Sens' Foligno fined $2,500

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 PM ET

MONTREAL — It is a split-second decision players have to make in the fast-paced NHL game:

Do they incur the wrath of the league or their coach?

Not wanting any part of Cory Clouston’s ugly, Nick Foligno opted for the former. And because of it, his bank account is $2,500 lighter.

That’s how hard the still-learning 22-year-old Senator was wrist-slapped by the NHL for his hit to the noggin of Patrick Dwyer, a Carolina forward he unintentionally dazed, but did not injure.

“Nicky didn’t drill right through the guy, he didn’t throw the elbow up,” Clouston said Friday. “And it wasn’t necessarily a sideways hit.

“Just so you know, if he misses his check, if he tried to stick check and the guy beat him, and gets a 3-on-2, or a 4-on-2 rush, we wouldn’t be real happy with him. So we want our guys to be respectful, as far as when an opponent is in a vulnerable position, but we want our guys to be physical. To me, Nicky was just playing hockey.”

Therein lies a problem.

“I thought I just did what I was supposed to do. I just went for the puck, more or less,” said Foligno. “They say I made contact with his head. I don’t really think that, but that’s the part of the game they’re trying to crack down on. I understand they’re going to make an example of it.

“The guy got back up and played. I was never intentionally trying to hit him in the head at all. I knew it was kind of a vulnerable spot for him. All I wanted to do was play the puck. I remember just keeping my arm against my side, and trying to just poke the puck. He’s coming up the ice towards me, so he’s going to run into me.

“I actually didn’t think anything of it until I got off the ice and I was in the weight room, watching TSN, and you guys were going all crazy about it. You know what? It is what it is. I’m not too worried about it. I know what kind of player I am. 

“It makes for tough decisions, but that’s part of our profession now,” he added. “We’re going to have to try to play within the rules, It’s going to be a fine line to walk, but I’m still going to try and play physical. I’m not going to lose that aspect of my game. I think it’s just trying to figure out the best way to do that. I thought that was one way, but I guess it’s not.”

THIS and THAT

Former 67’s G Matt Spezza, Jason’s brother, again filled in at Friday’s practice for the injured Pascal Leclaire ... Skating, hitting, scoring twice and recording eight shots Thursday, Mike Fisher played one of his best games ever. Did he have a bad start to the season? Yup. “I think the first two games, if you want to say bad, we were all bad,” said Clouston. “I thought the game in Washington, much better, and I thought (Fisher) just built on that game. I think for the most part, we all did.”

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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