It was the first time in his Capitals career he was healthy scratched. His salary cap hit this season and next is $5.7 million.
Although he’s scored nine goals and 14 assists in 42 games, he’s scored just one goal in his past 11 games. In addition, Nicolas Aube Kubel was a healthy scratch.
"“It just made for tough decisions. I have no problem if either one of those guys were in the lineup today — [Aube-Kubel] or Mantha — but they’re not. I had to make decisions, and that’s where I started.”"
On Monday the Caps held an optional practice and Mantha was among the participants. He called the decision a “wake up call”:
"“I had a good stretch, a bad stretch. It’s part of hockey. I don’t think I was playing terrible. Obviously the minutes were going down, so decision to play me [9:48] in my last game there so, you kind of knew it was coming.”"
In Friday night’s home loss to the Nashville Predators, the 28 year old forward got demoted to the fourth line. Their next game is Wednesday night at the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Caps made numerous moves on Saturday. They placed Joe Snively on waivers in which he cleared and then reported to Hershey. They also sent Aliaksei Protas to the Hershey Bears. But they still had to pick two forwards to sit out as healthy scratches and they went with Mantha and NAK.
Mantha added, “(Laviolette is) obviously not happy with my game. That’s pretty much it.”
This is sure to be an interesting development.