Though it was a much maligned signing, Detroit Red Wings forward Steve Ott has filled a role that Detroit hasn’t had in quite a long time writes MLive’s Ansar Khan. Ott, who is known more for his fists than his hands, has brought a physical element to a team rarely known for hitting. In Tuesday’s game against Carolina, Ott went after Viktor Stalberg following a brutal hit from the latter on Wings defenseman Mike Green. Though it resulted in a penalty, several of his teammates loved the reaction. Says Captain Henrik Zetterberg:
“Otter brings lots of things to the table. Some are intangibles that are more in the room and the energy he brings. We’ve talked lots about sticking up for each other and he did a good job in that situation.”
The Red Wings have had more of an edge this season, as Ott, Jonathan Ericsson and even Dylan Larkin have dropped the gloves at some point. The Detroit News’ Greg Krupa reports that the turn the other cheek mentality is certainly gone, and it’s part of a new identity that the Red Wings are trying to craft. Despite the new “snarl,” the Red Wings have been scoring at crucial times and getting insurance goals whereas during last season, games were often tense, one-goal decisions. Though Ott has made his presence known, it still hasn’t quieted critics who have seen the work Anthony Mantha is doing in Grand Rapids. And if the Wings want to continue scoring those insurance goals, they could find an answer down at the farm.
- In just five games, Mantha has scored six goals and has been turning heads. Though the Red Wings have started out 5-2, reeling off five consecutive wins following a pair of losses to open the season, Mantha finds himself blocked by the aforementioned Ott, Drew Miller, and Luke Glendening. While Andreas Athanasiou has seen more ice time, and made an impact during his play, Mantha is showing the scoring touch he was drafted for. It seems only a matter of time before Mantha forces his way onto the big club.