NHLN Notebook: Patrick Maroon, Nolan Patrick, and Mascots Fighting

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Patrick Maroon is a 5-on-5 beast, the NHL isn’t happy about mascots fighting, Nolan Patrick returns from injury, and Maroon’s son gets denied by Laurent Brossoit.


Patrick Maroon dominating at even strength

Patrick Maroon is tied for the league lead in 5-on-5 goals along with Auston Mattthews, Sidney Crosby, and Michael Grabner. Maroon, as well as Grabner, is providing incredible value for his contract, and having Anaheim retain $500k doesn’t hurt either. Playing with Connor McDavid obviously helps, but Maroon deserves some credit as no other Edmonton left wing has had this much success with McDavid and their shot attempt numbers support this too. 

When Maroon and McDavid are on the ice together Edmonton gets 60% of the shots generated, which is among the upper-tier in terms of controlling play. In comparison, there are only two players who have played at least 300 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey that break the 60% threshold. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. 

McDavid and Maroon seem to have built legitimate chemistry and Maroon’s improved conditioning has allowed him to keep up with McDavid when others couldn’t. Maroon has obviously benefited from playing with McDavid, but he has brought enough into the equation where even if he doesn’t cash in 17.6% of the shots he takes, he’s still providing strong play on a dirt-cheap contract.


NHL CRACK DOWN ON.. MASCOTS FIGHTING?

The NHL has drawn it’s line and is not ok with Minnesota Wild mascot Nordy pummelling the Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk at centre ice after he shoved cake into Nordy’s face. 

At first, it seems entirely harmless. A couple of cartoonish mascots roughing it up in a skit, but Chris Kuc raises a good point in that it is a bit ton deaf for a league that is trying to be more family-friendly and less promoting of repeated blows to a defenceless opponent. 

People will claim the NHL is being hypersensitive and children know better than to yield baseballs bats and beat each other up, but this probably doesn’t look good when the league is in the middle of a concussion lawsuit that claims they don’t take brain injuries seriously. Although, when bare knuckle fighting still occurs people will point out that the league should probably focus on real violence before cartoon violence.


PATRICK RETURNS

Projected first overall pick in the 2017 Nolan Patrick finally returned to action and netted four points in his first game since October.

Patrick missed significant time during his arguably most important major junior season. His 35-game absence also led to him missing the World Junior Championship, a major place to boost his stock where all eyes are always on Team Canada. 

Patrick isn’t the first top prospect to miss significant time during his draft season. Alex Galchenyuk played all of 3 games before missing the entire year, and he still went third overall to Montreal in 2012. Morgan Rielly dressed in 18 games and went fifth to Toronto the same year. Even McDavid missed significant time and there were zero questions if that effected his draft position. 

Dressing in Brandon’s last 30 or so games will be important for Patrick, but he’ll likely go first even with a season plagued with injuries. A 6’3 right-handed centre with Patrick’s scoring ability is a player any team would want, and it’s easy to see how he could fit in with a number of the league’s worst. Colorado seems destined to shake up their forward core and could fit Patrick in immediately. Arizona needs a top center desperately and Patrick and Strome could be a dynamic combination. The Islanders could use a failsafe behind Tavares. Patrick should be just fine. 

BROSSOIT ROBS THE LITTLE RIG

While his dad is scoring goals like no other, Patrick Maroon’s son Anthony gets absolutely robbed by Oilers backup Laurent Brossoit during the breakaway portion of the Edmonton Oilers Skill Competition. The sheer regret on Brossoit’s face is apparent as he flubs his attempt to make the goal look legitimate. 

But hey, look at the hands on the Little Rig.

Stats from stats.hockeyanalysis.com