No one in the NHL has a better timing than Pat Maroon, and he showed it again when his Lightning beat the Rangers in two games on Tuesday, even to the Eastern Conference Final. After a complete silence with Pak in the opening trio of the competition, Maroon re-announced himself in Game 4 in just a few minutes by staying in the right place at the right moment. Again.

Jack Bogosian has done much to this end. After receiving a cross-ice pass from Pierre-Edward Belemer to be taken into the zone by the boards, he turned around Ryan Reeves, decked through Justin Brown to take a shot, and then backhanded Eger Shesterkin’s puck. From there, the Maroons jumped across the line to chew rebounds, giving Tampa the first goal of the 4-1 victory.

He had a goal with the goal he made to sweep over the Panthers in the second round. It was probably more chaotic and understandable, in fact, but the story is very similar: Maroon buzzes around the net and takes command of a puck that can’t handle the ball. It perfectly symbolizes his condition as an annoying little worm to play against another team.

Far from being an essential member of maroon electricity. During his 124 minutes of ice across 15 play-off games, he is ranked 18th among all Tampa skaters, with his 16 penalty minutes in fourth place. Even more dramatically, his 134 minutes in the regular season was 64 more than the next-highest bolt he spent in the box, even his 1,004 minutes of ice put him 14th among skaters. The 11-year-old veterinarian was a hard-hitting winger and always, and although he occasionally scored goals, his primary role was to stay under enemy skin. He will insult the opposite bench, fight with someone he does not like and even bait his opponent for punishment.

And that’s all just These You can go back in time to the playoffs and see how he laid the groundwork for all sorts of bad blood, from his violation of Shesterkin’s sacred private space to his fight with Wayne Symonds to his insults to the Panthers last year:

But the NHL has plenty of physical, low-use winger for hire. What sets Maroun apart is not their hatred but their ultimate consequence. For three years in a row — once in his only season with his hometown Blues and then twice when he was hired to sign with Lightning — the Maroon season ended with his lifting to the cup. (His devil-may-care attitude has even gone to the championship celebrations.) A player changing teams while three-pitching was already unprecedented in the post-sixs era, and now, with this win, he has helped Lightning to Snag, Maroon in his 15th consecutive series. Just two more away from victory and six away from the fourth cup in a row.

In a league that now boasts 32 teams, it really blows the mind that the Maroons have now been able to pick right on three consecutive contracts – his one-year contract with St. Louis, his one-year contract with Tampa and then two-year extensions. Is it a lot of luck? Of course it is. This is not to say that he was a particularly sought-after man with a choice of destination. But now, after the Maroon win and win and win again and still win another, there must be at least one psychological edge that Lightning gains him from icing. He’s not Pat Maroon, he’s the fourth liner, or Pat Maroon, that jerk. He is Pat Maroon, the winner. And while it doesn’t make a ton of business money to lock down your older boys for more than a year, the superstitious among us can easily understand why Lightning decided to tie him up with Tampa for two more playoffs in February.

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