SUN Hockey Pool

Regehr enjoying new role

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

All those opponents who used to have bruised backs must be salivating as they watch recent Flames powerplays.

For the past couple of outings, defenceman Robyn Regehr has taken the Tomas Holmstrom role of goalie screener.

With Regehr going to the front of the net, there has to be some players out there who want a bit of payback for beatings the rugged blueliner has dished out over his career.

The hunter has become the hunted.

So far, the 29-year-old veteran from Rosthern, Sask., hasn’t heard anyone express their excitement seeing him crash the blue paint where he can take some lumber.

“They didn’t say that, but they are probably thinking that,” Regehr said. “It hasn’t worked out that well. I’ve had a few chances so who knows what will happen.”

Lost in the muck of Monday’s 9-1 beating at the hands of the San Jose Sharks was the fact Regehr hit the scoresheet with his first goal in 142 games.

The last time Regehr scored was Feb. 28, 2008 in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Colorado Avalanche.

His latest goal wasn’t around the crease, but instead a long shot that found its way through.

Now Regehr is hot.

So head coach Brent Sutter’s plan of getting more production of his shut-down defenceman seemed to work.

“(Sutter) was trying to get me my first goal,” Regehr said with a laugh. “Now that’s out of the way, the floodgates can open.

“He sees that I’m on a roll now.”

As to whether Regehr will continue his role of standing next to the paint, the blueliner wasn’t completely sure.

It takes a bit of time to learn how to screen rather than eliminating the screen.

“It’s fun being down there trying to create as many problems as you can,” said Regehr. “It’s a different situation when you are in front of the net trying to screen the goalie instead of getting guys out oft he way.

“You have to think completely the opposite. It’s fun to do.”

One thing Regehr is happy about on the offensive side is the officials aren’t allowing as much stickwork in those situations. He had to be creative in playing defence against powerplay units, but can now reap the benefits of the crackdown.

“There’s not a whole bunch you can do know outside of getting to guys early and tying up their sticks.” Regehr said about defending.

“If you can do that, you can take the sticks off the ice so they stay away from rebounds.

“A lot of the cross-checking is gone from the game. There are little shots here and there, but it’s not the way it used to be when you could snap your stick over a guy’s back and arms.

“You used to see guys before the game would put on full body armour, all over their arms and backs. You hardly see that anymore.”


Videos

Photos