Fantasy Pool Look: Finding a spark

There are many different forms of motivation to get a skilled hockey player to produce, with varying degrees of success. Fantasy owners desperately scan newspapers, the Internet and scoring summaries in an attempt to find that one signal that a certain player is about to turn his game around.

There are two methods that are my favorites – shocking healthy scratches and the introduction of a new coach.

For the latter, the best (and only current) example of this is Ken Hitchcock taking over the coaching duties for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sergei Fedorov had seven points in 14 pre-Hitchcock games, but has five points in two games since.

Fedorov still has another 65-point season in him and his hot play under a new coach indicates that he should get there this year.

Anson Carter, another underachiever for the Blue Jackets, has three points in the two games. He had four points in 20 before that.

A coaching change often helps slumping players turn things around, but by the same token it could hurt players who were on hot streaks or playing up to expectations. The Jackets’ leading scorer, David Vyborny, has yet to collect a point since Hitchcock’s debut.

Wojtek Wolski of the Colorado Avalanche proved the healthy-scratch indicator to be true recently. Wolski was scratched for the Avs game on Wednesday, but came back on Saturday to tally four points in a 4-1 win.

It is interesting to note that the best offensive player for the Phoenix Coyotes, Ladislav Nagy, was a healthy scratch on Saturday. This is shocking, to say the least, and Nagy will have all week to think about it, as the Coyotes do not play until Thursday. Nagy will have a huge gameÂ…

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Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Ray Whitney, who has 28 points in 25 games, is pointless in his last three for the Hurricanes. His points-per-game average will decline even further once Cory Stillman returns from his shoulder injury in mid-December. If you have not yet traded Whitney, please do soÂ…

Farm Report: Chicago’s Brandon Bochenski, who should have made the big squad, but disappointed in training camp, is on fire in the American League. The 24-year-old scored four goals for Norfolk on Saturday and is on a seven-game point streak with 16 points in that span. Bochenski has 32 points in 19 games, which is good for a third place tie in AHL scoring. He will get another shot at the NHL this year, but needs to show more consistency at that level.

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 Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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