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Fantasy Pool Look: Bombing on Broadway

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Nothing sickens a fantasy hockey junky more than owning an 80-point player who switches teams and is hailed as the new linemate of the team’s superstar…only to have him inexplicably bomb out.

Scott Gomez is widely considered one of the better setup men in the NHL. With 334 assists in 548 contests entering 2007-08 - an average of 50 per season - it was easy to assume this consistent assist specialist would slide in nicely as Jaromir Jagr’s sidekick.

Jagr, who has been a lock to score between 30 and 55 markers per season for 11 straight campaigns, would be the man who propels Gomez into superstardom.


Gomez has just one assist in 11 contests and in hindsight the reason is obvious: he is used to a different style. While he and former New Jersey linemate Patrik Elias often scored on the rush or on quick puck movement in the offensive zone, Jagr and his former pivot Michal Nylander liked to dangle. They would slow the play down and wait out opportunities.

It’s going to take awhile for Gomez to adjust to the new style of play – perhaps as long as two seasons. Why two seasons? If you recall, Gomez displayed excellent chemistry with Alex Mogilny back in 2000-01. When Mogilny left New Jersey, Gomez suddenly needed to grow accustomed to Elias, his new linemate. After seasons of 48 and 55 points, Gomez finally settled in with his new linemate and posted 70 points in 2003-04.

While Gomez owners certainly hope he won’t take that long this time around, it is certainly a possibility and it may be worthwhile exploring a trade…

The Dallas line of Mike Ribeiro, Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow is clicking on all cylinders. The trio has combined for 18 points in the past four contests. Both Ribeiro and Morrow look promising to reach the 70-point mark this season. A year ago, no Dallas player even reached 60…

Cory Stillman seems to be back into form. After missing much of last season with shoulder and groin injuries, the Carolina forward has bounced back with 13 points in nine games…

Despite the promise shown in his stint with the Thrashers after the trade deadline last season, defenseman Alexei Zhitnik has been supplanted as the power play quarterback. In 18 games with Atlanta last season, the 35-year-old earned 14 points. So far this go-around, he has just two assists in 11 contests and is a minus-7. Rookie Tobias Enstrom is getting all the power play time and while the youngster has just four points so far, his play has improved with every game and he makes a great under-the-radar pickup in rotisserie leagues…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Nashville rearguard Shea Weber (knee) is eyeing a Nov. 15 return against Chicago…Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek is shooting for a Nov. 7 return. In the meantime, ride Chris Osgood’s hot streak…Buffalo defenseman Jaroslav Spacek will return to the lineup Thursday. Nathan Paetsch’s recent hot run will cool off as a result…

Farm Report: Plucked from the under-scouted NAHL, the Philadelphia Flyers may have found a gem in 19-year-old Patrick Maroon. The 6-foot-4, 225 pound left winger is dominating the Ontario League this year the same way he dominated the NAHL last year. His 25 points in 14 games puts him firmly in the top 10 scorers in the league. Not bad for a sixth-round flyer. Keep an eye on this giant, as his size alone will see to it that he gets long looks in training camp next year.

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

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