When you look at the St. Louis Blues, you see a lineup that presents a lot of challenges for the Boston Bruins. They’ll need to find a way to contain elite scorer Vladimir Tarasenko, the dynamic center depth provided by Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn and Tyler Bozak, the white-hot Jaden Schwartz and the sneaky good David Perron. There’s a lot of weapons that could present a lot of problems for the Bruins over the next two weeks.
One name not on the list above? Patrick Maroon. The native of St. Louis is one of the feel-good stories of the NHL season, taking less money this past summer to return to his hometown and play closer to his son after years in Anaheim, Edmonton, and New Jersey. He’s a good complementary piece, but does anyone truly fear Maroon?
After all, he managed just ten goals during the regular season and finished with only 28 points in 74 games. It was a pretty disappointing regular season for a guy who lit the lamp at least 20 times in each of the last two seasons. The numbers can be deceiving, however, and Maroon had a strong second half of the season after struggling through January.
The Bruins absolutely should fear Maroon, not just because of the clutch playoff moments he has provided this spring either. Maroon, since emerging with the Edmonton Oilers in the spring of 2016, has been a thorn in the side of the Bruins.
For example, he’s fought captain Zdeno Chara twice and registered his first career hat-trick against the B’s. In January of 2017, Maroon and the Oilers came to Boston, and he flat out bullied the B’s. Maroon scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 Edmonton victory, and he fought Chara for the first time in his career.
Later that season, in March up in Edmonton, Maroon scored another two goals in yet another Boston defeat. Maroon’s dominance of the Bruins didn’t stop there, as he would score yet another goal in his next contest against the B’s. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, Maroon would score the 2-1 goal in another Edmonton victory over Boston, 4-2 at TD Garden.
Overall, Maroon has scored six goals and fought Chara twice in his six games against Boston since emerging as a legit top-nine forward in this league. That’s a goal-per-game average and to make matters worse, he’s taken your captain out of the game for a total of ten minutes and crawled right under his skin.
Maroon isn’t the sexy name on the Blues roster that you are expecting to worry about this Final. You should be worried about him because Maroon has enjoyed more success against the Bruins than any other team in NHL. In a year that seems like destiny has chosen the Blues, a hometown boy might just be the biggest worry for a Boston team that has been clicking on all cylinders.
You might not be thinking about Pat Maroon as we approach this Stanley Cup Final, but I promise you the Bruins are. They’ll need to shut their old nemesis down if they want to raise the Cup for the second time this decade.