Tatar is also more willing to shoot the puck. As to Nyquist goal production, I still think this year is an aberration and Nyquist is more of a “20 goal scorer”  than 10 goal scorer.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/20/17 at 12:04 PM ET

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Tatar is also more willing to shoot the puck

Gus: 140 shots on goal, 247 total shots in 64 games and 1087 minutes.
Tats: 143 shots on goal, 277 total shots in 70 games 1185 minutes.

It could be argued both ways. I wonder which stats you are using.

Willing to shoot is also different than picking shots.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 03/20/17 at 12:15 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

You guys sound like the man you hate, Holland.  Teams don’t give up talent for players you don’t want, they want talent in return. I like Tatar over Nyke myself, which means most teams would too, and if it takes Tatar and whatever to get a legitimate top pair defense man that is under team control for another 3-4 years, than buy tots, good luck to you. 

Tatar is almost up on RFA years anyway.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 03/20/17 at 12:52 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I guess trades for picks or picks for players are considered baseball trades?

Posted by ilovehomers on 03/20/17 at 01:38 PM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

Obviously playing with Z is going to net more points than with Frans Nielsen and Helm, but since the 2-game benching Mantha has looked lost out there. It seems to me that the hit to his confidence has him overthinking it out there and hanging out at the blue line afraid he might miss a defensive assignment instead of creating and shooting. In Saturday’s game he was shooting the puck in from near the blue line instead of crashing the net.

And why would anyone prefer Sheahan over Mantha in front of the net?

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 03/20/17 at 03:01 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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