Nick Foligno Speaks to Sportsnet on His Idea of a "Play-In" Game for NHL Playoff Seeding

By Chris Pennington on April 22, 2020 at 8:05 am
Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) reacts during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose.
Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports

Oh captain, our captain.

On Tuesday afternoon, Nick Foligno spoke to Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek of Sportsnet in a live Q&A session with fans. In this chat, he discussed the time of quarantine for his family, standout players on his team this year, and his take on a potential season resumption:

"The way the league's talking and the fact that they've said we're gonna figure out any way possible to play, that opens the door to a lot of scenarios, and I want to play," Foligno said on the video chat. "Everything we went through as a team, I want to finish this."

There has been a chip on the Columbus Blue Jackets collectives shoulders for their entire existence, but especially this current (or past) season. Foligno understands how much adversity his club went through, from injuries to free agency losses, to get to the spot they're in now, and he wants to see how it all could play out.

"I want to see where we match up. We're getting some guys healthy now. Having the story that we had with the injuries and the way we banded together, the group we had, it was such a fun time to come to the group with this team," said Foligno. "I want to see it finished."

Foligno was then asked if it were up to him to choose the playoff format for this suspended season, how he would go about it. He had an interesting and enticing take:

"Well we're in so I'd like to just jump right into the playoffs," Foligno joked. "That's a hard one...I've heard the points percentage and all that stuff, but there was an article I read you can move the (number of) games back to 68...I gotta think there's gonna be a play-in at some point...I gotta think there's gonna be some sort of expanded teams just to make it fair and right...In order to make it fair, win and get in. Do your job to get in."

A win-and-in format would be incredibly exciting for any fan to watch - similar to the layout for the MLB playoffs where the two wild card teams in each league go at it in a play-in game to earn their official postseason bid.

"Obviously there's a lot that goes into it, the safety of everyone and there's so much more that I'm glad I'm not figuring out," said Foligno. "If they tell me were playing I'll be ready to go, if not I'll just get ready for next season, but I'd like to find a way to finish this one and see where we can go with it."

This format would be ideal for the Blue Jackets, as a "points percentage" layout like Foligno mentioned could be the most likely option if no more games are to be played. In this case, the Blue Jackets would miss the postseason, but a play-in game would at least give them a shot.

"That's my opinion. I doubt they'll listen to me. First of all, I think that'd be a really cool thing for our league that's never done it. A one-game even, something I think a lot of guys would enjoy, and we'll see where it goes," said Foligno. "But I think that'd be the right way. Make sure your at least trying to allow as many teams that were close to get in and have a chance and keep their fan base engaged too."

What would be your playoff format (as unbiasedly as you can speak to) for the NHL season to resume into?

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