LOS ANGELES – Peter Regin emerged from the Chicago Blackhawks locker room sporting the white jersey, the one that signifies he’s on the outside of the four starting lines.
It was probably tough news for the center, who looked good in the few postseason games he’s played. But with Andrew Shaw returning to center that third line, it looks like Regin will have to wait for his next opportunity.
“You want to play every game but that’s the way it is, if that’s the case,” said Regin, who was skating on a fifth line with Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom at Friday’s practice. “I pride myself on being a good teammate and that’s what I’ll do. I was in this position before, so it’s not something I can’t deal with. I’ll just try to be ready if I’m called upon again.”
Shaw centered the third line with Brandon Saad and Kris Versteeg while the fourth line of Brandon Bollig, Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith remained intact. Patrick Sharp, who was on the third line in Game 2, was moved up to the second with Michal Handzus and Patrick Kane.
Asked what went into his decision to take Regin out with Shaw’s return, coach Joel Quenneville said, “we’re happy to have (Shaw) back. He’s been there (on the third line) mostly all year, so that’s where he’s at.”
Quenneville later talked about deciding who’s in or out of the lineup.
“As a staff we always talk about our options. We look every day whether it's the lines, ice time, who is in the lineup,” he said. “That's what we evaluate and the decisions we make.”
Regin said being the odd-man out is something you have to deal with on a deep roster.
“We knew (Shaw) was out and we didn’t know when he’d come back and we’re all happy to see him back. Someone has to come out. If I’m in that mix, I’ll just have to deal with it, stay positive and be ready to play if I get a chance to play,” he said. “The worst thing you can do is put your head down and then, if you don’t perform when you get a chance again, you really screw yourself. You take the positives from the game, focus on that, and be ready if I get a chance again.”
Regin brought a spark to the Blackhawks late in the Minnesota series, giving the third line some stability and solid minutes in Shaw’s absence. He struggled in the faceoff circle, however, winning 13 and losing 31. He said that’s something he definitely wants to improve.
“It’s a small part of the game but it’s something that makes a big difference sometimes,” he said. “There are some areas I’d like to improve, some areas I thought I was doing all right, and that’s how it is after every game, I guess. You evaluate, whether you win or lose, play good or bad; there are always things you can improve, things you feel you’re doing right and you have to focus on that.”