Nick Foligno has been a key contributor for the Bruins on and off the ice this season, and his efforts were rewarded by head coach Jim Montgomery.
Boston beat the New York Rangers, 5-2, on Thursday night, which put the Black and Gold at 10-1-0 — the best start in franchise history. With Jeremy Swayman out due to injury, “Uncle Nick” filled in for the postgame goalie hug with Linus Ullmark, again.
Young players like Jakub Lauko have cited Foligno as a leader, and the left winger delivered on the ice Thursday, tallying two assists to put him at four on the season. At seven points, the 35-year-old is on pace to blow past his production from a disappointing 2021-22 season.
“He looked like the Nick Foligno I coached against in Dallas when he was in Columbus,” Montgomery told reporters, as seen on ESPN’s postgame coverage. “He just keeps getting better, and you can tell his confidence is growing.”
“I know what I can do in this league when I’m feeling good and confident, especially in the role I’ve been given and the conversations we’ve had here,” Foligno added when discussing his improvement from last season, per team-provided video. “And this group, you find a group that comes together the way this group does, and I think that’s your boost as a player, especially the way I play. You put your heart in every game.”
The Bruins veteran has turned himself into a key asset, and he earned more ice time against the Rangers, playing with the second line during periods of the game.
“I thought Nick Foligno was our best forward for the first 30 minutes, so I just wanted to get him more ice time,” Montgomery said. “I reward players for playing the right way. He’s making things happen out there.”
The Bruins stressed after the game how close the team is and how they play for one another. Foligno pointed out how a different player contributes each night, but his teammates were glad to see him get the results he’s worked for Thursday night.
“It was only deserving that he got rewarded there with a couple points toward the end,” Charlie Coyle told reporters, per team-provided video. “It’s not all about that, he’ll tell you that firsthand. But he deserves them for the way he’s playing.”
The B’s are on a roll with their seventh straight win, and Boston will hope to make it eight in a row when it takes on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.