The Detroit Red Wings suffered another crucial injury Thursday night against the rival Tampa Bay Lightning as Anthony Mantha will be out for the rest of the regular season with a broken finger. The injury occurred early in the first period during a fight with Luke Witkowski. Witkowski initiated the fight with a cross-check to the hip, and Mantha was happy to oblige. The fight did not go the way of the young Canadian, and he also took multiple shots while on the ground as a retaliation to Mantha doing the same when fighting Greg McKegg just a week earlier. Mantha seemed okay after the fight, but would not return and general manager Ken Holland confirmed that he will miss the rest of the season.
Anthony Mantha to Miss Remainder of Season
With the season having effectively been over for quite some time, the injury doesn’t hurt the team in terms of a playoff series. However, the end of this season was meant to be a chance for young players to audition for expanded roles next season. Although Detroit will miss what Mantha can bring offensively to the team, his injury will allow for another Grand Rapids Griffin to get some time playing in the NHL before returning to Grand Rapids to make another push in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Forward Ben Street has been with the team originally as an emergency call-up after Luke Glendening fractured his ankle, so he may get to see some playing time with Mantha out.
Many Wings fans have been speculating that Evgeny Svechnikov, who is one of Detroit’s top prospects, may finally get a chance to earn his “Wings” and join Detroit for the rest of the regular season. The talented young Russian is fourth on the Griffins in both goals and points with 18 and 43 respectively.