Anthony Mantha returned to his home in Michigan this week. On Thursday he sat for a quick interview with French-Canadian media outlet RDS. The Washington Capitals’ newest member to the team spoke about meeting and playing with Alex Ovechkin.
“It was incredible. When you play against him, he always scores one, two or three goals and you wonder how he does it. Being his teammate, I see the back of the stage, what he practices and how he practices. There’s not a shot he takes in which he doesn’t give it 100%,” Mantha said in an interview with Hockey 360.
After playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin, he’s now been able to observe Ovi as captain.
“It’s fun. I got along well with him. I knew Zetterberg and Larkin, who is a little younger, and now Ovechkin. They are three different people, but at the end of the day, three very good captains that put the team first.”
Mantha said he also benefited from Zdeno Chara’s valuable experience with the Capitals, who has been playing in the NHL since 1997 and who can boast 14 years of experience as captain of the Bruins.
“He’s played 1600 games in the league, played very good hockey and it was nice to rub shoulders with him for a few weeks.”
The Capitals season was marked by incidents involving Tom Wilson against the New York Rangers and Mantha was in the front row. However, the Quebecer had very good words about his teammate.
“There has been so much hatred against Wilson over the years, but off the ice, he is one of the best guys I know. As a teammate, he is very good. It’s part of hockey, it was fast. Do I agree with his gesture or not? It doesn’t change much,” said Mantha.
In a more positive view, the Capitals were finally able to see their fans at the end of the season, even if the Capital One Arena could not accommodate 100% of its capacity.
“It was great. We were lucky to have up to 25% supporters in Washington. Unfortunately, they were going to open at full capacity on June 11, I believe. At least it’s for next year, but it was completely different.”
By Jon Sorensen