Let's get physical

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Physical play is supposed to be on the way out in the NHL.

Tell that to Robyn Regehr.

The rugged Flames defenceman has a theory about how to play with the obstruction clampdown, having now skated in three games since returning from the knee injury that forced him to miss the first month of the season.

"I think the best way to play it is as physical as you can and, if you're doing something wrong, the refs will talk to you. From there, you can tone it down if you have to," Regehr said.

Then he added with a laugh: "I think it's best to be as hard as you can on people and see what you can get away with, I guess."

Whatever Regehr's doing, it's working.

Since he returned to the lineup from the injury suffered late in the pre-season, the Flames are a perfect 3-0, including the pair of victories collected against the Northwest Division-leading Vancouver Canucks.

Still, Regehr admits his game isn't quite where he wants it.

"I felt probably the most comfortable last game against the Canucks," he said.

"I'm not sure what the ice time was like but I think Jordan (Leopold) and I played a little bit more and felt a little better and more confident.

"I just need to continue to do that."

Rest assured, it won't be long before Regehr is back to the level that has him a candidate for Canada's Olympic team.

Playing nearly 21 minutes a game, including plenty of time on both the powerplay and penalty killing units, Regehr is still in the process developing his timing and conditioning.

"I don't think I'm too bad," he said of his fitness level.

"Last game, I felt pretty good near the end of the game and wasn't too tired. I can't complain because it feels good to be out there, a lot better than being in the stands or underneath working out."

And with a few more games under his belt, you can bank on Regehr being the physical presence fans have seen him be in the past.

"I'd like to be a little more physical but some games are a little tougher to be like that and sometimes the big hits aren't there. It's a lot of timing, that's the majority of what hitting is," he said.


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