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I don't get it.  


Why is Jurco skating instead of Mantha? I must say that I am befuddled!!   


Since Mantha has been scratched, the PP has once again been silent, after being on a torrent pace. When AA scored with 1:15 remaining in the game, his shot had been the SECOND SHOT ON GOAL in 31 1/2 MINUTES! We got one win--which I think was closer than the score indicated it was--and lose the other game. Badly. In a game where we know going in that physicality is going to be prominent, we sit our largest forward who has a net front game, and go with a skill player with little history of success in tight-checking games.   


Am I saying that Mantha would have mad the difference last night? No. We were awful. Mantha doesn't stop Mike Green from rolling out the red carpet for the first Boston goal. Nor would it have helped Howard have better position in goal, which was responsible for at least one goal.


But you have to look at what matches up against your opponent and who is responding. Does anyone really think Jurco made more of a contribution in the Philly game than Mantha had in his previous how many games? I mean, I know we won 3-0 in Jurco's first game back, but the formula of how we had been winning was out the window that game. We scored our second SH goal of the season. Our first goal, quite honestly, was kind of a fluke goal, flipping up over the goalie from short range. And the last one was a fluke EN goal by Q. I'm not trying to dump on Helm's or Q's goals, but add to that the iron that Philly clanged, and this game was much closer than the scoresheet suggests. And why? One reason was that our PP went 0-fer.


We are playing the Rangers tomorrow. I don't think the Rangers have a lot of motivation to win this game. Who wants to face the Penguins in the first round? But, like Boston, the Rangers' game is about physicality, especially in front of their net. More like playoff hockey. If Blashill thinks Jurco is the answer rather than Mantha, then he's more blind than I give him credit for. Granted, I'm not seeing what goes on on the practice ice. I can only see game performance. But Jurco has made NO argument for getting ice time, and I think Mantha adds a lot more to our game than Jurco ever would. And if Abby is out (having left with a lower body injury in the 3rd last night), Mantha and Sheahan are our net front game. Nod to Helm.


Seriously, if Matha's not on the ice for the regular season finale, I will be PISSED!

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Mantha in 10 games is a minus 6, yes his play has improved the power play but he is not doing well on both ends of the ice.


That said, I would much rather have him on the ice than Jurco. Any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


  Even with last nights game, we still hold our own destiny in our hands for a playoff spot. The scenarios are:


Win and in. Simple as that. Just beat the depleted Rangers who have been struggling mightily.


Bruins lose to the Senators and no matter what the Wings do, the Wings are in.


Flyers get no more than one point total in their final two games against the Isles and Penguins, the Wings are in.


  That third period collapse a week or so ago against an awful Canadien team that is missing Price and Subban may very well haunt us. We should have won that game handily and it would be moot. I keep harking back to that one, up 3-2 in the third against a team with no heart and we lose. If the Wings fail to make the postseason I would have to blame it on that.


  So options of who we play are:


Beat out Boston for the third seed and play the Lightning in a rematch of last year, the Bolts are without both Stamkos and Callahan up front and Stralman on the back end.


Lose to Boston but beat out the Flyers, we wind up playing the best team in Hockey, the Capitals.


Given the choice, I would rather play the Bolts, obviously. But I am not picky, Just want to make it to the dance.

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