DETROIT, MI -- With all of the ruckus about Jim Devellano's comments on rookie prospect Anthony Mantha, there has been more movement from hockey media stating that Mantha had responded to Devellano's comments. I am not sure the validity in these accusations, as the comments posted from Mantha seemed oddly familiar to what he said during the postgame media scrum after the Griffins defeated the Marlies to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Keep in mind, Devellano's comments had surfaced the day after Mantha had spoken to the press.
I asked Mantha if he was frustrated with being held scoreless in the first round of the playoffs:
"Not really, obviously I would like to score my first shift, first game. That's not how it always goes, I just need to keep pushing, play even harder, and shoot the puck even more every game."
After listening to Mantha speak on Sunday, it's clear to me that he isn't down on himself, or letting his slump get to him. He's solely focused on the success of his team. Maybe that's really disappointing to Devellano, but it isn't to me. Give the kid some time. Mantha had also said that the last two games were a lot easier for him than the first three, and I believe that he will provide much more offensive potency for his team in the second round against Rockford. It's called adversity. Every player experiences it when they go pro, some sooner, some later. Let's pump the brakes on calling him a disappointment, and blowing everything out of proportion.
I recorded Mantha's postgame media scrum in it's entirety, which you can listen to below:
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