So after Tuesday’s undeserved and tide-turning face off penalty (ITS A GREAT PENALTY!!!) we can officially conclude that Peter Regin is straight up bad luck at this point, right? …Let’s retire the number 13 while we’re at it.
Imagine you’re Jim O’Brien, getting scratched game after game for a guy who has 3 assists on the year. Don’t get me wrong: despite a strong start, JOB isn’t exactly burning down the house with his 6 points and minus three, but what the hell is up with a supposed “skill guy” like Regin who hasn’t put up a point in weeks not getting an extended stay in the press box?
The nail in the coffin for me here is fucking MATT KASSIAN has more goals than him. The debate whether Regin is a top six *puts on giant novelty Mickey Mouse glove and does hand wanking motion* or a bottom six player is now over. 3 points and a minus rating with two and a half weeks left in the season shows you’re barely an NHL player. I know his stock was high as recently as the beginning of last season, and hey he looked good early on, but for me, when he went that one season with only 3 goals in 55 games he became more or less expendable. You can just go out on the free market and buy better production than that on the cheap. Or even better, if you’re the Ottawa Senators you’re in the position to just cut him loose and give one of your many depth players a try. Stephane DaCosta came up and put up a goal and an assist in less than 10 games. Is he NHL ready? I don’t know but again the greater question is, is Regin at this point? Could a Hugh Jessiman or Mark Stone not do what Regin is doing?
People didn’t give a FUCK when Bobby Butler was waived, or to a lesser extent when Foligno was traded. Foligno could hit hard, play centetr or wing, and he put up nearly 50 points last year! Butler spent much of last year in the box and still put up 6 goals and 10 assists, was a +8 and people were ready to burn that guy’s house down. What I’m saying is, Ottawa has parted ways with more productive players (and quicker) for less.
I wonder what the strategy is here? Is MacLean trying to light a serious fire under O’Brien until he gets to that Reginesque point of charging into his office and demanding to play? When Regin did it it was awesome. Full credit he was on fire in that game against Montreal and pretty much won it for Ottawa. The thing is it seems he can’t do that for more than one game in a row. Remember when Bobby Butler did the same thing vs. Calgary last year? Neither do I!
At 26 Peter Regin is still quite young and YES HE WAS GREAT IN THAT ONE PLAYOFF SERIES but that was in 2010. With the injuries this team has suffered this season I could see why Ottawa might want to keep the waivers to a minimum, but why he was kept over Daugavins is baffling to me. At least Dogman was durable. And that’s the other thing: If you like me believe Regin is a bottom six player at best, watching him get knocked about like a pinata game after game is not exactly endearing for a PK lunch pail guy. O’Brien has the wheels, a degree of touch and PK skills like Regin but with more durability and a modicum of toughness. As a fan, I expect to see JOB in against Philly on Thursday.
Much like Butler before him, I hope Regin can turn it around and wish him success but as per my feelings toward The Ballad of Bobby B last year, I’d much rather see him try to find his way somewhere else.
It seems to be like there are at least two tiers of expectations against which to assess Peter Regin’s putrid, awful, unwatchable season. The first expectation is that he’s a cheap depth guy, best suited to playing on the 3rd or 4th line, who won’t lose you hockey games. If that’s the case I can’t really disagree, though like you say James: it’s not like those guys aren’t plentiful in the NHL. Ottawa can swing a little bit more for the fences with its depth guys. It’s not like Regin is tough, agitates, or has much offensive upside these days.
The second set of expectations, and easiest to consider a failure, is that Regin is a number 1-2 centerman with puck possession skills ideal for Paul MacLean’s system. This has been pretty thoroughly disproved at this point.
Sometimes it was Regin starting the game as the team’s number one center when Spezza was hurt only to find himself on the fourth line so fast he would get whiplash (in favor of Smith for chrissake). Sometimes he’d be a supplementary winger. In any case, there’s something far more disturbing than his never becoming a top six player (which, ok let’s admit, is hard to do).
Check out these Relative Corsi ratings:
2008-2009 GP 11 RC 13.3
2009-2010 GP 75 RC 18.9
2010-2011 GP 55 RC 8.4
2011-2012 GP 10 RC 0.8
2012-2013 GP 27 RC -0.7
Now, that’s not all that bad – even the negative rating is near even, which means Regin is usually pushing the puck in the right direction, even playing with terrible, terrible linemates, and though never getting much in the way of point production. What’s more disturbing is the trend. That’s a good body of work right there, enough that sample size starts to get mitigated a little bit. As Regin has struggled through injuries, his effectiveness has seemed to slip, and is heading steadily southward. You might assume it’s his natural progression down the lineup into a marginal role, and his Time on Ice p/ 60 minutes has decreased, but only from between 11-12 minutes a night to about nine minutes this year. When he was having those great Corsi seasons, he was only enjoying two more minutes a night, at most. He also only started in the offensive zone about 7% more of the time.
In other words: not that much has changed about how Regin is being played, but he’s still getting worse. He’s not as terrible as I first thought, but he’s experiencing his worst season as a professional, and he’s trending downward. Why take a risk on that sort of player when you’re organization is stuffed with depth guys?
Of course there’s also his point production, which with his number of games played puts him in the arena of Tim Jackman, Tim Brent, and Ryan Reaves. Some of those guys only play about six minutes a night. Clearly this is disappointing for anyone expecting him to be 20 goal guy (<– actual prediction!)
It’s not that he’s a terrible fourth liner. It’s just that we don’t want him to be a fourth liner. At 26 he’s in what’s supposed to be his prime. He might rebound, sure, and his underlying numbers are enough that you can see why management would spend only $800k to bring him back for a year. But the years of monster Corsi possession now seem to be behind him.
I’d hate to see him rebound elsewhere. On the other hand, it just seems like a warm body in the lineup right now. I’d rather give that ice time to Mark Stone, Shane Prince, or Mike Hoffman and let them develop in the NHL.