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Abel to Yzerman

Anthony Mantha's High Level Of Play

11/28/2018 at 8:52am EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill in the past has publicly criticized Mantha for lapses in competitiveness, but he wasn't about to risk exacerbating the situation this time.

Now Mantha appears to have worked his way out of the slump. Blashill said Mantha has played a high level for a month, gelling with Dylan Larkin on the top line.

"Maybe I'm learning him better, too," Blashill said. "He wants to be real good. Sometimes players need a kick in the butt, but sometimes they need confidence. Sometimes they need a pat, sometimes they need encouragement. It just takes different things at different times.

"He was pretty down about his own play. Good for him that he worked through it. We had a good conversation before that Dallas game (on Oct. 28) and challenged him a little bit to put him back on that line with Larkin and they've been really, really good since then."

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