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Fantasy Pool Look: L.A. Story

No team in the NHL scores fewer goals per game than the Los Angeles Kings.

Only once in the past 10 contests have the Kings managed to score more than two goals. Six of those 10 games saw them held to just one goal and on another occasion they were shut out.

Not exactly the rebuilding success of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is it?

From a fantasy standpoint, this team so far is all about two players.

The first is rookie phenom Anze Kopitar, who is shouldering the load in terms of ice time, power play time, penalty-kill time, and offense. The Slovenian star should finish the year in the ballpark of the 70-point mark.

The other player? Brent Sopel.

Sure, Mike Cammalleri will tally close to 30 goals and 60 points, and Alexander Frolov will probably clear that 60-point plateau as well, but neither is really showing it at this time. Sopel, on the other hand, is doing everything he did in Vancouver under L.A.'s current bench boss, Marc Crawford. Expect a 40-point bounce-back year from the rearguard.

You can go on and on about the letdowns offensively on this team, but the names ‘Kopitar' or ‘Sopel' will not surface in such talks. Craig Conroy, coming off a 66-point season, has just one assist in 13 games. Lubomir Visnovsky and Rob Blake, the supposed dynamic duo on the blueline, have a combined nine points. Sean Avery, the player you love to hate, is being loved by the opposition. His minus-7 is a team-worst.

With four goals in their last four games, it is best to stay away from this team for the next little while in your rotisserie poolÂ…

Goaltender Alex Auld has lost four straight games for the Panthers. Ed Belfour seems to be the go-to guy for the time beingÂ…

Talk about the right place at the wrong time. Chicago backup Brian Boucher finally gets a chance to prove himself as a starter for a couple of weeks with No.1 guy Nikolai Khabibulin out with a broken finger. Unfortunately Chicago's best player, Martin Havlat, is out at the same time. Boucher gets to start (and get the blame for) all of their losses over the next two weeks. At the end of the season, when Boucher boasts a 3-11 record, nobody is going to remember that seven of those 11 losses occurred during the team's most injury-filled stretchÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Speaking of Chicago, the heart and soul of their team, Tuomo Ruutu, who suffered a sprained knee in the pre-season, will make his season debut Monday night. He will be put on a line with Radim Vrbata and possibly Rene BourqueÂ…

Farm Report: Ottawa prospect Josh Hennessy has five goals and six points in his past four games for Binghamton of the American League. The 21-year-old has a shot at cracking the big club next fall, although a more likely scenario would see him as an NHLer in the 2008-09 season. Hennessy has eight points in nine games on the season.

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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