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Fantasy Pool Look: Potpourri at the all-star break

Darryl Dobbs
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Jonas Hiller is looking as though he might usurp J-S Giguere as Anaheim\'s No. 1 backstopper. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Fantasy Pool Look: Potpourri at the all-star break

Darryl Dobbs
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Just past the midpoint of the 2008-09 NHL season - here are some quick notes, thoughts and observations for poolies to digest…

Minnesota rearguard Marek Zidlicky has nine points in his past six contests. After a rocky start with his new team (one point in seven games), Zidlicky has settled into a nice 55-point pace. That’s about the same pace fantasy owners got from him in his first two NHL seasons, but he had detoured from that over the last two…

Patrick Kane has been playing through a high ankle sprain. That’s nice and impressive in NHL circles, but it’s killing some fantasy teams. He has one point in his past 11 games…

Kane’s slump has a far-reaching impact. In the past eight contests, teammates Patrick Sharp has just one point, Jonathan Toews has four, while Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ladd have three. There are many poolies who wish Kane just took the past three weeks off…

Since Mats Sundin joined the Canucks, his current (and former Toronto) teammate Kyle Wellwood has gone pointless in six games and was a healthy scratch once. Perhaps Sundin’s arrival brought back memories of Wellwood’s nightmarish final season in Leaf Land. Regardless, it looks as though Wellwood has again become a fantasy bust…

With eight points in his past four games, it looks as though former Predator Rich Peverley has found a home on Ilya Kovalchuk’s line in Atlanta. His speed compliment’s the Russian’s talent nicely and should continue to pay dividends in the second half. While it would be silly to expect 68 points in the remaining 34 games from Peverley, he should be good for 25 or 30. In keeper leagues, Peverley’s future success will depend on next year’s training camp and his coach. If Peverley falters in camp and is removed from the line, he’ll have no fantasy value at all. If Atlanta makes a coaching change, all bets are off. The only way he maintains value is if he performs well in camp and John Anderson remains as head coach…

Stop betting against David Krejci. The Boston sophomore doesn’t stop producing, so it’s time to stop expecting him to. He is on pace for 90 points and I’ll be damned if I’m going to boldly predict him to even slow to 89. Mr. Krejci – I concede. You win…

It’s Ales Hemsky’s sixth NHL season and he is just about to enter the prime of his career. I expected big things from Hemsky this campaign, secretly harboring thoughts of 100 points. His fragility is holding him back though. He has missed 10 games this year, eight last year and 18 in 2006-07. However, this year’s 1.14 points-per-game is a career high and translates into a 93-point pace over a full season. He has six points in two games since returning from injury…

Is Cory Murphy the next Dan Boyle? The last time the Florida Panthers practically gave away a one-dimensional offensive rearguard to Tampa Bay, the Lightning turned Boyle into a consistent 50-plus point producer (and Boyle currently leads all NHL blueliners in points). Murphy is logging 23 minutes a game and has three points in his two games with the new team. It’s early still, but I believe only Murphy’s health will stop him from keeping it up. He has a troublesome shoulder that may derail his NHL career shortly after it begins. If he can overcome that, he’ll be worth at least 50 points a season for Tamp Bay…

I’m far more inclined to believe Steve Mason is the real deal than I was last year about Pascal Leclaire. I was vilified for my thoughts on Leclaire a year ago, doubting him when he had seven shutouts in his first 24 games. It was late December before Leclaire’s GAA crept above 2.00, but the fickle hockey world forgets that in their rush to crown rookie Mason the savior just a year later. However, Mason does have a far better pedigree than Leclaire and seems to be healthier (although he has had his share of surgeries). I just wanted to remind you of Leclaire’s dazzling numbers just one year ago and how quickly things changed…
Jonas Hiller has played in seven of Anaheim’s past 10 games and is trying to muscle his way into the starting role. His numbers are far superior to J-S Giguere’s:
Hiller: 11-9-1, 4 SO, 2.06 GAA, .930 SP
Giguere: 12-12-4, 2 SO, 3.08 GAA, .904 SP

It’s the Giguere/Ilya Bryzgalov controversy all over again. Look for Hiller to possibly steal the job come playoff time…

After a brutal start of just seven points in 34 games, Antoine Vermette has finally found his groove. He has garnered 10 in his past 10…

With all the injuries in Columbus, Ken Hitchcock has been forced to give Jakub Voracek decent ice time. The result has been seven points in his past seven games for the dazzling rookie…

I don’t know what has happened to New York’s Dan Girardi, but you can’t hit a wall much harder than this: two points in 29 games after he tallied 14 in 19…

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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Want more fantasy insider information or to contact The Dobber? Check out dobberhockey.com.

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Fantasy Pool Look: Potpourri at the all-star break