0Posted by Scott Michalak on April 4, 2012 at 8:47 am
This has to be the play of the year for the Buffalo Sabres.
Sabres fans aren't ever going to forget this incredible goal. Welcome to the Sabres' historical highlight reel, Jordan Leopold.
It’s like a really good movie: every time you watch it, you notice something new. Let’s watch this instant classic again:
Here’s a quick list of what I’ve noticed so far:
Foligno and Komisarek’s foreshadowing chirps before the faceoff
Ennis’ quick singling-out/distraciton of Komisarek, just before the puck dropped
Komisarek then getting run over by Foligno right after the puck hit the ice
Foligno willfully forcing the puck to the net
Komisarek regaining his feet to willfully drive Foligno into the ice
Komisarek delivers about a dozen swipes to Foligno’s face, as he keeps him pinned
Referee Mike Hasenfratz in perfect position to watch the puck – still loose – under that mass of humanity in front of the net
Tyler Ennis lunging forward to give Komisarek a little cross check across the back
Stafford and Leopold lunging forward and stabbing, almost coordinated, at the puck together
Leafs’ captain, #3, Dion Phaneuf, falls back under Stafford’s stick, giving the Sabres #3, Jordan Leopold, the space for the shot
Arms in the air
Komisarek slowly rising, defeated
RJ going nuts
Fans going nuts
Hey look! Sulzer was on the ice!
Foligno raises his arms in the air, whooping it up, then slowly skates by Matt Lombardi while staring him down
Scrivens’ hapless complaint to the ref about the whistle never blowing (Sorry Scrivens, but for once, the ref got it. He saw the puck, you didn’t. Game over.)
In the replay: watch Scrivens’ head darting about – he never looks down, his hands aren’t even near the ice. He never shows possession, just desperation. The first time he looks down is when he is looking at the puck in the net.
Shoutout from Sudbury! (Marcus played Jr. hockey there from 2005-2001, his father Mike played there from 1975-1979)
Mike Foligno (Sabres and Leafs alumnus icon) and family in the stands, looking stunned
Foligno’s chirp from bench to bench
After the game, Marcus Foligno would sum of the Sabres play of the year with the Sabres quote of the year:
“I think the ref was watching how many times I got punched in the face,” Foligno said, “and he was in awe.”
Good job, Sabres! 2 games left: keep that willpower surging, and get this done.
As for me, I’m going to watch this play again. In case I missed anything else.
1Posted by Scott Michalak on March 20, 2012 at 7:23 am
The resemblance is uncanny.
But hey, like father like son, so they say. Still, it is uncanny how these two clips resemble each other. Hard to the net, own the slot, score on the way to the ice, get up, leap. For older(-ish) fans like myself, watching Marcus is like going back in time to watching Mike.
And it’s wonderful.
What’s even more uncanny is the resemblance. I mean, again, “like father like son,” but check out this picture shared by BSN writer Tamara on the Twitter last night:
OK, it's just the jaw and the chin. And the cheekbones. And the brow. And of course, the guts per pound ratio. Marcus' nose, so far, is straight.
Talk about #SeedsOfGreatness. Mike sure helped raise a winner, and Marcus is in full bloom now as his own man, as his own NHL hockey player.
All father/son references aside, Marcus is really emerging unto his own as late – his 5 goals and 2 assists (+5) in 6 games puts him in some elite company. As pointed out in the post-game interviews last night, only two Sabres have had a better start than #82 – Phil Housley and Ray Sheppard. We won’t go as far to say that Foligno can keep up that kind of pace, but wowee-Housley, the future is bright for the youngest Foligno.
Oh yea, he also has 15 hits.
I’ve said it before in the social medias, but I’ll record it here too for the sake of Public Record – the real winner of the Kassian/Hodgson deal isn’t any of the guys who changed zip codes. Well, actually, it is – but it’s the one who changed his from 14621 to 14226.
Many Sabres fans had grave concerns about losing the toughness and upside of Kassian. Still, questions regarding his maturity, consistency, and development are dogging him. I was worried about Kass since he was drafted. I’ve never been worried about Foligno. Just continually more and more impressed.
3Posted by Scott Michalak on March 14, 2012 at 7:00 am
“The Montreal zone is suffering a real infennistation tonight.”
Those are a couple of my tweets from the Montreal game the other night, in which Tyler Ennis skated circles around the Montreal defense. Scoring two goals, he looked unstoppable out there. Uncatchable. Unreal.
Everything he touched that night turned to gold.
His highlight reel goal was the delight of the NHL Internets yesterday:
Oh, you try and find a prettier one than that!
It sure was a dandy, but the entire sequence wasn’t all that pretty. In fact, some of it was downright ugly – but the good kind of ugly – hockey ugly. Gritty.
While the media was swooning over Ennis’ hands, it seemed everyone forgot the rest of the play. (This is actually one of the few Youtube clips that shows the entire play; the NHL.com video cut the very root of this highlight out, as well.) So today, credit where credit is due: let’s talk about Marcus Foligno.
Sure, Ennis’ finish was sweet, but Foligno’s work along the boards at center ice – mostly from on his belly – was Herculean. It should not go without notice that a goal like this would not have happened without some really gutsy efforts by the youngest Foligno. Go ahead and watch the clip again. You’ll only see part of his effort, in one segment, at the 20 second mark.
This was one of those plays that will stand out in my mind from this season as hockey perfection. First of all, Foligno had to use his big bodied determination to fight and sprawl along the boards – a gutsy play – literally – to win that puck. Drew Stafford served as the smart guardian at the blue line – too big to knock over, and quick enough with his hands to dish the biscuit over to the flashy Ennis.
It took the whole mix of all three forwards to put this thing together, and in the end, magic happened.
Just remember, in hockey, seldom does magic happen without a heavy dose of grit in the recipe.
The team is saying a lot of good things in the locker room these days. They’re feeling better, confident again, more of a team. I don’t think we’ve had a play recently that embodied that team attitude better than this one. When we talk #SeedsOfGreatness, this is one of those plays. The Sabres have done a lot of digging to find the grit, smarts, and confidence to wheel, deal, and shoot that darn biscuit into the net. It’s beautiful watching it all come together in one play. It’s encouraging seeing two youngsters and a slumping veteran do all the right things, instantly, with zero hesitation. Confidence is in bloom, folks.
The seeds have been planted. Ennis, Foligno, Stafford, and the rest of the Blue and Gold just need to keep it goin/growin’.
1Posted by Scott Michalak on June 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Just what are we in store for with Marcus Foligno?
According to the Sudbury News, we’re in for a real treat, on and off the ice. The Suds News pitched an article/thank you letter that compared him to his father, Mike (who played hard-nosed hockey for the Sabres from 1982-1991) and to his brother, Nick, who currently suits up for the Ottawa Senators.
Fear the Foligno
From the Sudbury News, who covered Marcus’ career in the OHL:
It was generally thought the Wolves would have a new captain for the 2011-2012 season, but deep down, many fans were hoping Marcus Foligno would be back for one more year in Sudbury.
Those hopes were pretty well put to an end last week when Marcus signed a three-year entry level contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
That has many looking back and discussing Foligno’s legacy in the Nickel City.
His career in a Wolves uniform was not that much different from his dad, Mike, and brother, Nick. Mike was an offensive player from the start, Nick grew into a point-a-game player, while Marcus developed into the role of a power forward that we all saw in the youngest Foligno even before he played his first game in the OHL.
Leadership qualities were also evident. Both Mike and Marcus wore the captain’s “C” while Nick wore an “A” and probably would have had the “C” at some point if not for a player named Marc Staal.
What really set Marcus apart from most players was his determination. That was most evident this past season. He returned from the Sabres training camp last September with the goal of earning a spot on the World Junior team.
I admit to being a little shocked when it came up in my first interview with him when he returned to the team. I even remember asking myself if he was talking about Canada or the United States. After all he was born in Buffalo and had never really been on the Team Canada radar. But it soon became apparent that he was destined to wear the maple leaf on his chest, which he did with pride and with the support of not only Sudbury, but all of Canada.
The traits that made Marcus Foligno the great player we saw on the ice every night were also there off the ice. In fact, one of his biggest legacies as a member of the Sudbury Wolves just may be what he meant to this community. He never hesitated to get out of the rink and volunteer his time to a wide variety of causes and organizations. Whether it was visits to the hospital, food drives or just getting out to meet fans, Foligno took his community involvement role just as serious as his role as a hockey player. Having seen him on several occasions visit the Children’s Treatment Centre, it was obvious he has a soft spot for kids, and his work to help raise money for the diagnostic equipment fund will never be forgotten.
It hasn’t been an easy couple of years for Marcus. He had to deal with the elation of being drafted into the NHL followed just a few short weeks later by the death of his mother. That would be tough for anyone to handle, but almost unthinkable for a teenager. Luckily for Foligno, he has an amazing family to lean on, and it’s that family that has made him the person he is today.
In the end, when you think about Marcus Foligno, his legacy could simply be his last name and what it means to Sudbury now and for many years to come.
There is no question Marcus has done the Foligno name proud.
Stew Kernan is the radio and television voice of the Sudbury Wolves, and the news director at EZ Rock and Q92. This column appears every other week in Northern Life.
That is a word we normally associate with a player who has been around, for, well, his entire adult life. In this case, we have ourselves a player who has been making a mark for two generations.