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Red Wings need more from Anthony Mantha

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The Detroit Red Wings were able to get a huge monkey off their backs on Saturday night, defeating the Florida Panthers 4-3 in overtime for their first victory of the season.

While this season for Detroit has all the makings of a third consecutive playoff miss, that doesn’t mean that players can’t be performing. One such player on the Red Wings that has been largely invisible so far is Anthony Mantha, their leading goal scorer from last year.

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With just one goal and two assists and team-worst minus-11 rating in his first eight games, Mantha has seen his ice time declined and bumped down to the fourth line. Ahead of Detroit’s matchup with Carolina on Monday night, head coach Jeff Blashill acknowledged the young forward’s struggles.

“I don’t know why it’s a recurring theme but it’s something we’re going to keep working at,” Blashill said after Monday’s morning skate. “I think he’s a good kid who wants to be a real good player and our job is keep trying to do everything we can to help him get there.”

“This isn’t something that he doesn’t want to change,” Blashill continued. “He wants to. He recognizes that to you guys, he recognizes that to me. He’s got to find a way to get himself moving on a more consistent basis.”

Mantha himself knows that the team needs more out of him, and that he needs to get going in a hurry if he’s going to meet his self-acknowledged goal of scoring 30 goals this year. He signed a two-year contract and is viewed as one of the main young pieces to the Red Wings core.

“If I did know the answer, obviously I wouldn’t be here today and we wouldn’t be talking about it right now,” Mantha said. “I had a meeting with Blash the other morning and we talked about it. That’s why right now I’m on the fourth line — I need to get my game go back up the ladder.

“It’s just being intense, winning battles, using my body to win those battles. Putting the effort in a little bit more in games. I need to win his confidence back and that’s the main thing I’m trying to do right now.”

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I'm originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan but grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. I've been a lifelong Red Wings fan as well as other Detroit sports; hockey has always been #1. I'm currently pursuing a journalism degree at Eastern Michigan University.

Detroit Red Wings News

SNEAK PEEK: Saturday’s Detroit Free Press front page is all about Steve Yzerman coming home

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On Friday, Steve Yzerman officially returned home to the Detroit Red Wings.

Here is a sneak peek at the front page for Saturday’s Detroit Free Press.

Well done by the Free Press!

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REPORT: Sergei Fedorov could return to Detroit Red Wings

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On Friday, Steve Yzerman officially came home to the Detroit Red Wings.

But could one of his old pals be joining him in the Motor City?

According to 97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger, he heard today that Yzerman might bring former Red Wings’ great Sergei Fedorov into the organization.

Nation, would you like to see Fedorov back in the Red Wings’ organization? Do you think he would consider coming back before his No. 91 is retired?

BREAKING: Steve Yzerman officially introduced as Detroit Red Wings’ GM

97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti interviews Steve Yzerman

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97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti interviews Steve Yzerman

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Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere are celebrating the official news that Steve Yzerman is now the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.

Take a listen as he joins 97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti to talk about the timing of the hiring and some additional insight.

BONUS CONTENT:

Ken Holland the architect of Steve Yzerman’s return

Well, who would have thought that?

According to a report from Sportsnet, it was none other than Ken Holland who was the leading force behind Steve Yzerman’s return to the Red Wings to take over his position, and has been working on it for months.

Of course, it was Ken Holland who declined this move the first time around in 2010. Red Wings ownership allegedly wanted to tap Yzerman as the successor to Holland, who didn’t want to move “upstairs” just quite yet. Yzerman then went to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and for the past nine years, has built them into a powerhouse and yearly contender for the Stanley Cup.

Holland, who has been the team’s GM since 1997, was asked earlier this month on 97.1 The Ticket about remaining with the Red Wings.

“That’s a great question,” Holland said. “I don’t have an answer for you. But I am a proud, proud Red Wing and I love being a Red Wing and I love living in Michigan. We’ve put roots down. I love the fans, I love the people that work for the Red Wings, I love the young players.

“Certainly would be very difficult for me to leave.”

BONUS CONTENT:

Tampa Bay Lightning swept in Round 1

Wow!

In perhaps the most shocking playoff result in recent memory, the 62-win Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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