SUN Hockey Pool

Reggie specializes in shutting 'em down

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Dion Phaneuf gets the goals, the big points, the all-star nods, the dedicated fan following.

Soon, the 22-year-old likely will have a fat new contract to go with the accolades.

Robyn Regehr? He gets to battle the opposition's top lines and toil with relatively little fanfare. They are the cornerstones of the Calgary Flames defence corps -- hopefully for years to come -- and while they appear to be opposites, there are many similarities.

Hitting, for example, is a passion for both. Even in that category, though, there is separation.

"With Dion, he's a very good open-ice hitter," said Regehr, who once again helped contain the San Jose Sharks' top forwards in Wednesday night's 5-4 Flames victory.

"That's something that I've tried to do in the past, but it's very difficult.

"I'm more of an angling type of hitter, where I try to control the middle of the ice, angle the opposition to the outside and then either put him into the side boards or run him out of room into the end boards."

More like through the boards, right?

"Well, try to, yeah," he said with a laugh. "Give the fans something to cheer about."

More often than not, his mission has been accomplished. In a pair of wins over the Minnesota Wild before the all-star break, Regehr and partner Cory Sarich helped limit Marian Gaborik to a single assist at even-strength -- and the top shutdown duo wasn't on the ice at the time. Against the Sharks, the deadly Joe Thornton was held pointless.

"I've learned a lot from him. Defensively, there's not many that are better than him," said Phaneuf of Regehr. "The way he plays, the way he uses his stick and his positioning -- I've learned a lot from that.

"He's a top shutdown guy in the league."


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