SUN Hockey Pool

Injuries keep Perry, Nash sidelined

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

It's been well known for a while that anything that can be bought or sold is currently being auctioned on eBay.

Want an 8x10 photograph to relive that unforgettable moment when Corey Perry was duking it out with Mike Richards in the London-Kitchener playoff series last year? There were seven left as of yesterday.

How about an NHL Players' Association mini-stick with Rick Nash's face on the blade? A poster of Joe Thornton skating on the Boston skyline? A signed puck by Detroit Red Wings forward Jason Williams?

All are available to the successful bidder.

Of course, the Perry and Nash items might be drawing more cash than five American bucks if the ex-Knights were currently active in the NHL.

Perry, the Mighty Ducks rookie, is still on injured reserve after suffering a concussion on an elbow from St. Louis captain Dallas Drake. He's been riding the stationary bike, which is about as exciting as mowing two acres of lawn.

Nash, with a painful sprained knee that's threatening to keep him out until nearly Christmas, isn't even healthy enough to mow lawn in Columbus unless he gets hold of one of those riding models (like a Craftsman LT1000 available now on eBay for $900 US).

The Blue Jackets miss him more than anyone: Their top scorer has four goals (ex-Knight Dan Fritsche has a pair of markers in 11 games).

The red-hot Wing Williams' autographed puck, by the way, is up for $11.99 U.S., plus shipping. Unlike the Blue Jackets, he's not having trouble scoring with 19 points in 16 games heading into last night's tilt with Los Angeles.

One big reason for his confidence? He has recorded at least one shot in every game he has played. Getting involved and firing the puck at the goalie will do wonders for a forward's sense of well-being.

Thorn in his thigh

After watching cousin Joe battle various physical woes earlier this season, San Jose forward and London native Scott Thornton heads for some team-imposed rest with a sore groin. The 34-year-old Sharks elder statesman has missed the past three games and was placed on the injured list Tuesday.

The only healthy guys from around these parts in the NHL appear to be those freshly called up from the minors: Dennis Wideman by the St. Louis Blues, Tillsonburg's Gregory Campbell in Florida and Danny Syvret for Edmonton. Give them time and they'll be hobbling like everyone else.

Tool-ing around

Stratford native and former Knight Tim (Toolman) Taylor doesn't score a ton of goals but he certainly looks like he knows what he's doing when he does find the back of the net. On Tuesday night in Montreal, Tampa's Taylor popped his first goal of the season by skating hard to the net and converting his own rebound past Jose Theodore.

In the same situation, many players forget to follow their shot and, instead, let their momentum carry them into the corner or past the goal-line while a loose puck flutters into the slot.

Boston's Joe Thornton skated past the net on Tuesday night but had the presence of mind to reach back with his stick and jam the puck past Philly's Robert Esche.

Only about five per cent of pros have the gifted ability to do what Thornton did there. The Toolman, however, did what the other 95 per cent of NHLers are taught to do but often forget.

In the sticks

Former Knight and Western Mustang Mike Stathopoulos has emerged with six points in eight games for the ECHL's Columbia (South Carolina) Inferno, a farm team of the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose which, in turn, is the farm team of the Vancouver Canucks.

Who are the goalies Stathopoulos is trying to score on in practice?

Why, it's his old Knights teammate Chris Houle and ex-Sarnia Sting goalie Robert Gherson.


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