Pat Maroon celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in game 7 of the 2nd round in the NHL playoffs against the Dallas Stars. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Welcome to Blue Collar Weekly Playoff Edition where I choose one lucky Blues hockey player to wear the Blue Collar of greatness. This week I based my selection on players’ performances in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs vs the Dallas Stars.
This week, the “Blue-collar” goes to….
Here are two key moments where Maroon came up with the clutch game-winning goals vs Dallas.
Maroon scored the final go-ahead goal for the Blues at the end of an intense four-goal third period vs. the Stars in Dallas with 1:38 left in regulation.
“You’ve just got to continue to keep going. It’s an honor to play for my hometown team. Game 4’s Wednesday. We’ve got to find ways to compete and play hard again.”
(courtesy of Mike Zeisberger at NHL.COM)
‘The Big Rig” tapped in the series-clinching game-winning goal. A play that was all started from Bozak’s faceoff win and a wicked shot off the post by Robert Thomas that bounced off Bishops back right to the relentless Maroon.
“As a kid, playing in a basement, on the street, you always think about doing this,” Maroon said. “It’s unreal. It means the world.”
After a slow start, “The Big Rig” hauled a big load from March 1st-April 6th
In the last 19 games of the regular season, Pat Maroon found his game. He was finding his way to the net and making his presence known.
- scored 12 points in those 19 games (6 goals, 6 assists)
- had 28 shots on goal
- 30 bone-jarring hits
- only 12 penalty minutes (two of those were 5-minute fighting penalties)
- 1 game winning goal
- (this goal was part of the Blues record-setting 5 goal first period against the Flyers Brian Elliott)
- The Blues went 11-5-3 during these 19 games
Maroon has shown excellence in the playoffs. He is a born leader in the locker room and on the ice. Let’s take a look at his career numbers in the playoffs.
- played 60 games in the postseason (5 years)
- scored 16 goals
- has 31 points
- plus/minus is +4
- 158 hits (30 of these hits have come in 2019 playoffs)
- 4 game winners (2 of those are also from 2019)
- 11.9 shooting percentage ( 2019 shooting percentage of 13.6 in the postseason is better than Tarasenko’s 10.6)
That 3rd Line Cycle
As the Blues marched on, it was evident that the Maroon, Bozak, Thomas 3rd line was winning its battles in the corners. Their domination was attributed to their strength on the puck. Maroon is a master with one hand and the old stiff arm. The 31-year old’s 6 ft 3 225 lb frame helps a lot but his positioning is key.
This line reminds me of the hard working “Slovak Line” with Demitra, Handzus, and Bartecko! Some of you remember that line could wear down opponents defense and capitalize on it.
The Maroon line combined for 9 points against Dallas. Two of those points were the crucial points that drove the nail in the coffin in that “Lucky Seven Double OT” in game 7. That line has been staying out of the penalty box also. Maroon, Bozak, Thomas only were penalized 6 minutes in 7 games. (Thomas had zero penalty minutes in that series)
“The Big Rig” is a true heavyweight
Once the Blues moved into the 2nd round against the Stars Pat Maroon amped up his game. He went from 9 hits in 6 games vs Winnipeg to just demolishing the Stars. He trucked over Dallas players for 21 hits. Now that hometown boy is all settled in and is rolling at full speed. I would look to see even bigger and better things from #7.
I see him focused at the wheel and he’s got his eye on the prize. Both feet are in and he’s not looking back in the rearview. On the horizon shines that Stanley Cup shimmering so bright like the sun. Some might be blinded by that light and hypnotized by the beauty. But The Big Rig keeps on rolling and it doesn’t even own a set of brakes. Watch out San Jose, there ain’t no stopping it!
Once again I will throw down a little quote this time from our newest” Blue Collar Winner” Pat Maroon.
“People are going to get hit, get high-sticked. They’re going to go through the middle and get hit. That’s part of hockey, and that’s why we have all this gear that protects us.” Pat Maroon
Join us in congratulating Pat Maroon as this week’s Blue Collar Weekly winner.
See past “Blue Collar Weekly” winners here