The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Minnesota Wild forward and assistant captain Marcus Foligno for two games for kneeing Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry after an altercation during Tuesday’s contest. Foligno will miss the Wild’s upcoming homestand, including Saturday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes and Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Foligno will be eligible to return, coincidentally enough, in a rematch against the Jets back up at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg on Wednesday, February 16th.
Foligno’s two-game suspension could have been a lot longer had the NHL DOPS not accepted Moose’s assertion that the knee to the head was not, according to the NHL’s explanatory video, “a violent knee strike, or an exceptionally forceful blow.” Also factoring into the relatively short suspension is Foligno’s lack of supplementary discipline history, including no prior fines or suspensions in his career.
Foligno explained his actions to reporters on Wednesday that he “crossed wires a bit,” that his actions just came in the “heat of the battle,” and that there “was no intent to not throw with your fist or use another body part.”
Head coach Dean Evason understood how his players would have lost their composure, especially when Foligno was blindsided earlier in the game.
Luckily, the suspension will only cost the Wild their third-leading goal scorer for two games instead of more, as Minnesota is about to embark on a stretch of the season where the Wild will play 40 games in 77 days, and could really use all hands on deck.
Also, you kind of get the feeling that the Minnesota/Winnipeg rematch next Wednesday is even more must-see TV than it normally is for the geographical rivals.
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