March 11, 2012
Cheapseats: Marcus Foligno gives brother pause for thoughtSabre's first NHL goal leaves Nick 'happy and (mad) at the same time'
By Don Brennan, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Nick Foligno was torn.
"I was telling Alfie, I didn't know how to react," the Senators winger said, referring to Daniel Alfredsson, of course, when asked what it was like watching his younger brother Marcus score his first NHL goal Saturday night.
It came with just over five minutes to go, sending things into overtime, then a shootout and eventually a 4-3 loss to the Sabres at Scotiabank Place.
"I was happy and pissed off at the same time," continued Nick. "It was definitely a weird emotion. Now that the game is over, I'm definitely, as a brother, really happy for him.
"Hopefully he doesn't do it too many times against us."
If not against the Senators, then who? Marcus Foligno's first and only other NHL game was also at The Bank earlier this season.
"I think it's just coincidence," Marcus said after the morning skate. "Guys get hurt, and we just happen to be playing Ottawa."
In 55 games with Rochester of the AHL this season, Marcus is third in team scoring with 14 goals and 20 assists, along with 70 penalty minutes. He's a tough winger.
Other than what looked like a slew-foot on Sergei Gonchar prior to the tying goal, the younger Foligno made his biggest impact when he crushed Chris Phillips into the end boards in the second period.
Marcus and Nick were also part of the shoving scrum around the Ottawa net with three and a half minutes to go. Somewhere, the Primeau brothers had to be hoping the Folignos would fight.
"It was really close (to happening)," said Nick. "But then Neiler (Chris Neil) stepped in, thank God."
STARTS AND STOPS
The word on Twitter is that Jason Spezza was friends with Toronto-born ski cross racer Nik Zoricic, who was killed in a skiing accident Saturday in Switzerland. Spezza chose not to speak with the media after the game ... Asked Erik Condra a deep, thoughtful question after the morning skate -- what does the switch to daylight savings time mean to you? "We lose an hour of sleep," said the would-be Dr. Condra. "That's not good for anybody." Condra's sleep was affected 67 nights if he lost a little each one since his last goal ... Only a great Ryan Miller pad save stopped Condra from getting his second in the second ... Four of Condra's eight goals this season have come against the Sabres, as have six of his 23 points. He's Ottawa's top scorer versus Buffalo ... Now that Condra's slump has been put to bed, the coldest Senators forwards (of those in the lineup Saturday) are Kaspars Daugavins and Daniel Alfredsson. Both had their droughts extended to seven games when Miller robbed each on in-alone chances in the second. They were two of the "five, 10-bell saves" (a phrase used by Gordie Wilson, seconded by Dean Brown and Grant Skinner) the Sabres star had made to that point.
STUFF I THINK I THUNK
I'd say something funny about the fill-in anthem singer, but I don't know all the words to the bilingual version of O Canada, either. Of course, I'm not performing in front of 20,000 people any time soon ... Erik Karlsson was a game-time decision because of what appeared (during the morning skate) to be some type of hip issue, no doubt a result of being run by big John Scott Thursday. Of course Karlsson wanted to play -- he's actually bigger than three of the Sabres forwards ... The "small, shifty" Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis (who's listed at 157 pounds, which seems generous when you look at him out of equipment) scored Buffalo's first two goals. Playing them presents a problem for a physical player like Jared Cowen. "Some of their heads are at the middle of my torso," Cowen said before the game. "It's hard to make those hits. You have to be really sure." And change your game? "You've just got to tweak it here and there." ... Former Habs/Avalanche great Patrick Roy received a nice long ovation from the fans when he was shown on the big screen. Roy probably should have stood to acknowledge, but he didn't ... Stick manufacturers should have some 'splanin to do, Lucie, after Jason Pominville's broke when he took a soft drop pass during a 3-on-1 in the first minute of second and Karlsson's snapped when he tried to take a wrister in the second minute.
The Senators have more than just changing their clocks to remember with the switch to daylight saving time. "We've got to reboot our robots," said Chris Neil. "Greener and Klinker." That would be Colin Greening and Rob Klinkhammer, the latter of which just missed his first NHL goal when his slapshot slipped through Miller's pads but caught the back of the goalie's skate, sending the puck trickling wide of the post ... Surprising that Ennis didn't have those toothpicks he uses for legs snapped when big Filip Kuba landed on them after he tied the score for the Sabres in the last minute of the second.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...:
You can always count on Sabres broadcaster Harry Neale for a laugh. Neale, who recently turned a very young 75, ordered a three-minute egg for breakfast Saturday morning. "At your age," the waitress told him, "you have to pay in advance." ... Still trying to figure out why, when Ben Bishop is introduced as the starting goalie, the clip shown on the videoboard is the classic of Jason Spezza (wearing No. 39) dropping the gloves and fighting Patrick Sharp, then a Philadelphia Flyer ... The game marked the Senators' 20th sellout of the season. Last season they had 16 ... Only 5,000 tickets remain for the team's final six home games ... The last one, April 5 vs. the Bruins, could be huge. The Senators now trail Boston by just one point for the division title, with the now struggling B's holding only two games in hand.