2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Marcus Foligno

Mar 10, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Buffalo Sabres left wing Marcus Foligno (82) during warmup prior to game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG

PCT

2011 - Marcus Foligno

AHL

14

60

6

16

7

23

13

39

6

19

9

78

2

2

0

0

1

23

110

26.0

14.5


Introduction: No player, with the possible exception of Tyler Ennis, excited Sabres fans this season more than Marcus Foligno. The former fourth-round pick couldn't make the team out of training camp, and was seen as little more than a replacement body on the checking line when he was called up from Rochester. After one lackluster game in December, Foligno came up again in March and was paired with Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford, and, well, you know the rest.

Marcus was a revelation on offense and a force to be reckoned with physically. He looked a lot more like his old man than anybody was ready to believe, but just how good was his end of the year tryout? Let's dig a little deeper after the break.

Key Stat: We all knew that Foligno would be a physical force in the NHL, but most Sabres fans were shocked by his goal scoring prowess. His 6 goals in 14 games works out to just over 35 goals in a full season. Awesome, right?! Not so fast, mister, look at his shooting percentage before you set off those illegal fireworks. Foligno scored on an incredibly high 26% of his shots. He has Tyler Ennis to thank for most of those, but that number is simply unsustainable for a full season - even Steven Stamkos only scored on 19% of his shots. Yes, I think there's more offensive upside to Foligno than originally thought, but those of you penciling him in for 20 goals a season may want to temper those expectations just a bit.

Key Stat #2: The Sabres record with Marcus Foligno in the lineup was 8-4-2. Do with that what you will.

Thumbs Up: Foligno has a big body and knows how to use it - just ask Carl Gunnarsson. He also knows how to fight - just ask Matt Frattin. Wow, he really seems to hate the Leafs - we'll list that as a Thumbs Up as well. The power forward is great at controlling the puck along the boards, and that skill helped his extremely balanced line become the Sabres most potent offensive threat by the end of the season. Marcus was a +6 in 14 games, and managed an astonishing 44 hits and 11 blocked shots in those 14 games. Clearly he has fun playing hockey (something the Sabres could use more of) and the fact that he's a legacy player is icing on the cake for fans.

Thumbs Down: Like most young big men, Foligno's footwork still needs improvement - which he admitted himself - and another summer of training should help with that, along with helping him to fill out his big frame even more. Occasionally he found himself out of position, but we're grasping at straws a bit here. Only did the "Foligno leap" once.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Marcus Foligno on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

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