Foligno gets kick out of bro’s scuffle
Nick’s brother Marcus had unorthodox punch attempt
PHILADELPHIA — Nick Foligno swears he didn’t teach his little brother Marcus the Superman punch that he tried on Winnipeg’s Brenden Dillon on Tuesday night, but the Bruin admits the tw brothers may have had some intramural donnybrooks growing up.
In case you missed it, the younger Foligno, a Minnesota Wild forward, tried to land a leaping, lunging punch of Dillon, a move made semi-famous by former Canuck and Duck Kevin Bieksa. He did not quite nail it, just missing Dillon’s chin, but the Xcel Energy Center crowd certainly appreciated it, as did big brother.
“I still don’t know where that came from It’s pretty funny,” said the Bruin. “One thing about Marcus is, when he snaps, he snaps. So I don’t think that was premeditated. I think he just went with it.”
Nick said he happened to be watching the game on Tuesday and had to shoot his brother a text to see what he was thinking.
“I wrote ‘What the hell was that?’And said ‘I don’t know. I blacked out,’” said Foligno. “What’s neat for me, especially as his brother, is how much he’s meant to that team. I think the way he’s played at the start of the year, he’s been a big pulse of that team, whether it’s fighting or scoring a big goal to get them back in the game, he’s done it all for them. It’s pretty awesome to see.”
While Nick said he’d never seen that particular punch before, he freely admits that he and his brother, sons of former NHLer Mike Foligno, were a tad rambunctious growing up.
“Sometimes my family would actually move the furniture and just let us have at it, just to let us get it out of our system. I take credit for why Marcus is so tough now,” said Nick with a grin.
“I think that’s what brothers do. I have two boys now and my wife yells at me all the time ‘Is this normal?’ and I say ‘it’s very normal. Trust me.’ I think it creates that bond. Marcus and I, we’re four years apart, but we’re very close. We’re good friends as much as we’re brothers. But yeah, it was pretty fun growing up. We definitely had a love-hate relationship but now its grown into a respect for one another and I love what he’s doing.”
During the offseason, Nick had explored signing with Minnesota so that he could play with his brother. In the end, however, he decided that the fit was better with the Bruins, which of course reignited what was left of the sibling rivalry. In the Wild training camp, Marcus joked that Patrice Bergeron’s sales pitch to play for the Bruins, carried more sway than his own brother’s.
“It’s something I looked into seriously. But sometimes you have to follow your heart. And I love my brother and I’m really proud of his career, but it just didn’t feel like the timing was right. Things just lined up better for me in Boston. I went with my heart on that and where we felt was the right fit,” said Nick. “Sometimes you can force things just because you want to play together so badly. I think he’s still finding out his way through that team. He’s taken on a leadership role right now. I want him to be his own man and do his own thing, and he’s done that. I’m still looking to do that as well. I just think I have a better opportunity for myself here with Boston. These guys have embraced me and I’m thrilled. I can look back in my heart and I don’t have any second guessing. I know this is where I want to be and where I want to play.”
Power play should become more diverse
The Bruins have added another dimension to their power play in putting Taylor Hall in at the net-front position. Though it should be deadly, the B’s went 0-for-3 in the opening night game.
Patrice Bergeron said it’s a work in progress, albeit a very promising one.
“He’s such a great playmaker. He sees the ice well and as soon as he gets the puck he knows where it’s going. I feel like on the entries with his speed and his hockey IQ , it brings another element to our breakouts,” said Bergeron. “And down low, with the way he plays, he’s always finding ways to see the open guy. But he’s also won some great battles there in getting some loose pucks and all that. I think there’s a lot of communication that comes into play and making sure that we talk to each and get used to one another as well.”
Adding Hall to the mix should help the top unit, which has been so deadly the past couple of years, from going stale, said the captain.
“In a way, you’re trying to stick with plays that have been successful and makes you a good power-play. But at the same time, I think we have to create some more plays. Over time, (the opposition) watches video and they see the tendencies, they try to take that away. So for us to add another element in Taylor, who can make some plays, you can create some different plays from his position, That’s important to have and would be a great addition to what we’ve already doing.”
Enjoying more freedom
This is the B’s first seminormal road trip since the pandemic hit in March of 2020. And for the first time since then, the B’s players, upon arriving in Philly, were not sequestered in their hotel as some of the Covid restrictions have been loosened. It makes a difference.
“We went out for a nice meal and it was definitely a nice change compared to last year,” said Bergeron. “It’s still an adjustment (dealing with the remaining protocols) and we go along with it. But at the same time, it’s a lot better. It’s nice be able to go out and enjoy a nice meal and also being with your teammates, also just walking around and all that stuff.”