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The Malik Report

‘Two Things’: On Mantha’s consistency and Caputo on metrics of assessment

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article regarding Anthony Mantha's desire to become a more consistent NHL player...

Mantha had 17 goals and 36 points in 60 games and had the team’s second-best plus-minus rating at plus-10. He said he wasn’t explicitly told he needed to be better and more consistent. In fact, he said he inherently knew when his game wasn’t up to par.

“I just know it,” he said. “I know the way I play. I know my best games what they are. I know my bad games what they are. So for me, it’s just something I need to focus on and always have good or great games.”

Mantha also figured out it was good he decided to watch older players — and one in particular — and copy their good habits.

“It’s to look at the veterans and see how they show up every day,” he said. “That’s what you learn the most as a young kid. For me, this year I watched (Henrik) Zetterberg practice and play and he’s always at the same level, he’s always competing, even in practices. So I’ll try to get that mentality for next year.”

2. And the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo says that the Wings need to embrace statistical metrics to "be honest with themselves" regarding the offseason moves necessary to

[Like] Corsi FC% in close games. All it is a simple formula which determines puck possession in games that are within a goal or tied at even strength. The importance is one team is not attacking or laying back more than the other based on score. The objective strategically is essentially the same.

Last season, the Red Wings were 28th in the NHL at 47.4 percent in that revealing situation, ahead of only Colorado and Arizona. They need to get that percentage over 51 percent. How? The eyeball test - and the metrics of the Red Wings’ defensive corps player by player - suggests they need to move the puck way better out of their own end. It is a constant struggle. Crystal clear. Painful. But somehow, some way, the Red Wings must find puck moving defensemen.

Even strength in close games is just one measure. Others, obviously, are special teams and goalie play. They are equalizers. The Red Wings’ power play was ranked 27th in the NHL with just a 15.1 percent success rate. Again, it goes back to the blue line. Other than veteran Mike Green, who ideally would be quarterbacking a second power unit, there is just not a lot there. Danny DeKeyser had a very disappointing season. Nick Jensen was OK - for Nick Jensen. Niklas Kronwall is not the player he used to be, although he could fit effectively (his puck possession metrics did rise later in the season as his health improved) in a more limited role. But the Red Wings desperately need a No.1 defensive pairing.

Free agency is a losing proposition for the most part. Value for value trades are necessary. You have to give up something to get something. Time for Holland to dip his toe in the hot tub and be right as he enters the final season of his current contract.

Caputo continues...

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About The Malik Report

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.