Sens' Regin aims to hold spot on second line

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:19 AM ET

Peter Regin finished last season as the left winger on the Senators’ first line.

He’s starting training camp as the left winger on the second line.

Either way is pretty decent for a guy who didn’t even have a lock on a job in Ottawa this time last year.

When the Senators formally returned to the ice over the weekend, Regin was lined up alongside Mike Fisher and Alex Kovalev, while Milan Michalek was back in his old spot, next to Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson.

Regin, a 24-year-old Dane who made the squad out of camp last September, filled in admirably on the team’s top line when Michalek suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Tabbed by coach Cory Clouston as a versatile player who can be used in different roles, Regin is naturally interested in holding this spot on the depth chart.

“As a forward, you always want to score points and score goals,” he said Sunday. “That’s a lot of fun. But at the same time, I have a lot of pride in defending and playing the two-way game.

“I think I can play in almost every position. I think if I get the chance on the first or second line, I can put up points. And if I have to play on the third or fourth line, I think I can play responsible and play defensively, too. It’s up to the coach, but you always want to play as much as possible and that’s usually on one of the two first lines.

“My goal is to play on one of those lines,” added Regin, who wound up with 13 goals and 16 assists in 75 games last season, his first full term in the NHL. “If I don’t make one of those lines, I still go out there and do my best and work as hard as I can. It’s not like I’m going to shut it down. I’ll just try to prove that I belong there.”

Regin, Fisher and Kovalev did have some success playing together last season.

“It’s going to be a great combo. We can all bring something different, and come together as a good line,” said Fisher, who agrees that playing with Kovalev was a factor in him having his best offensive season with 25 goals and 53 points. “He was a big part of that ... He makes plays in the right areas. He got me a lot of pucks in scoring areas where I could put it in.

“He took a lot of heat last year, but he definitely made me better.”

Regin also likes playing with Kovalev.

“He’s an intelligent player”, said Regin. “He thinks the game, so I think you have to read off him, and try to understand what he’s doing. Sometimes it’s tough, but he’s a really good player and he opens space for you.”

And the Regin-Fisher-Kovalev line can open up space for Spezza’s line by playing well enough to draw shifts from the opponent’s top defensive players.

THIS AND THAT

Clouston turned 41 on Sunday. Asked if he bought his coach a present, Fisher replied yes. “It’s in the mail,” he said with a grin ... How did Clouston spend the big day? “Work,” he said. “A little video. Plan for tomorrow.” So, no different than any other day? “Unfortunately no,” said Clouston. “Or fortunately yes. Whichever way you look at it.” ... Nick Foligno became engaged two weekends ago to his girlfriend of four years, Sudbury schoolteacher Janelle Forest. They’re mulling wedding dates next summer. Foligno mentioned how nice it would be to bring Stanley to the party. Stanley Cup, that is. “Twenty-two and engaged, it’s a little scary,” joked Foligno. “No, I’m excited. It’s going to be awesome. She’s a good girl. She’s been by me for a lot of years.” ... First round of demotions won’t be announced until Sept. 29, the day after the Senators return from a pre-season game against Buffalo in Dundas. Clouston said the team’s top prospects — guys like Jared Cowen, Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba, Bobby Butler and Roman Wick — can expect to play in “two or three” of the first pre-season games. “Then we’ll gauge it from there,” said Clouston. “But yeah, there going to be given an early opportunity and it’s up to them to make the most of it.” ... Lars Eller, obtained by the Canadiens in the off-season trade of Jaroslav Halak, wants to be the best player from Denmark. Right now, he says, that is Regin. “I want to be the best too,” Regin said. “That’s what I’m trying to be every day.” ... Regin had a chuckle when asked if he could become a 40-goal scorer. “It’s probably going to be tough this year.” 


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