The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has had its hands full already in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Their work doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon as Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Foligno‘s status is likely next on their to-do list.
Foligno nailed Dallas Stars forward Radek Faksa with a pretty gnarly knee-on-knee hit in the Wild’s Game Five loss to the Stars. He was promptly handed a five-minute major for kneeing and was ejected from the game.
Marcus Foligno has received a 5 minute Major and a Game Misconduct for kneeing on Radek Faksa. pic.twitter.com/3BdvyeThhr
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 26, 2023
The play occurred with less than three minutes gone from the clock in the first period. Dallas would score on the ensuing power play and eventually shut out Minnesota 4-0 on the way to a 3-2 series lead.
Faksa starts the play by leaping in the air to try and catch a deflected puck in the Wild’s defensive zone. As the Czech forward lands and regains his balance, his right knee is met with full force by Foligno’s right leg. Foligno had Faksa lined up for quite some time before the contact was initiated.
Faksa stayed face down on the ice for a period of time before being helped off the ice by teammates and the team’s training staff. He would eventually return to play and skate 11:55 of total ice time in the game.
Wild head coach Dean Evason was not a fan of the call.
“It took some life out of us for sure,” Evason said postgame. “We disagree with it. We don’t think he changed his path. He could have changed his path and probably stepped in hard. If anything, their guy changed the path. We watched it several times. He does not move. He stays straight, he braces himself. It’s incidental contact, two big men.”
Foligno himself has been highly critical of the officiating in the series even before this latest major infraction. Through five games he has received 35 total penalty minutes, including two misconducts. Dallas has made the Wild pay for those offenses with four power-play goals during those penalties.
"It's a joke. It doesn't make any sense."
Marcus Foligno addresses his two penalties that led to two Dallas Stars power-play goals in a Game 4 loss. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/fd5O8oM8tP
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 24, 2023
On the flip side, Dallas head coach Pete DeBoer says they came into the series knowing that Minnesota likes to sit in the sin bin a lot and that it was their job to make sure they cashed in on as many man advantages as possible.
“(Coming) into the series, Minnesota is one of the most penalized teams in the league,” DeBoer told The Athletic’s Michael Russo. “We knew we were going to get power plays. So the goal was to make them pay for it and we’re doing that and we’ve got to keep doing that.”
The Stars’ power play is operating at over 40 percent effectiveness on 22 opportunities. Roope Hintz is tied for the league lead in playoff power play points with seven, Jason Robertson sits alone in third place with six, and Miro Heiskanen is tied with Connor McDavid in fourth with five.
To stay alive in the series, Minnesota will need a win on home ice in Game Six. They may have to do so without Foligno depending on whether or not he receives a call from Player Safety for his hit.
Puck drop for that game is on Friday at a still-to-be-determined time.
Screenshot via TBS
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.