Anthony Mantha’s hot start will win fans over and carry him all season

Anthony Manhta, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Anthony Manhta, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The other day, our contributor CJ Witt wrote that in order for Anthony Mantha to have a bounce back season and even more that a good start to the season is critical. In today’s Washington Capitals player prediction (with more players to come), I believe Mantha will have that hot start.

When Mantha does come out of the gates hot, not only will it open the eyes of his critics, it’ll also launch him into his best season ever.

When the Caps traded their fan favorite Jakub Vrana for the services of Mantha, the pressure was already on the latter. He did good the first four games, scoring a goal in each one. Then he went silent.

In 118 games as a member of the Capitals, Mantha has managed to score just 24 goals over two and a half seasons. The most goals Mantha has scored in his career came in 2018 19 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings where he had 25.

Now do I think Mantha will have a 30 goal season? No. But I do think he can manage to get 24 goals this season. Doing so would put him not only at his best season as a member of the Capitals but it’ll also do more than that.

Mantha is a free agent this upcoming summer. This is a contract year. Whether the Caps decide to keep him or let him walk is their decision. But if Mantha can have a 24 goal season it’ll really put the pressure and some thinking on Brian MacLellan’s end.

I got Mantha scoring 24 goals and adding 23 assists for 47 points. That’s a big improvement. He only managed 11 goals last season. The season before that, he had nine but keep in mind he also had shoulder surgery that year.

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Last year 11 goals wasn’t enough at full health. It cost him playing time for his inconsistency. Now with a new bench boss in Spencer Carbery, can Mantha become the player the Caps envisioned at that trade deadline? It’s up to him.