Assessing Anthony Mantha’s Line Performances For The 2022-23 Season: What Worked (And What Didn’t Work)

We continue our analysis of the performance of the Washington Capitals forward group for the 2022-23 season by taking a closer look at the performance of each and every line combination deployed for each individual Capitals forward over the course of the season.

The refined look attempts to glean additional insight into what worked and what didn’t work, on a line-by-line case, and assist in identifying specific “needs” the team will have for the upcoming season.

Previous Line Assessments:

Today’s focus is on Anthony Mantha. Mantha recorded 11 goals and 16 assists in 67 games played for the Capitals last season. He recorded a personal expected goals for percentage of 52.68% on the season.


The following graph plots all of the line combinations deployed with Mantha for the 2022-23 season at five-on-five (sans lines that included Marcus Johansson, Lars Eller and Garnet Hathaway).

The graph includes the total time each line was on the ice (TOI), the percentage of offensive zone faceoffs each line was on the ice for (OZFO%), the expected goals differential (xGF – xGA) and the expected goals for percentage (xGF%) deployed at five-on-five. [Click to enlarge].

[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and the NoVa Caps Advanced Analytics Model (NCAAM). If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary]

Note: The thin horizontal red line above bifurcates the positive and negative expected goals for percentages for all of the line combinations.


The Smith-Kuznetsov-Mantha line was Mantha’s best line last season, posting an expected goals for percentage of 54.58% in a little over 42 minutes of time on ice at five-on-five, all while seeing a majority of their zone starts in the defensive zone.

The Smith-Backstrom-Mantha line also worked well for Mantha, although the line saw a majority of their shift starts in the offensive zone.

Once again a line with Sonny Milano stands out, as the Milano-Kuznetsov-Mantha line did well, and was also Mantha’s most consistent line combination over the course of the season.

It should also be noted, for whatever it’s worth, that Milano and Smith were on four of Mantha’s top-six performing lines


The Oshie-Kuznetsov-Mantha line was given significant ice time but the performance never really materialized. However, it should be noted that the trio saw a majority of the starts in the defensive zone.


As we noted in several of our in-season analysis posts, Mantha did ok fairly well at generating positive possession, but it was his finishing that ultimately weighed him down this season. The scoring never materialized.

Mantha shot the puck 108 times at five-on-five, which was fourth-most on the team, but ended the season with a shooting percentage of 9.26%, 13th on the Capitals.

Mantha has one year left at $5.7 million. However, considering Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan’s end-of-season edict to upgrade the Capitals top-six forwards, you have to wonder if the Capitals will look to make a change now rather than ride-out the final year of his deal. Now’s the time to deal him (before 2024 trade deadline at the latest), if you want to get something for him.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Assessing Anthony Mantha’s Line Performances For The 2022-23 Season: What Worked (And What Didn’t Work)

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

    • Mark Eiben says:

      Hey Jon, maybe make a post on Frank Seravalli saying that he is hearing Mantha in some trade talks recently. That would be a post to get some good clicks and comments here. Regards, Mark Eiben (5/24/23)

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    Anthony Mantha deserves, at the very least, the title of “Enigma.” He personified the futility and failure of the Pi$tol Pete era. We waited FOREVER for the guy to score and “matter”. It never happened.

    It was mentioned months ago by NovaCapsFans staff that Mantha was “The Same Player” that had flailed and failed in Detroit, leading to fan, coach and GM frustration. The Caps “took a flyer” on AM. What they got were extremely brief flashes of scoring prowess, interspersed with prolonged periods of abject non-achievement.

    Reminds us of previous Caps? How about: Chris Simon, followed his 29-goal outburst year with a bunch of subpar seasons and endless shoulder injuries. How about: Game Over Green, who had several really good offensive campaigns as a “Young Gun”, followed by a bunch of bust years and finally a trade to DET. Or Dmitri Khristich who was effective for 2 seasons and terrible for 2 more. Maybe Alex Semin, who slowly dissolved from top-talent scoring threat to a minus player albatross. Caps have had MANY flame-outs in their often sordid history.

    In the “Win Now” Ovechkin environment, GMBM and new coach will cash-in their Mantha chips and reinvest elsewhere

    • Rob says:

      He’s the forward version of Jeff Schultz, huge frame but timid presence on the ice. Looks intimidating but doesn’t throw his weight around and the opposition knows it. He doesn’t score enough and goes through extended cold streaks and not enough consistency in other areas to make up for it plain and simple.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m not even sure we can get much for Mantha. It will be very interesting to see.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bag of pucks is fine, addition by subtraction

  5. Greg says:

    It would be great if Tom Wilson took him under his wing, and helped him develop a killer instinct to go with his body. More weights and workouts! Less video games!

Leave a Reply