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May 6, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) punches Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) in the second period during game six of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

On NHL ice for 957 games between three Eastern Conference organizations, Nick Foligno is more than familiar with the Boston Bruins. And prior to joining the Bruins on a two-year, $7.6 million deal, and if Foligno is being honest, he didn’t like it.

“I hated these guy when I played against them,” Foligno, who split last year between Columbus and Toronto, admitted. “But that’s usually a sign of respect.”

Up against the Bruins for 48 games between the Blue Jackets and Senators, the 33-year-old Foligno has seen plenty of the Bruins. In fact, Foligno has left the ice with wins in just 17 of those 48 head-to-heads with Boston dating back to 2007, delivering what you’d consider an understandable level of hate for the Bruins.

But Foligno has found lessons in those losses, and especially so when it came to Foligno’s lone postseason series against the Bruins, which came back in 2019 as the Jackets’ captain, and in what was Columbus’ best run as a franchise.

“They just do things the right way,” Foligno said. “They play hard, but they’re just so consistent. As I’ve learned, too, in my process as a captain of another team, it’s a sign of a team that’s doing it the right way when they’re like that [and] when they consistently play a certain style and you know what you’re getting every night.

“I think the biggest letdown in the league is when you’re expecting a hard night and they don’t quite give it to you. That’s never the case with the Boston Bruins. You’re always getting the same brand of hockey every time you play them, and I wanted to be part of that. I was excited to join a team like that, and I think it has a lot to do with their leadership. And then it trickles on down.”

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.