Ramblings: Mantha returning; Jones, Atkinson injured; Zucker traded; Marino surgery; Horvat – February 11

Michael Clifford

2020-02-11

 

Anthony Mantha should be returning Tuesday night for Detroit. That is going to be a big boost to their lineup.

This is obviously an offensive boost but we shouldn't overlook Mantha's defensive impacts. He's been the most valuable forward Detroit has, defensively speaking, over the last two seasons. If he doesn't start with Dylan Larkin – they had been using Mantha often on the second line post-October – it should be a defensive boost to the second line. This is still a very bad team, but Mantha is a considerable top-6 upgrade over someone like Justin Abdelkader, and that is important for matchups.

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Seth Jones hit the IR for the Columbus Blue Jackets with an ankle injury. No timeline has been given other than indefinite, which doesn't sound good.

Cam Atkinson did not play on Monday night, either. Beat writers were pondering if he's re-aggravated his high-ankle sprain, which would be really bad news.

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Penguins defenceman John Marino underwent facial surgery to take care of his fractures. Coach Mike Sullivan did not expand further, so we don't know what the surgery entailed or what the timeframe for return will be.

They also acquired winger Jason Zucker in a trade with Minnesota. Dobber has his thoughts on that here.

All I’ll say is that I completely agree with Dobber on his take with Zucker. He becomes a high-end option immediately if he can