At 5v5 Mantha was on the ice for 4 goals for and 10 goals against. If you're giving up 2.5 goals for every 1 you score, it's not exciting. It's getting blown out. You need to do something better. He doesn't need to be a Selke candidate, but there's some evidence to suggest he needs to be better.
I don't think he's wholly responsible for all the goals against, but I don't think he's wholly responsible for all the goals for either. And I don't believe that right now his offense is good enough to outweigh his defense. At least not in a top line role.
The Wings lost in five games to Tampa Bay in the first round. Hard to get more blown out than that.
I'm not saying Mantha doesn't have room for improvement. But the Red Wings played Brad Richards, Darren Helm, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader in their top-six during the playoffs. I think Mantha's ability to put the puck in the net would have been a valuable asset, regardless of his defensive shortcomings.
I would rather watch Mantha "potentially fail" at this point more than running veterans into the ground and getting no results anyways. Time to let these young guys learn by playing more in the NHL.
I'm not really concerned with Mantha's defensive lapses. I'd rather they have him focused on scoring goals and making things happen in the offensive zone. There are enough 2 way forwards on this team
Great post. The Red Wings are so obsessed with every single guy dedicating themselves to playing 200 feet of hockey and they wonder why they struggle to score goals. You don't have to be defensively responsible if the puck is at the other end of the ice.
Plus it would make the Red Wings more exciting to watch. This low-event, no creativity hockey isn't exactly putting fans at the edge of their seats.