During the now infamous 3-game road trip, the Columbus Blue Jackets were missing one of their regulars: Nick Foligno. Personal reasons kept him away from the club and out of the line-up. After returning home to defeat the Vancouver Canucks, the value of Foligno has never been more appreciated.
You’ll never hear his name for the Hart trophy. He’s never going to reel off a 10 game scoring streak. But his mixture of grit and skill are second to none. He is an every day NHL player. There’s no doubt about it. Foligno is a coach’s dream: a highly skilled player who adds depth and grit to a team in need of it.
Some people may scoff at the idea of a “depth guy” but Foligno’s value should not be looked at lightly. His presence alone brings with it a consistency coaches pray for in streaky players. Although his goal scoring isn’t always eye-popping, his over-all play makes the Columbus Blue Jackets a better team, simple as that.
Marian Gaborik brings the skill, Brandon Dubinsky brings the leadership, and Nick Foligno brings the consistency. Just because you’re a professional athlete, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good professional. Such is not the case with Foligno.
He brings the same game to the arena night in and night out. You know what you’re going to get with him. Streaky players are often inconsistent. But true “grit-n-skill” professionals like Nick Foligno are the true heart and soul to teams like the Jackets. His play is expected. And you don’t quite appreciate him until he’s away for a few games.