Let us assist in that quest. You probably did well in your pool if you showed up at the draft with stats, projections, cheat sheets and a game plan.
You probably did badly if you showed up at the draft and bummed a pen and some paper from a buddy.
You probably did well if you knew Michael Nylander and Daymond Langkow were underrated.
You probably did badly if you didn't know Rick Nash and Markus Naslund were overvalued.
You probably did well if you dismissed Peter Forsberg as an injury risk.
You probably did badly if you drafted Eric Lindros and Ed Jovanovski anyway.
You probably did well if you thought Ray Emery and Peter Budaj could become top goaltenders.
You probably did badly if you were sure Hannu Toivonen and Antero Niittymaki would become Vezina contenders.
You probably did well if you presumed that Vincent Lecavalier would fill the net.
You probably did badly if you assumed that Joffrey Lupul could hit the net.
You probably did well if you believed Milan Michalek might stick with Thornton.
You probably did badly if you believed Colby Armstrong would click with Crosby.
You probably did well if you took a flier on Chris Clark.
You probably did badly if you took a Flyer.
You probably did well if you recognized the potential in Thomas Vanek and Alexander Semin.
You probably did badly if you always liked Tony Amonte.
You probably did well if you thought Daniel Briere would break out this year.
You probably did badly if you thought Tuomo Ruutu wouldn't break something this year.
You probably did well if you watched the waiver wire like a hawk.
You probably did badly if you watched the hockey highlights on CNN.
You probably did well if you picked rookies Anze Kopitar and Paul Stastny off waivers.
You probably did badly if you picked rookies Gilbert Brule and Phil Kessel on draft day.
You probably did well if you listened to advice from the so-called experts.
You probably did badly if you took all advice from a pre-schooler named Bert.
Chances are if you're reading this you are still in the hunt. But even if you're not, pay attention to players now on a hot streak to do early homework for your playoff pool.
Mike Ribeiro of the Stars and Eric Christianson of the Penguins are good pickups now and both are potential post-season sleepers. Ribeiro is especially hot - three goals and five assists in his last eight games.
Jon Sim's injury created an opening for Pascal Dupuis on the Thrashers top line with Keith Tkachuk and Ilya Kovalchuk. He's worth considering now and next week.
Defenceman Christoph Schubert is quietly making a case for himself in Ottawa. He has six points and a plus-eight rating in five games. That makes him much more valuable than Wade Redden, who has only one point in eight games while nursing a groin injury.
Another good blue-liner of late is Montreal's Mark Streit, now playing a regular shift on the Canadiens' second line while still on the point with the second power-play unit.
Still in Montreal, Cristobal Huet (hamstring) has been cleared by doctors to play, but no way are the Habs going to sit the red-hot Jaroslav Halak.
And neither should you.
Greg Dennis can be reached at cp.pool(at)hotmail.com.
Players to watch in your hockey pool this week
By Greg Dennis
(CP) - Some suggestions on players to watch or watch out for in your hockey pool this week:
1. G Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins. Overcomes a case of the shakes with a playoff-worthy 7-1-1 record.
2. C Jozef Stumpel, Panthers. Helped keep Florida in contention with five goals and 10 points in eight games.
3. C Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks. Last assist was on Feb. 3, but Sharp shooter has 13 goals since then.
4. C Mike Comrie, Senators. Five points on the weekend were as many as he had in 18 previous games.
5. RW Alexei Kovalev, Canadiens. Not exactly Monsieur Populaire, but he's scoring goals when the games mean something.
1. C Mike Sillinger, Islanders. One point in seven games coincides with team's stall in the standings.
2. C Tuomo Ruutu, Blackhawks. Enigmatic talent scored Sunday to end a seven-game pointless streak.
3. D Jaroslav Modry, Kings. Averaged 37.5 points the past four years, but bottoming out with 14 points now.
4. RW Justin Williams, Hurricanes. Thirty-goal sniper shoots blanks for nine straight games.
5. C Robert Lang, Red Wings. He came into March like a lion but finished the month like a lamb.