The Washington Capitals got a welcome sight on Wednesday, as Anthony Mantha hit the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in full gear.
Washington posted a picture of the 6-5, 225-pound winger skating on his own, sporting a smile and handling the puck. Head coach Peter Laviolette had said earlier in the week that Mantha was progressing on the road to recovery, and told The Sports Junkies on 106.7 AM on Wednesday that he hoped to see Mantha return to the ice at some point in February.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 9, 2022
The team practices at 12 p.m. ET, so it looks like this was Mantha getting in some individual work ahead of that team skate.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 9, 2022
Mantha went down with a shoulder injury on Nov. 4 after an awkward play against the Florida Panthers, and he ended up requiring surgery to repair it. He has been around the practice facility but has not skated with the team since.
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The 26-year-old came to D.C. at the deadline last season in a blockbuster deal for Jakub Vrana, who went the other way to Detroit along with a couple of draft picks. He finished the 2020-21 regular season with eight points in 14 games with Washington before leading the Capitals with 88 shot attempts and picking up two assists in the playoffs.
Through 10 games to start 2021-22, Mantha dished two goals and six points. Getting him back would be a welcome sight for the Capitals, who are looking to put a recent stretch of inconsistency behind them and get back on the right track, while also igniting their secondary scoring and power play.
“I think maybe there’s a chance,” Laviolette said on 106.7 AM on Wednesday with regard to Mantha potentially returning before the postseason. “he’s moving along, he’s progressing inside the room… it’s going to be a little bit.”