(UPDATE: Foligno has been suspended three games.)
However you feel about Nick Foligno‘s hit on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, it’s tough to watch Bellemare falling to the ice, seemingly knocked unconscious or at least to the point of losing control. It’s never a good sign when you see a player’s neck make a whiplash-like motion, either.
Apparently Foligno, captain of the Columbus Blues, agrees that it’s difficult to watch.
Foligno received a game misconduct and five-minute charging major penalty for the hit, and after Saturday’s game (which Bellemare’s Colorado Avalanche won 4-2), Foligno expressed regret about the head contact that was made.
Foligno sharing word that Bellemare is OK is promising, although it’s unclear how that might translate to missing time for an Avalanche team that’s already dealing with a lot of injuries.
There are some who weren’t happy with Foligno’s play beyond that hit:
Yet, Foligno deserves credit for being open about his regret for the check, even if he gave talk of a possible suspension a no-comment.
The Blue Jackets have now lost six of their last seven games, going 1-5-1 during that span. (The Avs were in a similar spot, as they lost five straight before Thursday, but have now won two in a row.)
If Columbus’ captain sits a game or more, it will only be that much tougher for the Blue Jackets to get back on track. That said, it would be tough to argue that Foligno doesn’t deserve a suspension of some kind. Foligno might even only give a token protest against such a complaint, at least judging by those public comments.