Why isn’t Anthony Mantha playing?

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While the Detroit Red Wings are searching for answers as to why they haven’t been able to contain Tampa Bay’s “Triplets” line, fans are also searching for an answer from the Red Wings’ brass – why is Joakim Andersson considered more important than Anthony Mantha?

Yes, we know Mantha is a rookie with limited NHL experience. Yes, we know that throwing a rookie into the fire of the Stanley Cup Playoffs hasn’t always worked out. But his size (6’5, 214 lbs) and physical presence he brings to the game would certainly be more valuable than what Joakim Andersson has brought in Detroit’s first two playoff games, the second of which he played a sparse 6:52.

Andersson was exposed to the waiver wire earlier this season, meaning any of the other 29 NHL teams could have acquired him for free. They all said no, and Andersson was sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins. He was re-called by Detroit before their regular season finale against the New York Rangers for assistance with the penalty kill.

He’s played just over two minutes while Detroit has been shorthanded this playoff.

He isn’t being used for the purpose for which he was supposedly brought up during the most important time of the hockey season. It’s time for Detroit to switch things up and bring additional size into the lineup in the form of Mantha. It isn’t any coincidence that Detroit’s power play enjoyed a resurgence with #39 in the lineup that ended seemingly as he was sent back to the minors.

The Red Wings need help, and Joakim Andersson isn’t it.