Sens' Regin likes his odds

DON BRENNAN , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:29 PM ET

The Senators showed plenty of character bouncing back from two deficits against the Flames Tuesday night.

They displayed the kind of hearts they’re going to need as the games continually get tougher down the stretch. The kind of hearts they’re going to need in the playoffs.

What other kind of hearts could we be talking about you ask? Well, there’s the kind played by Jarkko Ruutu, Peter Regin, Chris Neil and Shean Donovan on team flights and in hotel rooms across the league.

The regular Hearts card game has also included captain Daniel Alfredsson from time-to-time.

“Alfie’s pretty good when he plays,” says Neil. “Just ask him, he’ll tell ya.”

Ruutu is the “Commish,” because it’s his responsibility to bring the cards.

And the best player on the team is the rookie Regin.

“It’s his first year, so we don’t really know his tactics,” said Neil. “So Dono, Ruuts and me have to gang up on him.”

Before joining the Senators, Regin’s only experience at Hearts was on the computer.

Sounds like he has more fun playing his patsies in real life.

“They try to get me every time, they’re against me all the time,” said Regin. “Every time they have a chance to give the Queen of spades to somebody else they keep it, because I’m the best player, they say. They keep it for me every time.

“It’s three against one every time.”

Almost like the odds the Senators faced when trailing the Flames.

Regin says his season started well, but he hasn’t had much success on recent road trips. He blames it on the cards.

“Hopefully, it will turn around,” he said.

Like the rest of the Senators, he wants to be peaking for the playoffs.

Things I think I think

Already owning a joke of a videoboard, the penalty time part of the Senators scoreclock didn’t work in the first period. Eugene Melnyk might want to take this opportunity to trash the whole unit and replace it with the nice ones other NHL rinks have hanging over centre ice ... Cory Clouston passed at a chance to declare Brian Elliott his new No. 1 goalie after the morning skate. “No, not necessarily,” the Senators coach said when asked if Elliott had surpassed Pascal Leclaire on the depth chart. “You can call it whatever you want, put whatever number you want on it. I’m not going to label anything right now.” Elliott played well between the pipes against the Flames, but he’s still scary as hell when he ventures out of the crease.

Starts and stops

What do you call a Canadiens team that has a coaching staff of Jacques Martin, Perry Pearn, Pierre Groulx, Lorne Goldenberg, has Frank Jay as scout, Trevor Timmins as director of player recruitment and development and now Pierre “The Ghost” Gauthier as GM? The Senators of the 1990s, that’s what.

Between Periods

Brian McGrattan went for sushi with his Jason Spezza (and Spezza’s wife Jenn) on Monday, but didn’t get a chance to exchange greetings with his best friend again Tuesday night. McGrattan, an enforcer in the Senators organization for six years and with the big club for three, has been a healthy Flames scratch for 21 games this season. You’ve got to know he had a burning desire to play at Scotiabank Place.

“I hope to get into them all,” McGrattan said after the morning skate. “But points are important right now. If we win it’s all good.”

No, McGrattan’s not about to make waves. He remains thankful the Flames gave him a chance to stay in the NHL when no one else would. “Being in the position I am on the team is tough,” he said.

“You’re not needed every night, even though I want to play. It’s all about being a team player, too. If you can bring that aspect, I think it’s very important. Even though you’re not playing, you’re still part of the team. If I play 30-40 games, it’s still a bonus to me.”

One of them should have been against the Senators Tuesday, given the tone the tilt took ... Goaltending consultant John Stevenson was on the ice at the morning skate and apparently not at all intimidated by the NHLers, asserting himself with Pascal Leclaire and even the shooters that were firing pucks at him.


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