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2018 Prospect Tournament and Training Camp

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1 hour ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

I am not impressed by this guy at all.  The boys in the NHL don't play nice with "net front presences".  Rasmussen is a twig.  Seeing Mantha with his shirt off last summer showed me he was willing to pay the price.  I'm not confident that Rasmussen is.  Hopefully he's been lifting like an animal all summer and will come into camp ripped and prove me wrong.

Mantha is 6'5", 225lbs, Rasmussen is 6'6", 220lbs. Mantha is also over 4 years older. Rasmussen is still a teenager. I think he'll be fine. He'll likely add a little more mass to that frame (hopefully not too much)...

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1 hour ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

I am not impressed by this guy at all.  The boys in the NHL don't play nice with "net front presences".  Rasmussen is a twig.  Seeing Mantha with his shirt off last summer showed me he was willing to pay the price.  I'm not confident that Rasmussen is.  Hopefully he's been lifting like an animal all summer and will come into camp ripped and prove me wrong.

 

6 minutes ago, krsmith17 said:

Mantha is 6'5", 225lbs, Rasmussen is 6'6", 220lbs. Mantha is also over 4 years older. Rasmussen is still a teenager. I think he'll be fine. He'll likely add a little more mass to that frame (hopefully not too much)...

Yeah but have you seen Rasmussen with his shirt off yet? Until we get a good look at his pecs/nips, we have no idea if he's willing to pay the price or not.

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2 hours ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

Rasmussen is a twig.  Seeing Mantha with his shirt off last summer showed me he was willing to pay the price.

Mantha is 23 years old. Rasmussen turned 19 a few months ago.

Mantha had to bulk up and didn't reach "optimal bulkiness" until last summer. Rasmussen is thin, like Mantha was at his age. He'll bulk up like Mantha did.

There's no problem here.

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1 hour ago, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

 

Yeah but have you seen Rasmussen with his shirt off yet? Until we get a good look at his pecs/nips, we have no idea if he's willing to pay the price or not.

Exactly!  I need evidence.

58 minutes ago, Dabura said:

Mantha is 23 years old. Rasmussen turned 19 a few months ago.

Mantha had to bulk up and didn't reach "optimal bulkiness" until last summer. Rasmussen is thin, like Mantha was at his age. He'll bulk up like Mantha did.

There's no problem here.

Hope you are right.  If he could get bigger and faster, he could be a great asset.  His hands are fine.

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8 hours ago, krsmith17 said:

... if you think Mantha is a little slow-footed, you probably haven't been watching the games...

I'm curious, how good do you think Mantha is?  Like, right now?  Not what you think he projects as.

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1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

I'm curious, how good do you think Mantha is?  Like, right now?  Not what you think he projects as.

I'm not sure how you want me to answer that without any projections... I think he's currently our best winger and one of our best forwards.

I'm curious, do you think Mantha's skating is an issue?

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53 minutes ago, krsmith17 said:

I'm not sure how you want me to answer that without any projections... I think he's currently our best winger and one of our best forwards.

I'm curious, do you think Mantha's skating is an issue?

An issue, no.  But do I think it's an asset?  Also no.  I don't view him as a Blake Wheeler or Rick Nash type (e.g. big guys whose skating is very good).  He reminds me more of Corey Perry or Todd Bertuzzi (e.g. gets around fine for their size). 

That's actually why I think he needs to take Blashill's advice and learn to play like Van Riemsdyk.  I don't think his wheels (although decent for a big guy) are good enough to beat defensemen wide.  I think he's basically another Franzen, which I'm thrilled about, but he'd better learn to score a bunch of different ways (like Johan did) if he's going to maximize his output at the NHL level because a sniper he ain't.

Edited by kipwinger

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5 hours ago, kipwinger said:

An issue, no.  But do I think it's an asset?  Also no.  I don't view him as a Blake Wheeler or Rick Nash type (e.g. big guys whose skating is very good).  He reminds me more of Corey Perry or Todd Bertuzzi (e.g. gets around fine for their size). 

That's actually why I think he needs to take Blashill's advice and learn to play like Van Riemsdyk.  I don't think his wheels (although decent for a big guy) are good enough to beat defensemen wide.  I think he's basically another Franzen, which I'm thrilled about, but he'd better learn to score a bunch of different ways (like Johan did) if he's going to maximize his output at the NHL level because a sniper he ain't.

You had me hooked till the last 5 word damn you

He's new Franzen. I've been saying it since draft day. However, I need him to go on a playoff series beast mode hot streak now though to prove that.

I see two paths before this kid... we force him to become the power-forward his size tempts us to want from him, or we allow him to be the lil softy finesse sniper he was born to be. Maybe something in between...

I say we let him float around the circles and snipe and just forget he was ever tall, but then also rip his ass apart whenever he's not in the crease.

8 hours ago, kipwinger said:

I'm curious, how good do you think Mantha is?  Like, right now?  Not what you think he projects as.

Top 6 forward

Next

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9 hours ago, kipwinger said:

An issue, no.  But do I think it's an asset?  Also no.  I don't view him as a Blake Wheeler or Rick Nash type (e.g. big guys whose skating is very good).  He reminds me more of Corey Perry or Todd Bertuzzi (e.g. gets around fine for their size). 

That's actually why I think he needs to take Blashill's advice and learn to play like Van Riemsdyk.  I don't think his wheels (although decent for a big guy) are good enough to beat defensemen wide.  I think he's basically another Franzen, which I'm thrilled about, but he'd better learn to score a bunch of different ways (like Johan did) if he's going to maximize his output at the NHL level because a sniper he ain't.

So I guess I'll say it again... If you think Mantha is a little "slow-footed", you probably haven't been watching the games. I didn't say Mantha's skating is an "asset", but it definitely isn't a weakness. He's not as fast as Larkin or Athanasiou, but I'd bet on him in a head-to-head against any other player on the team. He's a very good skater for a big man.

It's funny because if you had asked me to name one player I'd compare Mantha to, it would have probably been Blake Wheeler. I'm not sure if he'll ever reach Wheeler's ceiling, but stylistically, they're very similar. A young Todd Bertuzzi may be somewhat accurate as well though (minus the mean streak).

Check out these two scouting reports from the Hockey News...

Mantha

Assets - "Is a natural goal-scoring talent with great size and instincts for putting the biscuit in the basket. For a big winger, he skates very well, too. Displays great hand/eye coordination. Can play either wing position."

Flaws - "Needs to work on his play at the defensive end of the rink, as well as his game-to-game consistency, in order to maximize production at the National Hockey League level. Takes a few too many shifts off."

Wheeler

Assets - "Has tremendous size and reach for the wing position, as well as good wheels for a big guy. Controls the puck effectively in the corners and possesses a good scoring touch. Is at his best when driving through traffic areas."

Flaws - "At times, he stops moving his feet and becomes a little lazy on the ice. Should also use his massive size more frequently so as to become more intimidating to play against. Can go through important scoring slumps."

He already does score a bunch of different ways, it's just that most of his goals are deflections and rebounds in front of the net, because that's the game he's told to play. He has no choice but to "take Blashill's advice", but Blashill should not be trying to turn Mantha into a net front guy. He has too much skill to be limited strictly to the front of the net every time they gain any offensive zone time. Mantha is more than capable of scoring off the rush, skating down the wing and sniping top corner. He's done it several times. 

"A sniper he ain't"? I don't get this comment. Have you seen the guy's shot? You think he has average skating and an average shot. I think the comment I made originally about not watching the games may apply to you. Have you been watching? He's a very good skater and has a very heavy, accurate shot.

Ideally, with the addition of Rasmussen, Blashill will smarten up and start using Mantha where he should be, in the slot or around the right faceoff dot, so he can use his best asset, his shot.

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Wait, where did I say he's average at anything? 

I've already said, he's like Franzen.  Good wheels (for a big guy), good shot, good size, good net front.  He's good at all of it.  If he were excellent at all of it he'd be Blake Wheeler.  He isn't.  His best attribute, and one that you consistently fail to mention because it doesn't support your "Mantha is a shooter" narrative, is that he's really good at protecting the puck and making good passes for scoring chances in the offensive zone.  If anything I'd say he's under rated as a PLAYMAKER.  Which is probably the only thing that will set his career apart from Franzen.  He'll score 28-35 goals a season, but his ceiling will depend on how many assists he has. 

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20 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Wait, where did I say he's average at anything? 

I've already said, he's like Franzen.  Good wheels (for a big guy), good shot, good size, good net front.  He's good at all of it.  If he were excellent at all of it he'd be Blake Wheeler.  He isn't.  His best attribute, and one that you consistently fail to mention because it doesn't support your "Mantha is a shooter" narrative, is that he's really good at protecting the puck and making good passes for scoring chances in the offensive zone.  If anything I'd say he's under rated as a PLAYMAKER.  Which is probably the only thing that will set his career apart from Franzen.  He'll score 28-35 goals a season, but his ceiling will depend on how many assists he has. 

No, you didn't say it directly, but saying he "gets around fine for his size" and "a sniper he's not", kind of makes it seem like you think he's "average" in those areas...

I think he has explosive speed, never mind "for a big guy". I also think he has an elite level shot, aka a "sniper". That was his game in Val d'Or. That was his game in Grand Rapids (under Blashill). But that hasn't been his game in Detroit (yet). Not because he's not capable of it (we've seen him do it), but because he's asked to play a different style of game. Just because he's big, he's expected to crash the crease and cause havoc in front of the net. I think he'd be much better suited playing a finesse game, holding onto the puck, making plays and "sniping" goals. He'll still score some of those dirty goals, but I'd much rather see him play on the outside utilizing his shot.

"If he were excellent at all of it he'd be Blake Wheeler. He isn't." You really don't think Mantha is comparable to Wheeler? Stylistically they're very similar and even stats early in their careers, they were very similar. Mantha was even slightly better early on.

Mantha's first full season (age 22) - 60-17-19-36 (0.28 goals per game / 0.6 points per game).

Wheeler's first season (age 22) - 81-21-24-45 (0.26 goals per game / 0.56 points per game).

Mantha's second season (age 23) - 80-24-24-48 (0.3 goals per game / 0.6 points per game).

Wheeler's second season (age 23) - 82-18-20-38 (0.22 goals per game / 0.46 points per game).

Again, I'm not sure if Mantha will ever hit that point per game ceiling that Wheeler has, but the potential is definitely there.

I agree that Mantha is a very underrated passer, but that doesn't in any way negate my "Mantha is a shooter narrative"... If anything that supports my Mantha should be used on the left faceoff dot narrative. How much passing / playmaking is he able to do when he's stationed in front of the net? Minimal. He's just there to direct / bang in loose pucks. He's very good at it, but would have more of an impact shooting / making plays in my opinion.

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Mantha has an interesting skill set where he's big, but like mule is capable of playing a finesse game. Now that he's bulked up though and taking boxing lessons, I'd like to see him channel more Brendan Shanahan and less Johan Franzen or Tomas Holmstrom. Perhaps when Rasmussen sticks with the team it'll free up Mantha to be used as more of a power forward/sniper role, where I think he's ideally suited.

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I agree more with KrSmith's evaluation of Mantha than I do Kips.

Truly disagree that his passing and skating are underrated. He's average at both.

Mantha is a shooter in a power-forwards body. I really think Franzen is a great comparison, and really think Wheeler is a terrible one.

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3 hours ago, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

I agree more with KrSmith's evaluation of Mantha than I do Kips.

Truly disagree that his passing and skating are underrated. He's average at both.

Mantha is a shooter in a power-forwards body. I really think Franzen is a great comparison, and really think Wheeler is a terrible one.

I agree with the Franzen comparison, but I do think Mantha's much faster than the Mule ever was. See there you go, underrating his speed... :tounge:

I'm curious, what makes you think the Wheeler comparison is "terrible"? I see a lot of similarities in their game. I don't follow any team as closely as the Wings, but my distant 2nd/3rd favorite teams have always been Edmonton and Winnipeg. I've been a big fan of Wheeler ever since the relocation from Atlanta, and I've watched a lot of Jets games. Even if you've never watched either Mantha or Wheeler play a single game, you'd get the impression that they were very similar style players just by reading their scouting reports and stat lines. What makes you think they're such different players?

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2 hours ago, krsmith17 said:

I agree with the Franzen comparison, but I do think Mantha's much faster than the Mule ever was. See there you go, underrating his speed... :tounge:

I'm curious, what makes you think the Wheeler comparison is "terrible"? I see a lot of similarities in their game. I don't follow any team as closely as the Wings, but my distant 2nd/3rd favorite teams have always been Edmonton and Winnipeg. I've been a big fan of Wheeler ever since the relocation from Atlanta, and I've watched a lot of Jets games. Even if you've never watched either Mantha or Wheeler play a single game, you'd get the impression that they were very similar style players just by reading their scouting reports and stat lines. What makes you think they're such different players?

Agreed.  I think Wheeler plays with more grit and has a higher compete level right now.  I think Mantha has a better shot and can skate more fluidly when at top speed.  I've said it before, but Martha's stamina is the only thing holding him back.  He's an up and down guy right now, meaning he can only go at top gear for one trip up the ice and one trip down.  Then he is spent.  The first 25-30 seconds of his shifts, he looks great.  But after that, he's a huge floater.  If he can work on his lower body and conditioning so that he can go top speed for 45 seconds at a time, he will be a 30-40 goal, 60-70 pt guy minimum every year.  Larkin is a great example of good conditioning.  That guy goes balls out every shift, and it takes a good long minute to get him winded.  If Mantha gets there, he will be better than Wheeler.

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7 hours ago, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

I agree more with KrSmith's evaluation of Mantha than I do Kips.

Truly disagree that his passing and skating are underrated. He's average at both.

Mantha is a shooter in a power-forwards body. I really think Franzen is a great comparison, and really think Wheeler is a terrible one.

He's more of a big Tatar, who doesn't use his size very much.

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3 hours ago, krsmith17 said:

I agree with the Franzen comparison, but I do think Mantha's much faster than the Mule ever was. See there you go, underrating his speed... :tounge:

I'm curious, what makes you think the Wheeler comparison is "terrible"? I see a lot of similarities in their game. I don't follow any team as closely as the Wings, but my distant 2nd/3rd favorite teams have always been Edmonton and Winnipeg. I've been a big fan of Wheeler ever since the relocation from Atlanta, and I've watched a lot of Jets games. Even if you've never watched either Mantha or Wheeler play a single game, you'd get the impression that they were very similar style players just by reading their scouting reports and stat lines. What makes you think they're such different players?

I'll agree he's faster than Franzen, just not fast enough to write home about.

Wheeler is like compete level x1000. Talk about a well-rounded player, he is it. Mantha and Wheeler share size and shooting ability, but that's about it.

I see Mantha as more of the finesse player Franzen was. Wheeler actually plays like an aggressive power-forward.

5 minutes ago, Buppy said:

He's more of a big Tatar, who doesn't use his size very much.

I do not disagree

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52 minutes ago, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

I'll agree he's faster than Franzen, just not fast enough to write home about.

Wheeler is like compete level x1000. Talk about a well-rounded player, he is it. Mantha and Wheeler share size and shooting ability, but that's about it.

I see Mantha as more of the finesse player Franzen was. Wheeler actually plays like an aggressive power-forward.

I do not disagree

The whole Mantha's speed debate came from me saying that he's not "slow-footed". I don't think he has elite speed by any stretch, but I'd say it's above average for sure, certainly not a hindrance.

He does need to work on his compete level for full games / stretches of games, but he's acknowledged this, and I think he'll get there. We'll see. I'm not sure if he'll ever get to the level of Wheeler, but I don't think it's out of the question either. I do think he'll be better than Franzen, and that's coming from a huge Johan fan.

The Tatar comparison is the worst yet. I don't see a single similarity in their games other than being left handed and drafted by the Red Wings. Tatar always tries to do too much, gets the puck in the slot and has to make one extra move before shooting. Mantha keeps things simple, gets the puck in the slot and it's on net immediately. 

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14 minutes ago, krsmith17 said:

The whole Mantha's speed debate came from me saying that he's not "slow-footed". I don't think he has elite speed by any stretch, but I'd say it's above average for sure, certainly not a hindrance.

He does need to work on his compete level for full games / stretches of games, but he's acknowledged this, and I think he'll get there. We'll see. I'm not sure if he'll ever get to the level of Wheeler, but I don't think it's out of the question either. I do think he'll be better than Franzen, and that's coming from a huge Johan fan.

The Tatar comparison is the worst yet. I don't see a single similarity in their games other than being left handed and drafted by the Red Wings. Tatar always tries to do too much, gets the puck in the slot and has to make one extra move before shooting. Mantha keeps things simple, gets the puck in the slot and it's on net immediately. 

They're both shooters and are pretty average at everything else.

Seems like Blash is trying to make Mantha into more of a net front guy, but I hope that strategy disappears once Ras joins the team. Not that he's bad at it, but it's like fitting square pegs into round holes IMO. Mantha should be an outside slot shooter like Nyquist and Tatar were/are. Wheeler is not a Nyquist/Tatar/Mantha type IMO

Edited by ChristopherReevesLegs

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1 minute ago, joesuffP said:

Yes we need more perimeter players. Guys who score 30+ in the NHL don’t play on the perimeter

I take it you agree with Blashhill's approach on Mantha then. If he can make Mantha a legit powerforward I'm all for it, I just don't think it's his natural play style.

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Just now, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

I take it you agree with Blashhill's approach on Mantha then. If he can make Mantha a legit powerforward I'm all for it, I just don't think it's his natural play style.

I think he’ll have the easiest time scoring goals hovering around the crease and being that immovable object. That’s how he gets engaged and where he’s had consistent success. He has a great shot but he’s far from an elite sniper where he can just set up in the circles. He’ll find that balance because I believe he can be a really good possession player too. 

Blashill isn’t forbidding Mantha from leaving the front of the net. He’s free to play his game until he floats around looking for a pass. Because he has no impact on the game when he does this

Check out his goals scored on youtube the last two years

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3 minutes ago, joesuffP said:

I think he’ll have the easiest time scoring goals hovering around the crease and being that immovable object. That’s how he gets engaged and where he’s had consistent success. He has a great shot but he’s far from an elite sniper where he can just set up in the circles. He’ll find that balance because I believe he can be a really good possession player too. 

Blashill isn’t forbidding Mantha from leaving the front of the net. He’s free to play his game until he floats around looking for a pass. Because he has no impact on the game when he does this

Check out his goals scored on youtube the last two years

I don't disagree, Blash has used him as the net front guy and Mantha has been successful at it. However, that wasn't really his play style until joining the Red Wings.

Going forward, if he molds well into a net front guy I'll be happy. If Ras steals that role and he hovers around the top of the circle I'll probably be happy too.

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