“This team is destined for great things. I know that. It’s just a matter of knowing it and doing it, and right now we have to start doing it.
That quote is from Nick Foligno, following the Columbus Blue Jackets’ ouster to the Washington Capitals in six games last month. Those words are true. At least the part ending in “we have to start doing it.” I get that Foligno, as captain, has to spin the positive no matter what. He does say the right things, yet, and I can’t speak for the rest of you, but words have a tendency to ring hollow.
Especially after another year in which the team failed to get out of the first round.
Nick Foligno 2017-18 Stats
Games played: 72
Time on ice: 18:25
Penalty Minutes: 50
Corsi For (even strength): 51.5%
Foligno started the season with eight points in the first nine games of the season.
In the playoffs, among even-strength situations, Foligno shared the team lead among goals with two and points with three. Which doesn't sound like much and really isn’t, but the power-play was responsible for the rest of the scoring early in the series. While 5V5, he was second on the team with 35 wins in the faceoff dot (52.24%) and 44 wins (52.38%) across all situations. Foligno led all forwards with 10 shot blocks for the series.
He also made some incredible offensive highlights.
Foligno followed up those first nine games of the season with a 12-game scoreless streak.
He also missed a combination of 10 games during the season with various ailments, including four games in February after sustaining a lower-body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 18. Foligno then missed the rest of the regular season after suffering a lower-body injury against the St. Louis Blues March 24.
Not counting injury, Foligno played a season-low 13:58 against the Montreal Canadiens, a game in which the Jackets lost 3-1 Nov. 27. A game that John Tortorella summarised by needing more out of top guys and their compete level, and while not mentioning Foligno specifically, we know his importance to the team, particularly that of a captain.
Foligno also saw a decrease in his statistics across the board.
Whether the nine-fewer goals, seven fewer assists, the nearly four-percent difference in shooting percentage, and just a staggering four powerplay points, after 21 the season prior, one also cautions to bring up the spots Foligno was attempting to fill.
Such as time playing center during the regular season, but also in the playoffs, and missing linemates including Alexander Wennberg who struggled with his own on-ice struggles and physical ailments.
At the end of the day, you know Foligno cares. He embodies what I love to characterize certain players as a gamer. I’ll always give him credit for his leadership on the ice and he wears his heart on his sleeve. That doesn’t mean I don’t also hold him to a certain standard and am perhaps more critical of him when things do not go as planned.
But that’s the demands of those who wear the ‘C’ and are looking to lead this team out of the depths of the NHL Quarterfinals after 17 seasons.
How would you grade Nick Foligno’s 2017-18 season?
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