The Wild might be without one of their best defensive players to open the first round of the playoffs, and it’s all because of a stupid and dumb play in literally the final game of the season.
Just minutes into Friday’s match against the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild winger was taken out of the game by Kurtis MacDermid by a senseless knee-on-knee collision that only leaves the defenseman looking like a real piece of something.
MacDermid received five-minute kneeing major and a game misconduct. Foligno did not return to the game, and he will be reevaluated before the team hosts the St. Louis Blues on Monday. No official news so far, but we stand by with bated breath.
Considering that it was in Game 82 of the regular season, and Colorado was resting more than half of their talent, to throw down a vicious knee like MacDermid did on this play, is baffling.
It had Wild head coach Dean Evason fuming.
“What a terrible hit. What a terrible, terrible hit. Not a hit,” Evason said. “Obviously, (Foligno’s) going to get really looked at (Saturday). Doesn’t come back to play, so it’s serious enough that one of the toughest guys I’ve ever seen can’t come back and play so there’s no precaution.
“It’s an awful thing to happen, especially this time (of year). Forget about any time. What’s the point of it? What’s the point? ... But regardless of what the situation is last, game of the season you just don’t do that crap.”
Even without the context, the knee looks so damn bad. And then just pouring on the factors that it is the final game of the season, Colorado decided to not really care about the result with the lineup decisions, and it is not even in any attempt to make a play with the puck — it is just awful.
And just like Evason said, Foligno is known as one of the most hard-nosed players the Wild have, so to him not to return — albeit, it was just one game and the playoffs are approaching rapidly — speaks volumes.
We’ll have to see if the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reviewing this one, but it’s tough to see them do so much considering they value playoff games half of a traditional suspension length.
Without Foligno, there’s another hole to fill in a tight battle against St. Louis. That would be a significant absence.