OTTAWA - Nick Foligno is becoming a multi-dimensional and dangerous weapon.
One home game after scoring a highlight reel goal — and one anywhere game after notching his 10th of the season — Foligno flashed a right punching hand few knew he owned.
He flat out pounded Zack Smith’s good friend, Dale Weise, who made the mistake of taking exception to a previous shift hit Foligno delivered to Cody Hodgson.
That check turned out worse than it was supposed to, as Hodgson was falling forward just as he and Foligno came together. The young Canucks’ centre was wobbly legged when he left the ice, never to return.
The fight with Weise was just the fifth of Foligno’s career, leaving him 96 shy of the total number of scraps his dad Mike had. For as much fun as he looked to be having, Nick might be dropping the gloves again soon.
Foligno wound up with 17 penalty minutes — which has to please those who have him in a rotisserie style hockey pool — when he picked up a misconduct to go along with the minor he was given for hitting Ryan Kesler just as the Cryin’ One was going down along the boards. Perhaps influencing the ref was fact Kesler was injured on the play, until he was sent over the boards on that power play. Foligno and Kesler had a lengthy chat in the third.
Foligno said the Hodgson hit was a clean one, and that Kesler was guilty of embellishing.
“I think I need to bring that,” he said of the physicality that has him leading the team with 84 hits. “I don’t think I’m expected to go out and fight every night but that’s part of it. They wanted redemption or whatever it was for that hit so we fought.
“I was disappointed in the Kesler thing. I was disappointed to get a penalty there. I’m more disappointed in the loss than anything else.”
As for fighting, he said, “Its part of hockey. They were going to come after me all night so you figure, he asked me to go, so I went.
“I don’t mind that part of the game either.”
As it turns out, he’s not bad at it.
STARTS AND STOPS
That’s two games in a row and a total of 153 seconds the Senators have failed to do anything with a 5-on-3 advantage ... Erik Karlsson had his worst first period of the season. Everything he shot or passed hit a Canuck, and he made at least one defensive miscue that nearly resulted in a goal. Things didn’t improve much for him in the second ... Daniel Sedin must have watched Tuesday’s Caps-Sens game and realized it’s all right to spear Chris Neil when he hits you ... Peter Regin stole some of Matt Carkner’s thunder, returning to the lineup the same night as his biggest teammate. “He’s that kind of guy, so I expected it,” Carkner joked. “If you buy a nice new car, he just buys a better model.” ... Regin credited Luke Richardson with getting him game ready. “At least our assistant coach is in great shape,” Regin said. “He’s been skating the same as I did. I have to thank him for all the hard work he’s put into this.” ... Asked beforehand if he’s nervous putting his oft-injured left shoulder back on the line, Regin said no. “It’s a long time ago since I had pain, so I don’t think about it too much. I’m more nervous about the game. Seems like five years ago since I played.” At least ... Did Ottawa not get the memo? Everybody hates the Canucks, and with good reason. It’s a despicable team. Not gonna lie, the “Looooouus” that accompanied every save Roberto Luongo made almost induced vomiting here, folks. The booing of Daniel Alfredsson (by Leafs fans) at Scotiabank Place is more acceptable.
STUFF I THINK I THUNK
Deny, deny, deny is of course what Alex Burrows was doing Saturday morning, when asked again if he intentionally opened the bench door just as Max Lapierre was hitting Jesse Winchester into the boards last month in Vancouver. At least one of Burrows’ teammates didn’t even bother. “I wouldn’t put it past him,” Canucks D Kevin Bieksa said with a hint of mischief. “I’d like to think that we’re not capable of it, but knowing Bur, who knows?” ... If ever there was a time to get Nikita Filatov back in the lineup, it was on a night that Paul Henderson dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff and the replay of him burning the Russians in ’72 was shown on the itty, bitty video scoreboard ...The anthem was sung by Basia Bulat. She was good ... This is what I wrote in the first period: Might be a good time to drop Colin Greening from your hockey pool team. He has not scored in eight games and has fallen from the cherished spot as Jason Spezza’s left winger to the fourth line. Of course Greening scored (from Spezza) in the second ... At one point it looked like Neil was going to take on both Sedins. I didn’t like their chances at all.
Only four Sens remain from the team that had as an assistant coach the late, great Roger Neilson, who was appropriately saluted with Vancouver in town. Fans were given white towels — which Neilson made famous at hockey rinks as the Canucks’ coach — and were encouraged to wave them during the first TV timeout. They responded with vigor.
“With Rog, what he brought to the room,” Neil, one of the four, said when asked what he remembered most about Neilson, who was killed by cancer in 2003. “Him being present and seeing what he was battling through, made you want to go out and battle that much harder on the ice.”