The final member of the GREEF line is Marcus Foligno who also goes by “Moose”. He was the main energy factor on that line and carried the team with physicality. He’s also the first of the three captains to receive his grade for the season. While he hit career-highs in goals, assists, and points, he also got into some trouble during the season that cost his team.
Foligno played in 74 games. He missed six due to injury and COVID Protocols while the other two were from a suspension he received back in February. Apart from the suspension he remained a fan favorite and continued to make a name for himself this season with some great quotes in his postgame interviews.
When he’s focused on his game, he’s a very entertaining player to watch with his intensity and the way he throws his weight around. The way he fit into the third line was great and he made his linemates better similar to the effect Kirill Kaprizov had on his line but with physicality instead of scoring.
Foligno’s Up & Down Season
While his career-highs were impressive, Foligno also lost his temper a few times too many. He spent 112 minutes in the penalty box, nearly triple last season’s total. As great as his physicality was, the Wild also need him scoring. He scored 23 goals and 19 assists for 42 points this season and really showed what a true scoring touch he possesses.
Thankfully the Wild saw those skills, and at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline they picked up Nicolas Deslauriers who took some of the pressure off of Foligno’s shoulders to be physical all the time. Foligno didn’t rise the scoring charts immediately, but he added points here and there. While he was doing okay in the scoring department, his anger got the best of him this season. He landed his first-ever two-game suspension for kneeing in their game against the Winnipeg Jets back on Feb. 8.
While that was the only suspension in his career currently, he came extremely close to landing another one when he did a similar type of kneeing play to a player from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Foligno is normally a very controlled player, physical, but controlled. However, this season was different. It’s hard to get upset with a player that contributes to the game with such energy and can score. The extra edge is just what the team needs sometimes, but it has to be kept in check or things get out of hand. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson and will stay away from the kneeing issues in the future.
Foligno’s Okay Playoffs
He scored a couple of points, but overall it was a rather quiet postseason for Foligno. He also spent more time in the penalty box than he should have. In the six games the Wild played, he was in the box for 14 minutes and had only five shots on goal.
With his career-highs in the regular season, it was acceptable for fans to expect similar results in the postseason if not better since players typically elevate their games. However, for whatever reason that affected nearly the entire team, he was flat. Foligno’s game was missing that level of high intensity, and the team really suffered for it.
He did have a high number of hits, 25 in the six games played. He was first on the team, but he only had two blocked shots and two takeaways. While the Wild needed more scoring from the second line, they required the intensity and scoring from the third line that it brought the majority of the season. The team did get the hits from the GREEF line, but they weren’t delivered in a way that got the team excited or motivated.
Foligno’s Final Grade
He beat his old career-highs in goals by 10, assists by four, and points by 16. It was a great start to showing his scoring potential. However, as stated before, his anger needs to be kept under control. His hits are usually hard but clean, and he has to remember that side of his game next season.
His grade is slightly lower than his linemates, at a B+. His suspension caused him to lose some points, as did the near suspension from the hit to the Blue Jackets player where he received a fine. Of course, players make mistakes, but Foligno can not lose control, especially as an alternate captain. He has to demonstrate better leadership. That also includes being able to find that extra step to his game and help carry his team in the postseason.
It’s become a broken record with most of this team in regards to their playoff performance, and it’ll be talked about for most of the offseason as well. The team had high expectations and seemed to have all the pieces put together but came up short. Thankfully they’ll have another shot next season with Foligno secured for the next two seasons. He’ll have the chance to show what he can do in terms of scoring and leadership.
Mariah Holland is a contributing Minnesota Wild writer for THW. She’s been covering the Wild at THW since October of 2020 and specializes in game takeaways and weekly check-ins. She is always looking for different angles to cover the Wild and dig deeper into the stories surrounding the team to help fans connect on a more personal level and to keep an eye on the latest follow her on Twitter @MariahEStark.