NHL: Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings
Feb 18, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Anthony Mantha (39) takes a shot defended by Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) in the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After sitting out the last two games as a healthy scratch, Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha could return to the lineup on Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Mantha was scratched after what head coach Jeff Blashill would like to call a “lack of competitiveness” in the Red Wings loss to the Boston Bruins 6-1 last Wednesday.

“I think he’s a great kid who wants to be better. Like everybody in life, there’s a learning process to everything,” Blashill told MLive reporter Ansar Khan. “I think he has the message for sure and I think he’ll continue to work to become a better player and he’s going to have ups and downs and bumps in the road and everything that young players do.”

To read the rest of Khan’s article click here.

Blashill is no stranger to sitting young players to teach them a lesson. He sat forward Andreas Athanasiou on January 4. The next game Athanasiou came out strong scoring a goal and two assists against the Los Angeles Kings.

Hopefully Mantha will come out with the same fire that Athansiou had. He will need to prove to Blashill that he can compete on a regular basis.

“He’s got a great ceiling,” Blashill told MLive. “My job is to make sure he reaches that ceiling.”

Mantha has put up 14 goals and 19 assists in 50 games for the Wings this season. He started the season in Grand Rapids but has proved that he is ready for the NHL.

Detroit will have a chance to get back into the win column when they hit the road to face-off against the worst team in the NHL on Wednesday night, the Colorado Avalanche. They will then play the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday before they head home to play the Avalanche on Saturday.