Skip to main content

Fantasy Pool Look: Chicago on fire

The new NHL season is less than a week old, but the Chicago Blackhawks have shown they have, in fact, solved the problem everyone thought they may have over the summer: offense.

Spearheaded by the off-season acquisition of Martin Havlat, the Blackhawks have managed to pot 12 goals in just two games – tops in the league. Havlat's six points are more than anyone else in the NHL has managed at the two-game mark and Michal Handzus, another summer acquisition, has five points.

The two of them are playing on a line with different partners, as coach Trent Yawney tries to temporarily fill the hole on the right side while Tuomo Ruutu recovers from an ankle injury.

With a young defense corps, it is clear the game plan for this rebuilding squad is to score as much as possible and hope that it is enough. Naturally, this means a lot of goals against. The team has given up 11 goals. Clearly, betting the ‘over' in games involving Chicago would be the smart move.

From a fantasy standpoint, there have been eight different forwards who have scored for the Blackhawks, as Yawney has decided to distribute the offense around three lines. The strategy makes for some difficult decisions in rotisserie leagues. Beyond Handzus and Havlat, there is Rene Bourque, Bryan Smolinski, Radim Vrbata and newcomer Jeff Hamilton, a career minor-leaguer who turned a strong training camp into a regular spot on the third line.

For now, if you need a cheap forward for your roto league, any of the above players will do fine – assuming, of course, that your pool does not reward plus-minus numbers. If so, that is another story…

The plus-minus king from last season, Michal Rozsival of the New York Rangers, has two points in two games, and already sits at plus-3. Considering he is second on the team in ice time, his numbers should continue steadily until he finishes with a 40-point seasonÂ…

Bryan McCabe and Tomas Kaberle are garnering so much ice time they are leaving little for the rest of the defensemen. On Saturday against Montreal, they each played over 32 minutes. This left mere seconds on the power play for the likes of Ian White and Pavel KubinaÂ…

In Anaheim, where two rearguards are expected to play 32 minutes each, things are not shaping up that way. In fact, Francois Beauchemin's 27 minutes were actually more than the 25:30 or so that Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer each played. With that kind of ice time, Beauchemin should not have a problem hitting the 40-point markÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective:Joel Perrault has been playing well for Phoenix after cracking the lineup as a rookie, however with the return of Fredrik Sjostrom (dislocated shoulder) Monday night, his ice time may be affected. It is a situation to keep an eye onÂ…

Farm Report: Calgary prospect Dustin Boyd was one of the final cuts in camp and his debut for the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights of the American League has been impressive - five points in his first two gamesÂ…Dallas prospect Junior Lessard has also put up five points in two games. Of the two of them, Boyd is the more promising prospect as Lessard is 26 years old now and is running out of NHL opportunities. Boyd, on the other hand, is just 20 and is a strong possibility to crack the big club next seasonÂ…

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.

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


NHL Helmet

NHL Announces COVID-19 Policy for 2022-23 Season

With the training camps approaching, the NHL unveiled its new COVID-19 protocols for the 2022-23 regular season.

Jack Campbell

NHL Hot Seat Radar: Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have the skill to go far once again after just missing out on the Stanley Cup final. Can Jack Campbell be the difference this year?

Jason Robertson

NHL Free Agency: Top RFAs Still on the Market in the Middle of August

The NHL off-season is deep into August and there are still some key restricted free agents out there without contracts. Let's take a look at the best youngsters still available.