Red Wings Defenseman Maatta Re-Invents Himself As NHLer

In the NHL, there are sometimes generational avid gamers, however the description of Olli Maatta can be that he’s a transformational participant.

These days, the Detroit Red Wings defenseman is understood for his stops. Early in his profession, the view of Maatta used to be that he used to be a defender who may well be beginning one thing.

When he used to be a first-round collection of the Pittsburgh Penguins within the 2012 NHL access draft (twenty second total), Olli Maatta used to be considered any individual who may run an influence play. And early on, he did that. The 2013-14 NHL season noticed Maatta potting 9 objectives and generating 29 issues. He scored six objectives in 2015-16 and 7 in 2017-18.

In his Red Wings debut on Friday in opposition to the Montreal Canadiens, Maatta additionally scored. An empty-net tally, thoughts you, however a objective however.

It used to be Maatta’s first objective in 50 video games and simply his 2d marker of his previous 112 video games.

Making performs with the puck is not Maatta’s mantra. These days, preventing the opposite crew from making performs is how Olli rolls.

Maatta Transforming His Game

The participant Red Wings trainer Derek Lalonde sees at the ice for his crew now, isn’t the similar man who first got here up with the Penguins. And that’s now not a nasty factor.

“I think he’s kind of transformed himself in his career,” Lalonde defined. “Being that first around select in junior, you come back out getting possibly some alternative at the energy play, which I feel now he’s roughly outlined his sport in taking some pleasure in protecting, being excellent at it.

“Obviously our team defense is something we need to improve on. He’s already transformed in his career as something that he wants to take a lot of pride in.”

Finding A Role And Fitting Into It

It’s additionally notable that Maatta’s remaining 3 objectives had been scored for 3 other groups – Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago. That’s the article about defensive defenders – they’ll at all times be in call for.

“I just like he looks like a pro,” Lalonde stated of Maatta. “He’s easy. I feel the addition used to be precisely that. We need easy mins from him, predictable mins from him.

“I think it’s a good thing if you don’t notice him within games.”

What used to be noticeable about Maatta in Detroit’s opener used to be that he wound up logging essentially the most ice time of any Red Wings participant. Maatta skated a game-high 22:39.

“I think Bougs (assistant coach Bob Boughner) just trusted him and then (Detroit defensman Ben) Chiarot had some technical issues – any piece of equipment that could have gone south on him in the first period did, and Maatta picked up those minutes, so good game for him,” Lalonde stated.

Only seven seconds of Maatta’s ice time got here right through Detroit energy performs.

Maatta Sees Crowning Achievement Possible For Red Wings

Last season, Maatta used to be a part of a tender, prospect-filled Los Angeles Kings crew that certified for the Stanley Cup playoffs. He’s of the conclusion that the Red Wings may be capable to creating a an identical step up.

“Adding (Phillip) Danault and (Viktor) Arvidsson, those were really big pieces for us,” Maatta stated of the Kings, who seek advice from LCA Monday to stand the Red Wings. “We had extra intensity. I feel the intensity used to be the most important factor. We have been a excellent crew sooner than that however we didn’t have the ones 2-3 strains that shall we play.

“Last yr, we discovered that, and it’s exhausting to play in opposition to a crew that may roll 3-4 strains and whilst you’ve were given 3 D pairs that may play. It’s tricky to compare up in opposition to that.

“[In Detroit,] now you’re adding (David) Perron, Chiarot, Copper (Andrew Copp). When you look at it, it definitely feels right.”

If they do make a transfer into postseason rivalry, the Red Wings will probably be desiring to chop down their objectives in opposition to. That’s the place the new-look model of Maatta can turn out most useful.

“He’s simple with the puck, he’s helping us win the possession and in the positional game,” Lalonde stated. “And he’s been cast.

“He’s another player that’s going to get a more increased role with his opportunity here than probably what he’s seen the last few years. I think it’ll be a good opportunity for him.”

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