Perry establishes modest Ducks record

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

Not that Anaheim has a long and storied hockey history, but former London Knight Corey Perry just became the first Mighty Duck to record at least one point in each of his first three games.

The early chatter is that Washington's Alexander Ovechkin and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby are going to duke it out for top rookie, but it wouldn't be prudent to pass over the impressive young Duckling.

Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle was quackers for skipping Perry in the Ducks' recent shootout loss to Nashville. He's only 20, but Perry is a breakaway artist and has a move or two that will work on NHL goalies. Anaheim opted for Sergei Fedorov, Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald, a Strathroy native.

They all missed.

No Nash

Rick Nash's wonky ankle means he'll miss the chance to face off against Perry tonight when the Columbus Blue Jackets are in Anaheim.

That's a shame, since the last time the duo patrolled the ice together, they were skating at the London Ice House, which has now become bicycle heaven for the velodrome set.

Nash's re-aggravation of a high-ankle sprain will likely keep him out of the lineup until next week. So far, he's only played nine minutes, in the season opener against Washington.

But Columbus clearly thinks much of the 21-year-old forward -- Nash will serve as an alternate captain. Former Toronto Maple Leaf Luke Richardson is captain.

In the Washington game in which Nash was hurt, former Knight Dan Fritsche scored both Blue Jacket goals. The Parma, Ohio, native had one goal in 19 NHL games in 2003-04.

Speaking of the Nash injury, the new rules were intended to open up room for the stars and, in a perfect world, reduce the injuries to said top dogs.

That hasn't happened with Nash down and now Boston's Joe Thornton, Nash's lockout teammate in Switzerland, battling a bad back.

Smilin' Hank

When ex-Knight Alex Henry rolled into the John Labatt Centre a couple of years ago with the Washington Capitals to play an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Flyers, it didn't look as if the big fellow's pro career was going to have much longer to go.

At that time, the Caps had Henry in a fourth-line checking role. But after Washington waived him, Henry landed in Minnesota on the Wild defence and finally found a home.

In fact, he's wearing the captain's C for the first month in the team's rotating leadership system. On Wednesday night, he got into a spirited punchup with big bad Todd Bertuzzi in Minnesota's 6-0 clobbering of Vancouver.

"It just happened," Henry said. "That's what these games are about. We've got a little rivalry going on. It's good."

Regarding that shelling, everywhere in Vancouver fans will once again wail that their goalie, former St. Thomas Star Dan Cloutier, is no good.

But the game simply signified a poor Canucks effort and Cloutier actually made several massive saves when the game was close to keep his club in it.

It's way early, but based on a quick glimpse, it's becoming easier to argue that Canada's eastern teams -- Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto -- may outperform the western squads -- Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary -- this season.

Great Scott

Although he doesn't resemble a grandpa, Londoner Scott Thornton, at age 34, is San Jose's oldest player by 4 1/2 years.

Who's a guy supposed to compare legal will kits with on this team of young bucks? The old fella popped his first goal of the year against Columbus on Wednesday and confirmed he was glad the NHL was back in business.

"It was nice coming downtown tonight without dinner reservations," he said.

In the sticks

Columbus AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch lost 5-2 in Toronto to the Marlies on Wednesday but it wasn't ex-Knight Marc Methot's fault.

The big defenceman ended the evening plus-two, playing on the blue-line with 32-year-old captain Jamie Pushor, a former Detroit Red Wing.

Clearly, Syracuse coach Gary Agnew, a former Knights boss, is giving Methot a chance to learn on the job with a seasoned pro alongside.


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