Sometimes it takes a little while for a player to get used to his new colors.
But for the most tantalizing trade this season — a deal that saw the Washington Capitals acquire winger Anthony Mantha from the Detroit Red Wings for another, younger winger in Jakub Vrana — that is certainly not the case.
In Mantha’s first four games for Washington, he scored a goal in each of them. Making Capitals GM Brian MacLellan look instantly like a genius by adding more experienced offensive power to his already top-tier team. But now, a tiny wrench has been thrown in his plans to walk away the clear winner of the deadline deal.
During Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars, Vrana made the rooster crow by lighting the lamp four times — some in spectacular fashion.
His first was a welcomed sight, as the Czech forward just absolutely ripped through the rubber and sent it roaring past Stars netminder Anton Khudobin.
After the tasty feed from countryman Filip Zadina, Vrana exploded on the scoresheet. He ended up scoring three more goals through the last two periods and helped the Red Wings secure the 7-3 win.
This is just the 34th four-goal game for a player in the last 10 years.
With laser-like accuracy and a knack for putting his entire body-weight behind his shot, this is nothing new for the 25-year-old. Through the last three seasons, Vrana has scored 65 goals in just 194 games played. Considering his role as a previous depth player on a top-heavy Capitals team, being able to put up 25-goal seasons as if they were nothing is pretty remarkable.
Now in Detroit, with plenty more opportunities, we might be just getting a glimpse of the goal-scoring power that Vrana possesses.
Both the Red Wings and Stars are flirting with elimination from playoff contention, and with just over a dozen games left to play in this shortened season, the Wings are just a couple more L's away from earning their way out officially.
But hey, at least Detroit now has a dude that can shoot the hell out of a puck.
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