Capitals fans had every reason initially to not like the Anthony Mantha trade. In the deal, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan sent popular, 2018 Stanley Cup champion forward Jakub Vrana to the Red Wings along with two high draft picks. MacLellan reasoned that Vrana seemed unhappy and with his restricted free agency pending, the Capitals wanted cost certainty. The team also thought Mantha’s game could evolve in Washington.
“[Mantha] is the main guy and there’s probably a little pressure on him to produce,” MacLellan said after the deal was announced. “I think he comes here and he’s just got to fit in. He’s going to have a veteran group of players. I think he’s going to learn from those veterans. I think we have a good leadership group of older guys that have been around. We have a lot of guys that have won a Cup. So I think it’s up to him to fit in, play well, relax and compete and I think everything will work out.”
Indeed, it has so far. Mantha became the first Capitals player of all time to score in his first four games with the team. If you count his final game with Detroit, Mantha is riding a five-game goal streak.
“Feels good. Won’t lie about it,” Mantha said on Wednesday. “Confidence is at the top right now. I’ll try to keep it going and try playing good hockey over the next couple weeks.”
Through four games with the Capitals, Mantha, who has been skating with Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie on the second line, has tallied five points overall and posted a dominant 64.7 shot attempts percentage at 5v5.
“Obviously, the guys are all welcoming here,” Mantha said. “Four games down, it’s been going good on the ice so it’s an easy adaption over here so hopefully it keeps going that way.”
The Capitals have 10 big games remaining in the season before they enter the postseason for the seventh straight season. For Mantha, it will be the first time in his career he’s made it to the big dance.”
“To be in that position… is pretty exciting,” Mantha said. “I know we have 10 games left so we need to perform really well if we want to finish up top. We need to bring it every night. We have three huge games against New York coming up.
Mantha added that the only thing he’s struggled with in DC is finding some good restaurants and grocery stores to get food from.
“We’ll get familiar with the area as the season keeps going along,” he said.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.