Twelve penalty minutes may sound like the norm for Patrick Maroon, but with five goals on the week, and five of those minutes coming from fighting Zdeno Chara, the hot hand for the Edmonton Oilers earned NHLPA.com Player of the Week.
Maroon started his week in Columbus on Tuesday, where he recorded five PIM for fighting Brandon Dubinsky, and tallied an assist on the lone goal for the Oilers in their 3-1 losing effort to Blue Jackets, who notched their 16th straight win.
Things picked up quickly for the forward at TD Garden on Thursday, where just over a minute into the first period, Maroon beat Tuukka Rask with a wrist shot on a feed from Connor McDavid.
With 3:30 gone in the first period, the 6’9” “Big Z”, who doesn’t fight often, asked Maroon to drop the gloves. Though he was giving up 30 pounds and six inches, Maroon answered the bell. The St. Louis native later confessed in an interview,
“It was out of respect. It’s one of those things, I don’t wanna do it, but you just gotta show up.”
Shortly after, separated by 30 pounds and six inches, “Big Z”, who doesn’t fight often, asked Maroon to do just that, and he complied.
While it “may not have been fun”, Maroon went on to enjoy two more goals, including the game-winner, for his first career hat trick, and was the game’s “First Star” in a 4-3 win.
Maroon continued to show up on the road for the Oilers with another multi-goal performance in the team’s next outing against the Ottawa Senators. With two second-period goals just over sixty seconds apart, Maroon earned “Second Star” of the game honours in what was eventually a 5-3 loss for the Oilers.
Earning the moniker “Big Rig”, Maroon contributed both physically and offensively by shooting 33.3% over the week to lead his team. His five goals also led the league alongside Michael Grabner, and brought him to a new career-high of 16, moving him ahead of teammate Leon Draisaitl to lead all Oilers in goals this season.
For a complete listing of the 2016-17 NHLPA.com Players of the Week, click here.