While Marcus Foligno may have put together his best statistical season to date, that same level of play did not translate into the Minnesota Wild’s play-in series with the Vancouver Canucks.
It’s not to say that he was absolutely terrible, as he did have a few decent moments alongside the second-highest Corsi For percentage on the team at 5-on-5 (57.35%) for the series. However, for a player who is entering a contract season with the Wild, a postseason with more production surely would’ve helped things come negotiation time.
One of those flashy moments came, literally, within the opening minutes of the series, and we really wouldn’t expect anything else given the circumstances. Foligno and Micheal Ferland threw hands, which truly exuded all the pent up anger and frustration of the coronavirus break. Personally, I’d give the scrap a 10-9 edge to Foligno, as he did land some heavy shots that put his opponent down to his knees at one point.
He kept up the feisty play throughout the rest of the series and did so efficiently, totaling 23 hits with only one trip to the sin bin — much to the contrary of his teammates. Minnesota’s inability to stay out of the box was a real part of their downfall against Vancouver, but Foligno did not contribute to the issue.
However, despite Foligno’s energetic play, the overall statistics didn’t at all jump off the page for him, only tallying a singular point off an assist in Game 4 with a minus-2 rating.
While having only one helper in the series, the assist was pretty sweet, as he fired a behind-the-net pass over to Eric Staal, who finished from an almost impossible angle.
Maybe the most discouraging stat was Foligno only taking four shots throughout the whole series. On 77 total shifts in the four games, Foligno averaged just one shot per contest. While Minnesota struggled to find the back of the net in Games 2 (for the most part) and 3, maybe additional depth scoring from players like Foligno would have made the series more interesting.
Check out this play as Foligno was able to break behind the Vancouver defense and generate a rather tasty opportunity on goal. He wasn’t able to finish, but the possibility of Minnesota being up two in the early stages of Game 4 still weighs heavily on our minds.
Overall, Foligno’s series was simply “nothing special” as the Wild fell to Vancouver in four games.
The team can rest their heads on the fact that Foligno is a serviceable player who can contribute in spurts for the club. While the playoffs haven't been his strong suit in his time with Minnesota, the regular season production was better than it’s ever been and will only look to grow as time moves along. With a full season coming under the leadership of Dean Evason, we will see if he can further improve his play and increase his role.
Minnesota did sign their highly touted prospect Kirill Kaprizov to an entry-level deal in the past few months, and he’s also a left winger, which further creates competition — especially with Zach Parise still on the roster. In light of this, will Foligno raise his level even higher? Or remain in the middle of the road?
Previously in the Minnesota Wild play-in report card series:
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