The Importance of Olli Maatta to the Red Wings’ Defensive Core


The Detroit Red Wings ended their road trip Saturday night with back to back losses. My biggest takeaway from those two games was the hole left in the defense without Olli Maatta in the lineup. Maatta missed the last two games of the road trip with an illness. In his absence, Filip Hronek who is off to tremendous start, hasn’t looked the same without Olli.

Hronek was paired with both Jordan Oesterle and Jake Walman while he was out. Both of which, didn’t have nearly the same impact that we’ve seen from second pairing all season long. Olli has almost served as a safety blanket for Hronek. Letting Filip open up in the offensive zone, show his strengths as an offensive defensemen. Meanwhile being lockdown on the other end of ice with tremendous breakout ability, constantly making the right play with the puck. Maatta is off to nearly his best start of his career points wise, but what’s not shown on stat sheet, is just how big of an impact he makes nightly when he’s in the lineup. Olli Maatta been a staple for this Red Wings defensive core thus far and was obviously missed the past two games.

Red Wings hope to have Olli Maatta return to the lineup tonight as they have a huge game at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Olli Maatta’s Contract with Red Wings, Could he be extended?

Steve Yzerman this offseason signed Maatta to a 2.25 million – one year contract. Maatta is coming off a few struggling seasons with the a rebuilding Los Angeles team, not mention missing a fair share of games in his two years with the Kings. Dating back to his years with Pittsburgh, he has shown throughout his career when in the right position, he can be pivotal part of a contending team. With that leaves me with one question, will he be apart of the Red Wings future? Maatta is only 27 years old moving into the prime years of his career. I would like to believe if he keeps making the same impact nightly, meanwhile price isn’t too steep. t Yzerman will have him in the Winged Wheel for years to come.

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