Friday, October 15, 2010

Foligno Owns Last Night's Near Disaster

Nick Foligno got away with one Thursday night, even if the Senators as a whole almost didn't.

Foligno's hit to Carolina Hurricanes Patrick Dwyer was a clear case of a blindside hit to the head. And in keeping with the fine, high quality officiating for which the NHL in general has become known for, there was no penalty on the play. Dwyer was unhurt as a result of the play, and didn't miss a minute of the game.

The Carolina bench was justifiably incensed.

But just to ensure that the reputation of the officials was tarnished, Ottawa was victimized by a practically bogus interference penalty on Michalek. Carolina converted on the penalty, this rattling Ottawa enough that Carolina quickly got a second, equalizing goal.

This, I think, was karma. Foligno's hit is one which has no place in hockey, and permitting Carolina back into the game was just compensation for the keystone-cops caliber officiating.

Beyond that I think the Ottawa fans were probably over-reacting -- the instant replay on one non-called alleged interference on Jarko Ruutu made it look like had a penalty actually been called, Ruutu should have gone in the box for holding the stick. But officials routinely turn a blind eye to this kind of theatrics.

Now all of this can be taken with the firm knowledge that had Dwyer actually been hurt in this play Foligno would have had the proverbial book thrown at him.

Foligno nearly threw away the win that the team had worked so hard to earn, and I hope that he learns from this experience.

Of course, not to be left out, the NHL has fined Foligno $2500 for the play. This certainly fits, a non-punishment for a play that wasn't penalized, and it is nice to see that the league refrained from the "wheel of punishment" style dicipline that has been characteristic of such incidents. (Left out of the story was whether or not Foligno merely peeled three $1K bills off his roll and told the league to keep the change.)

Foligno skated on this one.