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Foligno: It's Great To Help The Team

by Sens Player blog / Ottawa Senators

Thursday night against the Rangers, I scored my first goal in a while and it turned out to be a big one for us. I was just happy to help the team get a win. That's my job and it's something I take pride in, so it was nice to get that. I thought Jimmy (O'Brien) made a great play on the goal. It was good to get the lead for the guys and it turned out to be the game-winner.

As a player, when you're not scoring goals, you start to wonder what you're doing different and sometimes, that's the difference between having confidence and not having confidence. You start to doubt yourself and that's the biggest thing. But you've got to continue to play hard and play well. Sure, it does weigh on the back of your mind, but you know what, that's part of being a pro. It's the mental part of the game and the guys who can get that under control are the ones who continue to have success. It's just something I had to battle through, but it was good to get that one and hopefully, it'll continue for the confidence.

Nick Foligno (centre) scored an important goal for the Sens in their win over the Rangers on Thursday. It proved to be the game-winner and ended a personal scoring drought (Jana Chitylova/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).
A few of the guys have been going through the same thing as me, and they also broke out this week with a goal. Sometimes, the dam breaks and the goals just start coming. I don't think it's been a case of us not playing well. The bounces just weren't going some guys' way and you start to grip the stick a little hard. It's nice to see them get goals, too, and get rewarded. Hopefully, it's a good sign for us going into the playoffs here, because we need everyone firing on all cylinders. It's a good sign when the whole team is chipping in that way.

Guys like Alfie, Spez, Milo and Erik have done a great job for us offensively all season, and we've done a real good job behind them in supporting them. We understand that teams, especially in the playoffs, are going to key on those guys. So the rest of us have to be able to help them out and make space for them, so when they do get opportunities, they're going to get better chances to help the team win. We just have to support them as much as possible and be a real good attack as a group.

I feel like we've got real balance on our team that way. We're getting scoring from our defence and our forwards. It's a real good sign when everyone is chipping in and it makes our team more dangerous. Teams don't know who to key on and that's been a big part of our success. We're a pretty deep team that works pretty hard. I don't think people would have expected that out of us at the beginning of the year, but we believe in each other in this room and it's amazing how many good things can happen when you do that.

A few weeks back, I spent an hour working as a salesman at the Sport Chek out here in Kanata. I really enjoyed it and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It's about connecting with the people who come into the store, which is something I learned. You ask them how their day is going and things like that. It was interesting. It was a whole new world for me — it's something I've never been a part of, even when I was younger. But I thought it was a lot of fun and I had a great time with it. I have to really thank Sport Chek for allowing me to do that with them. I think everybody who was involved enjoyed it.

My name was 'Frank' while I was there. People did recognize me and that was the hard part, telling them that I wasn't Nick Foligno from the Senators. But there were some people who didn't know who I was and that was pretty funny. But there were some who did and that's pretty flattering. It shows people care about you and what you do, and it showed how avid the hockey fans are here in Ottawa. It was a nice feeling.

I felt bad about having to hide who I am, especially when one kid asked me for the autograph. I signed it 'Frank' and he was looking at me kind of funny. I felt pretty bad, but it was all in fun. I ended up signing one for him with me real name right after I was done. The whole experience was fun, but it was definitely hard to lie to people about my identity and having to play innocent like that.

If you ask me if retail is something I'd like to do for a living someday, I'll tell you that I'm definitely enjoying hockey way more than anything else right now. Hopefully, that lasts for a long, long time and I don't have to think about doing anything else. But I really did enjoy that hour I had playing salesman at Sport Chek.

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