While no player in the history of hockey has ever publicly acknowledged having his sights on a scoring title — they're just there to help the team win in any way they can — the OHL's point race was shaping up as a good side plot. It looks like the four-man race brewing between the Sarnia Sting's Charlie Sarault, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds' Nick Cousins, Plymouth Whalers' Vincent Trocheck and London Knights' Seth Griffith will now be a three-man fight.
Following a scoop on Tuesday night that Griffith, a Boston Bruins selection, broke a bone in his hand, the Knights provided a little more detail. It looks as though Griffith, frequently the finisher-offer of many a feed from NHL draft prospect Max Domi, is going to miss at least three weeks. The pair are one of just two tandems in OHL who each have at least 30 goals.
As Knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter told Shannon Wise (@WISE1290SPORTS):
"From what we were told, [the break] was clean and there were no complications with that. So basically it's just resting up for the next few weeks and getting ready for our playoff run ... As of right now, it looks about 2-4 [weeks] depending on how it heals but right now he's off the ice not doing anything.
"... We're going to wait until he is 100 per cent. We don't want him coming out early, pushing the envelope with it. We want him being healthy the whole playoff run.
"... It could have been worse. It could have been first round of the playoffs for us ... I'd lean toward [the timetable for Griffith's return] being 3-4 weeks." (CJBK 1290)
Griffith, 20, had played 190 consecutive regular-season games since becoming a Knights regular at the start of his 17-year-old season, so Bruins prospects watchers probably should not worry about him being fragile. Breaking a small bone after being slashed could happen to anyone and that Knights-Kitchener Rangers match on Sunday was a give-no-quarter game.
The timing of the injury is bad for London, but its 11-point lead in the overall standings removes some of the attendant pressure a team might put it on itself after its leading scorer goes down. The Knights will be down two major cogs since Toronto Maple Leafs selection Ryan Rupert is facing a suspension after getting a match penalty in that same game vs. the Rangers. One never knows with the OHL, but since there was no injury, there might not be more than the mandatory minimum suspension coming Rupert's way.
From Ryan Pyette (@RyanatLFPress):
The Knights are also poised to lose forward Ryan Rupert, who is facing a minimum three-game suspension for a spearing match penalty on Kitchener forward Derek Schoenmakers.
A match is supposed to be called in an instance where the speared player is injured and the Ranger skater was back on the ice in a hurry.
“I’m speaking generally, of course, but you can’t blame the referees because we put an awful lot of pressure on them in a situation like that,” [Knights general manager] Mark Hunter said. “He was out the next shift. It’s a smart move. Some teams may think that’s OK, but it’s not something we want to teach our kids, to roll around on the ice when they’re not hurt. It makes it really tough on the referees.
“I don’t like it.” (London Free Press)
You see what Mark Hunter did there.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.