In 64 games, Michalek has just 34 points, playing 18:23 a game, plus a ton of first line and power play minutes with quality linemates. In 70 games, Regin has 26 points, playing 12:41 a game, mostly on the third and fourth line with no power play time. That said, shouldn't Michalek have more than an 8 point lead on Regin right now?
Now, handed Michalek's quality and quantity of minutes, Regin has 4 goals and 1 assist in the 5 games he's been on the top line. A point a game and involved constantly. Cory Clouston is even starting to give him a look on the power play, albeit sparingly (1:15 vs Washington on Tuesday).
I once asked Cam Neely why he thought his point production doubled the year he was dealt from Vancouver to Boston. After all, he only appeared in two more games than he had in Vancouver. He offered me a simple answer. Ice time.
Okay, simmer down. No one is suggesting for a second we have another Neely here. Far from it. But in Regin, the Sens appear to have more than they thought they had. A lot more. Thing is, I think every single player in the NHL has the tools to be great. What keeps them from being great is opportunity and confidence. No one finds a speck of either without ice time.
Meanwhile, Michalek has some work to do when he gets back. Not just to win his old job back. But to keep fans from souring even further on the Dany Heatley deal.