May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Peter Regin (12) tries to get around Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (27) during the third period in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
With Patrick Sharp being out for at least 3-4 weeks, the Blackhawks have turned to Peter Regin to fill in.
Regin was called up after the news was released about Sharp missing an extended period of time. Lines from practice this morning had Regin with Brad Richards and Jeremy Morin in what is called the Hawks 4th line.
Brandon Saad was moved back up to the 2nd line to replace Sharp and the Hawks also juggled their power play lines.
Sharp’s injury has forced Coach Q to mix and match his lines more than he already has over the past couple of weeks. Before it was about jump-starting the offense. Now it is about staying afloat while Sharp is on the shelf.
Peter Regin made a lot of sense to be the call-up, although some called for Teuvo Teravainen. Regin has the NHL experience, can play both the wing and center and is the perfect stop-gap while Sharp is out. It makes no sense for the Hawks to call up Teravainen to just send him down again when he’s back.
So with Regin here, the Hawks have a number of options that they can use. For now, it looks that their going to ease Regin back into action on the 4th line. Regin’s ceiling is probably as the 3rd line center. He could go to the 2nd line if the Hawks want to move Andrew Shaw back to the wing.
Then there is Brad Richards, who also can center any of the bottom three lines. So with all of these options, Coach Q will have a quick leash with the line blender, knowing he has almost endless combinations he can put together.
Patrick Sharp’s injury on paper looks like a huge burden to the Hawks, but like most Stanley Cup contenders they have the ability to adapt. Having these options in Rockford allow the Hawks to fill in the hole that an injury like creates.
For the Hawks to go deep in the playoffs, battling through issues like this is a part of that process. The next three to four weeks are key to seeing if the Hawks are poised and ready for another Stanley Cup run.
The Hawks will have to survive these next couple of weeks and find away to earn two points every time they can. Peter Regin has gone from being a Rockford regular to a key part of the Hawks 2014-15 success. He has to make his time here count, for both his sake and for the Hawks sake.