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Fantasy Pool Look: Injury opens door for Habs rookie

Montreal's leading scorer, sophomore Chris Higgins, will be on the shelf for the next six weeks with a partially torn ligament in his left ankle. The 23-year-old is coming off a 38-point rookie season in which he tallied 16 of his 23 goals in the 26 games after the Olympic break.

This season, Higgins picked up right where he left off, grabbing eight goals and 13 points in as many games while playing on a line with captain Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder. His absence leaves a huge hole on the left wing, but creates an opportunity for rookie (and fan favorite) Guillaume Latendresse.

Until this point, the 19-year-old Latendresse had played an average of just 9:35 a game. He played almost 20 minutes Tuesday night and scored a goal. If the young power forward ever stumbles, look for another youngster, Alexander Perezhogin, to get a shotÂ…

Speaking of leading scorers going down with injury, the Higgins news comes on the heels of an announcement out of Phoenix that its top gun, pivot Mike Comrie, will be out of action for a month with a fracture in his foot. His role in the lineup will be taken by the newly-signed Yanic Perreault, who picked up two points in the Coyotes' first game without the 26-year-old Comrie.

Buffalo's Maxim Afinogenov (shoulder) and Chicago's Martin Havlat (ankle) are two other teams' top scorers who have gone down with injuries over the last two weeks. Both Afinogenov and Havlat are looking at another three weeks on the sidelinesÂ…

Defenseman Niclas Havelid of the Thrashers will be back in the lineup Wednesday after missing a few games to be with his ailing mother in Sweden. Havelid's absence created a chance for Steve McCarthy to play the point on the power play and he has done a nice job filling in. McCarthy has three points in his last two contests. However, Havelid's return may put McCarthy back where he was to start the season – on the bench…

Former Canuck and current Panther Todd Bertuzzi underwent back surgery and will be out of the lineup for slightly less than two months. Suddenly, Nathan Horton has moved up the depth chart and is on a three-game point streak playing with Olli Jokinen and Ville PeltonenÂ…

Still with the Panthers, the blueline power play tandem of Mike Van Ryn and Jay Bouwmeester have combined for just one point in the last four games. It is no coincidence Florida has gone 0-12 with the man advantage over those contestsÂ…

A lot talk has surrounded Leafs rearguard Tomas Kaberle's recent six-game surge that saw him tally 11 points. What is under the radar in many fantasy pools, however, is the fact Alexei Ponikarovsky has seven points and six penalty minutes in his last seven games. It might be wise to pick him up in your rotisserie league while he is on a rollÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Flyers sophomore Jeff Carter will be out for approximately six weeks after a fractured bone was discovered in his foot. This will move Mike Richards up to center on the second line and free up some winger space for R.J. Umberger, who has been practicing on the top line with Peter ForsbergÂ…

Farm Report: Two potential superstars were returned to their American League teams over the past several days. Los Angeles sent 21-year-old Patrick O'Sullivan down to Manchester to get some more ice time and regain his confidence, while Nashville returned 20-year-old Alexander Radulov to Milwaukee to make room for a healthy Josef Vasicek. Both players will be a big part of their respective NHL teams next season. They are on the cusp.

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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