© St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
March 23, 2002
* He's still trying to get up to speed after recovering from injuries.
Blues agitator Tyson Nash has been back in the lineup the past two games after being a healthy scratch in the two before that. The knee and abdominal injuries that kept him out of last season's playoffs linger.
"It's not something I'm proud of," Nash said of his scratches after Friday's 3-2 win over Anaheim. "It's not something you strive for. It's a first for me and I'm not happy about it.
"But I used the time to get some rest and get some therapy. I felt great tonight and hopefully I can build on that."
Nash had reason to feel good after assisting on Al MacInnis' goal, which put the Blues up 2-0. It was only the second assist for Nash since the Olympic break and his sixth on the season.
"I'm not on the scoreboard too often," he said. "It's fun to contribute, especially when we win."
Nash has been a tad slow making contact, and it's bogging down his effectiveness.
"His quickness has always been his greatest attribute - besides being a pest," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "Initiate contact, be a forecheck player, create havoc, that's what we need him to do. He needs his quickness to really get his game going."
Some things, however, don't change: Nash has been called for penalties in five of his past six games and has spent 15 minutes in the penalty box. On Friday, he had a two-minute roughing penalty.
Nash's recovery has been affected by the NHL's cramped schedule, which has kept him from getting as much time lifting weights and doing the rehabilitation work he needs.
"There's not a lot of time in the gym, and that's not helping," he said. "But I'm getting stronger and feeling better each day. Pretty soon, the old Nash will be back."
Ferraro learns on the fly
After three seasons with still-expansion-caliber Atlanta, Ray Ferraro is excited about being in St. Louis.
"It's fun to go to the rink again," he said. "Feels like I've got a new lease on life."
But he still has some learning to do. He arrived in St. Louis the morning of the Nashville game and played that night. The Blues played the next night at Dallas and then didn't practice on Thursday. He has played in three games but has had only two practices, both game-day morning skates, which generally aren't that intense.
"It feels like I'm in the wrong, wrong spot," he said. "A breakout goes out a lot quicker than I'm used to and I'm trailing, 20 feet behind the play. I'm turning left instead of right nine times. (In Atlanta) I did that so much I could do it without thinking. Here, it's night and day. I have to think about what I'm supposed to do and that's causing me to hesitate."
MacInnis played in his 519th game with the Blues, tying him with Red Berenson for eighth on the team's career list. Next up is Larry Patey at 603.