Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi remembered what it was like after his team’s double-overtime exit against Chicago in Game 5 in June.
The playoffs were over. But the doctors and trainers had plenty of work ahead of them, trying to put the players back together again, namely veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr.
“I went in there after and watched him on the table,” Lombardi said. “His nose was smashed. There were stitches. His elbow was blown up.
“These guys pay a price. It makes you appreciate what these guys go through and how special they are when you see that. That’s a guy who definitely understands the difference between playing hurt and injured to the extreme.
“That’s what you want. Any young player that sees that … the old adage of paying the price, well, there it is right there.”
Regehr would prefer not to set that extreme an example again.
He even took a puck in the face in pregame warmups before the final game in Chicago, needing stitches.
“That was the minor part,” Regehr said, laughing.
He was talking on Saturday after the Kings’ final morning skate of the regular season. Regehr confirmed he would be in the lineup for the Kings’ finale against the Ducks. Anaheim finishes its season Sunday at Honda Center against Colorado.
Regehr has missed the last three games with an unspecified injury. It caused alarm in some quarters because of his warrior-like qualities. If he was missing games, it must be serious, right?
“It was just an opportunity to rest some bumps and bruises,” Regehr said. “We couldn’t move up or down as a team with our playoff positioning. Really could do nothing that affected the opponent we were going to play, so it was a very good opportunity to have a little bit of rest and get as ready as possible and good as I can before heading into the last game of the year here and then for the playoffs.”
He played in his 1,000th career game in the NHL on Feb. 1, and the game against the Ducks was to be his 79th of the season. Regehr has three goals and 13 points this season, his highest-point total since the 2010-11 season with the Calgary Flames.
The veteran leadership among the defensemen in the playoffs will come from the 33-year-old Regehr and Willie Mitchell, who will turn 37 this month.
“He’s done it for a long, long time,” Mitchell said. “He’s younger than I am, but he’s played a [ton] of games, that’s for sure. He plays a simple, consistent game. He’s not going to do anything flashy, but he’ll make a hard play, a strong play.”
Regehr needed a long time after last year’s playoffs to feel quite right. His infected elbow required surgery and the necessary antibiotics created issues with his stomach.
“It wasn’t a great situation,” he said. “I was on medication for most of the playoffs. It was doing OK for a while, but by the end, it was very tough on the body when you’re on some pretty strong stuff.
“I actually had some problems actually after the season with my stomach and needed to go on some probiotics and things like that to try and get some of the good bacteria back in there. It was tough, but there’s all kinds of things that go on. Over the years you try to learn to put those things out of your mind as much as possible. But you can only do it to a certain extent, too.”
When: 5 p.m.
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Update: Teemu Selanne will play the final regular-season game of his career Sunday against Colorado. There is a movement spawned on Twitter by fans to give Selanne a standing ovation every shift in the third period. The campaign even has a motto: #thankyouteemu