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NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In Red Wings Land

Red Wings’ Anthony Mantha turning around his season | The Detroit News

In the past, when Mantha has struggled and remained stationary on the ice rather than consistently moving, Blashill has taken to scratching Mantha or limiting ice time.

Blashill didn’t necessarily do that in October. Blashill feels he might be learning different ways to get Mantha engaged and feeling good about himself.

“Maybe I’m learning him better, too,” Blashill said. “In the end, he wants to be real good. Sometimes players need a kick in the butt and sometimes they need confidence, and it’s easy to just say you’re going to use the stick, but the stick doesn’t always work. Sometimes they need a pat and encouragement.

“It takes different things at different times. He got a point where he was down about his own play. He worked through it.

It’s good to see that Jeff Blashill has learned that different players need to be motivated in different ways and has made the effort to push the appropriate buttons. Also, happy to see Anthony Mantha responding. He can be a high-end goal scorer and the Red Wings need him.

Around the League

Takeaways, predictions for all 31 NHL teams at the quarter-season mark | ESPN

Bold prediction: That Jimmy Howard trade we all figured would happen at some point during the last three years finally happens at the trade deadline, with the Wings picking up part of the salary tab.

What would be a satisfactory return for Howard? Would you be happy with a 3rd? Does it have to be a 2nd? I’m not sure exactly where I fall yet.