Plain and simple, the Ottawa Senators need more scoring from Foligno and Regin.
Eleven games into the season and the Ottawa Senators are ranked 20th in the league for goals scored with a stingy 26 lamp lighters.
Add to this that half of those goals have come from the trio of Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Mike Fisher and that Foligno and Regin are both waiting for their first goals of the season, and Ottawa's scoring woes seems intimately connected to their lack of secondary scoring.
It wasn't suppose to be this way.
The 23-year-old Foligno is coming off an outstanding preseason performance, where he tallied four goals and two assists in only six games, and 24-year-old Regin raised hopes in last year's playoffs when he collected three goals and one assist in only six games.
Coming into this season, these two guys were supposed to be the young guns the offensively challenged Ottawa team needs them to be.
"We need other guys to start scoring," coach Cory Clouston said. "They have to help out. There’s definitely room for improvement.”
The pressure is even more intense now that Michalek is out of action for at least a week due to tendinitis in his left knee and that the lines have been juggled to give both Foligno and Regin even more playing time.
Foligno has been moved up to play alongside Alfredsson and Fisher on the first line, and Regin is now playing with Kovalev and Spezza. The two young guns should be combining for 30 minutes or more of ice time each game.
Senators GM Bryan Murray called Foligno in for a helpful chat after the team's 4-0 loss to Boston on Saturday night.
“All I told him was, ‘Don’t waste the opportunity of playing with good people,’” Murray said. “That’s all. ‘Take advantage of it.’”
"It’s just a matter of we need him to step up a little more. He has to get some points."
Some are reading into these comments thinking it is "do or die" time for the Foligno, but more likely it was just a reminder and a nudge that he has an opportunity here on the top line and that the team needs him to make the most of that opportunity.
“I want to be able to score for this team," Foligno said. "I believe in myself, still. I’m not to the point where confidence is at an all-time low. I’ve got to make sure I’m putting myself into those areas that are allowing me to score goals. I want to help."
“It’s just a matter of bearing down, and I think it’s going to be a matter of sooner rather than later.”
Let's hope he is right because the Senators can't wait much longer for their secondary scoring to get rolling and still be considered a possible playoff team.
Christopher Smith runs senspedia.com, an Ottawa Senators wiki site.