As readers can see from the twitter video from yesterday’s practice below, there’s still a lot to do to help newcomer Nick Foligno get used to his new team the Toronto Maple Leafs. Specifically, Foligno’s biggest focus has been on getting comfortable with the team’s system of play. That said, he spoke fondly of the welcome he’s received inside the dressing room and the experience of playing with the team’s top offensive weapons – Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
However, as Foligno noted in a Sportsnet interview released today, he thinks it’s ‘obvious’ why the Maple Leafs have been so successful this season. Foligno admitted that he still had some work left to do to adjust to joining the Maple Leafs; however, from what he’s seen so far, he reports that he isn’t surprised at the success the team has found so far this season. And, from his smile you can tell he’s glad to be part of it.
It’s a Different System, and Foligno Needs More Work to Get Up to Speed
During the interview below, Foligno admitted that he was still trying to get up to speed with their system. [I suppose that’s obvious from the collision in practice yesterday.] However, he hinted that there are other two aspects of beginning to play with a new team that have been easier. Those are (1) integrating “his game” into the way his new teammates play and (2) the social aspect of working to integrate become part of the group.
The thing that’s made it so easy for him was just how “fantastic” these guys are to be with. And, by “these guys” Foligno means everyone involved with the team. He noted that the “staff here and the players … just made me feel welcome.”
Foligno’s Assessment of the Maple Leafs?
What’s Foligno’s assessment of his time with the team so far? It’s a “great group in here so I’m having a lot of fun just getting to know guys.”
Then, Foligno anticipated the key question to offer his assessment of the quality of play the Maple Leafs are capable of. Without an invitation, he offered “and it’s pretty obvious” why the team has had “so much success this year.”
Why Are the Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner So Successful?
As Foligno noted: “I love the way they (Matthews and Marner) see the game. I think having conversations with them, how offensive-minded they are, how smart they are as players. It’s evident every time you step on the ice against them, but to really hear the terminology or the way they look at the game has been fun to have the kind of behind-the-scenes look of.”
The Bottom Line: It’s All Good, But There’s More Work to Do
And, Foligno’s final assessment? “So, I’m enjoying that (getting to know the players and watching Matthews and Marner work together and think the game) and I’m just trying to bring my game along with them and getting that chemistry going.”
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