from Sean McIndoe of The Athletic,
To be clear about what we’re going for, this isn’t a roster of the league’s worst or least-productive players. That would just be a bunch of depth guys you’ve never heard of and what would you even do with a roster like that? Right, probably beat the Sabres, but not much else. Nobody wants to read us picking on the no-names.
Instead, we’re factoring in the weight of expectations here. Whether it’s reputation, cap hit, recent performance or all of the above, these players came into the year with high expectations that they’ve struggled to meet. And sure, some will turn it around in the second half and make this look bad – that’s half the fun. So let’s celebrate some halves that weren’t fun.
Anthony Mantha, Red Wings – Mantha’s seen his production creep up steadily over the years, and he was almost a point-per-game player last year. That gave Wings fans some hope that he could be a threat to chase down Dylan Larkin for the team scoring lead. He is, but not in the way you’d have wanted, as neither player is doing much. Mantha has ten points through 25 games, and just one in his last ten. He was a healthy scratch earlier in the year, and his production has only slid further since.