Mantha is out at least a month with injury to rib cage
The Red Wings will once again be without Anthony Mantha … this time for at least four weeks.
That was the word from coach Jeff Blashill after Detroit’s practice at Little Caesars Arena on Friday.
Mantha had returned for four games after missing eight with a knee injury.
But in last Saturday night’s 4-1 loss at Toronto, he was flipped to the ice – while being slew-footed – by Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin as the two players wrestled. He landed on his head and face and appeared groggy as he was helped off the ice.
Mantha suffered an injury to his rib cage and missed the following game, a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, on Sunday.
"He's got what I'd call rib-type issues and things associated with that," Blashill told the Detroit Free Press. "It's not the head or anything like that or anything that would preclude him from having a long and real good career. But he's going to be out for a real good stretch."
Mantha is second on the team in goals (12) and points (24) to Tyler Bertuzzi.
"It's definitely a key piece to the puzzle that we're missing there," forward Robby Fabbri said. "You hear with every team ‘next man up’ mentality. That's kind of what we're going to go with this year. We can't rely solely on Moe to score the goals when he's in. Guys are ready to step up, guys are ready to do their part to help turn this around."
The NHL reviewed the incident and did not discipline Muzzin, who received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in addition to off-setting roughing calls with Mantha.
This is the third time in four seasons Mantha has been injured in a fight. He broke his finger scuffling with Tampa Bay’s Luke Witkowski and missed the final five games of 2016-17. He suffered ligament damage to his finger and missed a month last season in a scrap with Colorado’s Patrik Nemeth.
The Red Wings will take their NHL-worst 9-26-3 record (21 points) to Florida for two games over the weekend.
Detroit plays the Florida Panthers in Sunshine on Saturday night and then head over to the Gulf Coast side of the state to face general manager Steve Yzerman’s former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Sunday night.
Both games begin at 7 p.m.