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Blackhawks: Nick Foligno criticizes young players’ effort

The Chicago Blackhawks are not having a good season. There are no surprises here, given that the club is not… good. Let’s not mince words.

Knowing that Connor Bedard was coming to town, the club decided to look for veterans to back him up – and the club’s other youngsters, of course.

But hey. Between the Corey Perry situation and the Taylor Hall injury, let’s just say that leadership has taken quite a hit recently.

But at least Nick Foligno is here. The man who has taken Bedard under his wing since the summer is recognized as an excellent leader of men and an important player for his club.

At the Blackhawks, he was brought in to stand up and put the youngsters back on the right track. And that’s exactly what he did after Sunday’s game.

How did he do it? By criticizing the effort of his young teammates.

Basically, the man considered the unofficial captain of the Chicago Blackhawks thinks his young teammates aren’t putting in the effort needed to win.

In his view, the youngsters are part of the rebuilding process, and they need to find ways to motivate themselves to give more.

After 20 games, you should understand the league a little better. I’m not saying it will be perfect. But you need more commitment.

You should be on fire all year round. – Nick Foligno

Of course, the likes of Kevin Korchinski and Connor Bedard are among the club’s younger players. Were they targeted by the veteran’s comments, which did not name names?

Only the interested party really knows.

What you need to know is that guys need more than swagger to win hockey games. It takes effort to perform on an NHL ice – and in all spheres of life in general. To think otherwise speaks volumes about the mentality of some people.

The debate can also extend to the Habs, who didn’t have a good first period on Saturday against the Kings, and whose effort was lacking. I agree with Anthony Desaulniers on this one.

What Foligno is trying to tell Chicago is that the Hawks’ youngsters need to try harder. Even if the results are there on the scoresheet, a youngster isn’t a finished product.

If the hat’s off to Bedard (Foligno and Bedard know better than anyone whether this is the case or not), he needs to understand that just because he has eight more points (17 to 9) than the veteran doesn’t mean the latter can’t tell him anything.

Nor does the fact that he produces mean he can’t do more. The best in the world have a work ethic that is often beyond reproach, in order to stay at the top.

Whether or not this message is addressed to Bedard per se, the young man needs to learn from it. Just because he’s just arrived in the NHL doesn’t mean he can afford to take it easy (easier than he should, at least) and get into mischief.

In a gust

– Nothing less.

– What do you think?

– The exchanges are already the talk of the town.

– What did you think of the first quarter of the season?

– A name to watch.

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