Strong Dislike For Foligno
It was a rare Saturday without the Leafs on CBC, an occurrence that may become more common with the Bell/Rogers purchase of Major League Sports & Entertainment. In the Leafs place we saw the Canucks vs. Senators.
Earlier this weekend, I wrote a piece about 5 reasons to hate the Ottawa Senators.
After this game, I can safely throw that out and list 5 reasons from Saturday afternoon alone. It was a surprisingly chippy affair from two teams that don’t normally get their hate on for each other.
It also provided the main entertainment since this game was never really in doubt from the moment Alex Edler struck just 70 seconds in.
All in all, when your two most noticeable players on the night are Nick Foligno and Chris Neil, you’re not winning hockey games.
1. Canucks Travelling Nation
One of the reasons the Senators started playing agressive is because somehow the Canucks fans, a couple thousand of them, were louder than the Sens fans. They were even cheering for the Canucks penalty kill. For a young, struggling Senators team playing a road game in your own building against the cockiest team in Canada is never going to sit well.
That said, as a Canucks fan it was completely awesome to see. One wonders how many hats we would have seen if Kesler had found his third.
His second was a powerplay goalmouth scrum where Chris Phillips kindly shoved Kesler on top of Craig Anderson, allowing him free reign in the crease to tap the puck home.
He also added an assist in one of his finest performances this season.
Who else had their finest performance of the season? Dale Weise.
After taking on Nick Foligno in the kind of hockey fight that entirely makes sense in the context of the game, Dale Weise scored an absolute beauty in the third.
Just his second career goal, Weise shrugged off Chris Neil in a power move to the net and it felt like one of the most satisfying garbage goals of the season.
1. CBS + Burrows
Burrowsgate-gate was front and centre all night long as the CBC did their best to imply guilt without actually charging Alex Burrows. It may have had some relevance to the atmosphere of hate in the game, but when Don Cherry called Ron McLean out for hating Alex Burrows (remember McLean’s hackjob on him after the Stephene Auger incident), I think I let out the biggest cheer of the night.
I get it. The Canucks employ some characters. Just stop acting like this is new information.
I’m not sure if there’s any truth to the rumour that Kevin Bieksa overheard the refs give Nick Foligno the benefit of the doubt because one of the refs is his friend, but I’ll throw it out there anyway because I learnt it from the CBC.
More concerning was the bizarre sequence where Henrik was nailed with an interference call and the Canucks kept possession for 15 second afterwards, enough time for Roberto Luongo to go to the bench mistakenly believing the call was on the Senators. It was one of the more bizarre mental lapses I’ve ever seen.
Finally Nick Foligno didn’t make a lot of friends on the West Coast Saturday afternoon. His first period hit on Cody Hodgson caught the youngster in an awkward position and left him stumbling around the ice like he just had a 10 pound anvil dropped on his head.
The Canucks said after the game he was OK, but I’d be shocked if he doesn’t miss some time. Tough break in a game where his friends and family were in attendance.
Not content with just one notch on his belt, Foligno caught Kesler in the exact same spot with the exact same hit later in the game, drilling his head into the boards. Kesler, who got up almost immediately, was then somehow called out by the Ottawa media for diving but hey they’re the experts.
They’ve seen Ottawa’s yearly dives down the standings.For that Foligno got 2+10.
Finally, there was some video of Foligno directing his foot (kicking?) at Alex Burrows when Burrows was knocked down.
When it was all said and done Foligno picked up 17 minutes of penalties in just 8 minutes of ice time. Oh he also had no points and his team lost 4-1.