BOSTON — The Bruins acquired Pat Maroon on March 8, beefing up their bottom-six with a proven winner as the clock ticked toward the 2024 NHL trade deadline.

It’s safe to say that his impact thus far has been minimal.

Is that Maroon’s fault? No. The Bruins knew when they acquired the 35-year-old that he’d be sidelined for a while, as he was still recovering after undergoing back surgery in February. Maroon eventually returned to the ice on April 13 in a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins but has only appeared in a grand total of two games since coming to Boston.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery isn’t letting that stop him from placing increased responsibility on the burly shoulders of his newcomer.

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Maroon is on Boston’s top power-play unit entering the postseason, serving as the net front in a grouping with Kevin Shattenkirk, David Pastrnak, Danton Heinen, Pavel Zacha. The Bruins needed to make a change on special teams, but adding Maroon might come as a surprise to some.

It’s exactly where he should be, though, in the eyes of Montgomery.

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“He’s great for his line because he brings people up,” Montgomery told reporters Friday. “He’s also great on the bench keeping guys in a positive mindset, and when he’s on the ice, his ability to hang on to the puck, his ability to make plays I think is incredibly underrated.”

Maroon earned the nickname “Big Rig” for a reason. He’s an absolute moose, but despite his daunting presence and ability to mix it up with just about anyone, Montgomery values his skill.

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“A lot of people talk about Pat Maroon and ‘fisticuffs,’ for lack of a better word, but to me, he’s a hockey player,” Montgomery said. “He’s won three cups because he’s a hockey player. How many fights has he had in Stanley Cup runs? Is it one or two? He’s got three cups, so that’s 48 wins.”

Maroon has three postseason fights on his résumé, but only one came in the midst of a Stanley Cup run, so not bad recollection by Monty. He not only has three Stanley Cups but won them in consecutive seasons as a member of the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lighting. He’s appeared in 150 total playoff games in his career, making him one of the most experienced players on Boston’s roster.

He knows what it takes to get the job done.

“It’s like the ice shrinks in the playoffs. The game gets tougher,” Maroon explained following Boston’s practice Friday. “You gotta come to work, gotta put the work boots on, gotta go to the dirty areas, you’ve gotta want to win the puck battle on the wall, you want to take a hit to make a play. That’s what it’s all about. If you go around the league, I’m sure most of the goals in the playoffs are scored right in front of the net. It comes down to puck battles, offensively, defensively, playing hard and being hard to play against.”

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The B’s will meet the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night to kickstart their Stanley Cup playoff run, presenting Maroon with another opportunity at obtaining the ultimate prize, but in a new environment that has him feeling new again.

“It’s going to be a good atmosphere, both in Boston and Toronto,” Maroon said. “You’ve got some history here and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images