Regin pointed in right direction

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 PM ET

Cheap or not, Peter Regin has used points to buy himself a Top 6 forward spot with the Senators.

That he has developed some chemistry with Jason Spezza and Alex Kovalev has helped his cause, too.

To make room for Milan Michalek on the roster, the Senators have returned Zack Smith, who is on a two-way contract, to Binghamton. To make room for Michalek on the top two lines, somebody has to be bumped to Smith’s spot on the fourth.

That somebody is Nick Foligno, who has no goals and four assists in 14 games.

“He’s played well at times, but we need more from him,” coach Cory Clouston said of Foligno, who was playing with Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson, but will now play with Jesse Winchester and Ryan Shannon. “He’d be the first to admit he needs to help out the team offensively. He has been in a Top 6 position basically since the start of the regular season. The other guys have stepped it up, and maybe he’s fallen back a little more.

“We have some lines we feel comfortable with and confident in. We don’t want to start redistributing everybody just because one guy is back.”

Regin has no goals, either, but does have four assists in his last two games and seven in 14.

“I’ve felt good since the regular season started, skating wise,” he told reporters.

“But sometimes when you don’t get points and you don’t get the confidence, that’s the main difference ... Now I’ve had four kind of cheap assists the last two games, and then everybody thinks I’m playing great.

“That’s how we get judged every day. Sometimes it’s a tough business.”

Clouston has liked more than the points about Regin’s game.

“He’s a little bit stronger on the puck,” Clouston said. “He’s competing harder in those little battle areas, and we need him to do that. He’s obviously skilled and skates well, but you need to do more than just do that. I think he’s starting to add that to his game, that element, just a little more physicality around the net, the corners, and be just a little more of a presence on the puck.”

Regin has made a slight adjustment in his move to the wing.

“I’ve tried to stay more on my wall now, when I’m playing with Spezz, instead of going into the middle and taking his spot all the time,” Regin said. “I know when I’m playing with him, the puck will get to me eventually.”

But he still needs to put it in the net.

“Everybody wants to score, and I want to score, too,” Regin said. “Every day we talk about it. I want to score goals, for sure. I know it will come. I almost have a chance every game to score goals. It’s just a matter of getting it. Now I’ve had some assists and some points, and that helps. I don’t think too much about it. It would suck if I didn’t have any assists, either. I want to get my first goal soon, for sure.”

Ice chips

The Senators will wear their black, third jerseys. They are 1-0 in black this season, and 54-27-5-10 all-time ... The Senators rank 14th on the power play and 14th on the penalty kill ... The Senators are 12-4-1-3 in games played in Ottawa vs. Atlanta ... The Senators are averaging 17,945 fans at Scotiabank Place through seven games ... F Peter Regin played his 100th NHL game Saturday ... The Senators have pledged $250,000 toward the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence. The college’s new trades centre is slated to open next September.

This 'n' that

From being the front-net presence on the Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks’ power play last spring, Dustin Byfuglien is the quarterback of the Thrashers’ power play ... Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay was an assistant for the Senators in 1996-97 and 1997-98 ... The Thrashers are 3-0-3 in one-goal games.

Injuries

SENATORS: LW Milan Michalek (knee), probable; D Filip Kuba (broken leg, questionable.

THRASHERS: D Freddy Meyer (mid-body), out indefinitely; C Bryan Little (concussion, facial lacerations), out indefinitely; C Patrice Cormier (broken right foot), out indefinitely.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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