The Washington Capitals will open the 2022-23 season on Wednesday, October 12. Before then, it’s critical that you prepare yourself for all the incoming narratives. The only way to be safe is to read my season preview series. Is it safe?
Today’s episode of Uncle Good Tweet Pete’s Preseason Season Preview is about the scoring reinforcement the team requires of Anthony Mantha.
Right-winger Anthony Mantha had his 2021-22 spoiled by a shoulder injury suffered just ten games into the season. At that point he had two goals and four assists. When returned for 27 games later in the season, he put up seven goals and 10 assists. These are not terrible totals overall and Mantha remains a well regarded player among statistical models — a plus-1.4 goals scored versus average from Dom Luszczyszyn, and from Micah McCurdy a plus-six impact on offense and a minus-six impact on opponents.
But with Washington’s forward roster wrecked by injury to start the season, Mantha’s mission must be to stay in the lineup and get on the scoreboard. Simply put: they need him to produce, as Mantha well knows.
“I’m going to have to step up, for sure,” Mantha said to RDS’ Jean-Christophe Bertrand in French and via a Google Translation. “We will miss Backstrom, Wilson at the start of the year. I will have a more important role and I will give my best for the team.”
Mantha’s first season with Washington had a blazing hot start (four goals in four games) followed by a long, deep chill (no goals in the next ten games). His second season had a fine scoring pace but missed a big chunk due to injury. Both campaigns were imperfect in different ways, and the shorthanded Caps need neither of those troubles to repeat.
With no Wilson and no Backstrom and with other forwards fighting against with advancing age, Mantha’s ability to put up raw goals will be critical.
Also, we should get some good Millie/baby content on Instagram.
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