Wild's Marcus Foligno on accusations of dirty play: 'I wouldn't do that to a friend'
ST. PAUL — Wild winger Marcus Foligno understands the optics of the play that knocked Jets defenseman Tyler Myers out of Game 3.
Foligno, whose clumsy skating has fittingly earned him the nickname "Moose" over the years, slipped as he was gearing up to block a shot in the second period of the Wild's 6-2 victory Sunday, April 15, at Xcel Energy Center and appeared to clip Myers on the way down.
Myers lay motionless on the ice near the Jets bench in the immediate aftermath before being helped down the tunnel. He did not return, and his status for Game 4 on Tuesday night at the X remains uncertain.
"I'm going down for a blocked shot, and he's going by me and he pulls up at the last second," Foligno explained. "I guess I catch him on the way down. It was a freak accident. No intent there."
Not everyone saw it that way, especially Jets fans on Twitter, many of whom suggested Foligno intentionally punched Myers in the back of the right knee on his way down.
"Honestly, I did not punch his knee," Foligno said. "I've looked at it 100 times, too, and my stick is in my hand and I think I'm trying to grab whatever I can before going down. There was no punching motion. I'm sure a lot of (Jets) fans are saying that. I'm not trying to hurt someone out there."
Asked about the play after the game, Jets coach Paul Maurice told reporters that he wasn't a fan of the sequence but wouldn't take the bait when prodded about whether he thought it was a dirty play.
Foligno and Myers played together with the Buffalo Sabres and remain close.
"We are friends off the ice," Foligno said. "It's something I wouldn't do to a friend."
While this won't be the last time this is brought up over the course of the best-of-seven series, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau thinks it's being blown out of proportion.
"He fell," Boudreau said. "Anybody that thinks anything different, that there was something to it, is trying to create something that's not there. He went to block a shot and he fell. That was it."
Under the radar
After allowing a fluky goal in the first period of Game 3, goaltender Devan Dubnyk shook it off and put up another solid performance between the pipes. He had 29 saves, keeping the Wild within striking distance early before an offensive explosion paved the way for a much-needed victory.
"Everyone knows the way he's going to act," Boudreau said of Dubnyk. "We see when he's playing really well it creates confidence for us."
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Dubnyk is playing at a high level right now considering he's been one of the best goaltenders in the league since arriving in the Twin Cities 3 1/2 three years ago.
Not that the rest of the league has taken notice.
"There's a wall around Minnesota and nobody knows anything about this team," Boudreau said. "If it was in Toronto or New York, I think it would be a different situation (for him). But he's here, and we're thankful that he is."
Rau's plan: 'Stay ready'
Kyle Rau was among the few players called up from the minors Sunday afternoon with rosters expanding for the playoffs.
While it seems unlikely that Rau will suit up for the first-round series, he did play well during his three-game NHL cup of coffee earlier this season.
"I was happy with how it went," said Rau, 24, a former Gopher from Eden Prairie. "If (the Wild) go far into the playoffs, that's another 25-some games. Things happen so quickly, so I'll try to stay ready, and if my number gets called I'll be ready."