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Fantasy Pool Look: Penguins rookie worth the wait

Evgeni Malkin has looked good in the NHL so far – and that is an understatement.

Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien has played Malkin in many situations and the big Russian has not let his coach down.

Malkin has four points in three games and is plus-2 while logging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game – with more than seven of those minutes on the power play. Two of his four points have come with the man advantage, lighting a fire under what was a lackluster aspect of the Penguins' special teams.

Fantasy owners of the 20-year-old were rubbing their hands with excitement when they heard veteran teammate Mark Recchi compare Malkin to Mario Lemieux. There have been times when the comparison has seemed quite accurate.

Early indications suggest Malkin will still hit the 80-point plateau in his rookie year, despite missing the first four games with a dislocated shoulder. That should be enough to give back-to-back Calder Trophy honors to natives of Russia (Alex Ovechkin won the rookie award last season)Â…

The hot line in Buffalo is Maxim Afinogenov (10 points in three games), Thomas Vanek (nine in three), and Derek Roy (five in three). However, it could be argued that all Buffalo lines are hot, given that they are 8-0 and Daniel Briere has seven points in four games playing on the supposed top lineÂ…

Blues power forward Bill Guerin is trying to bounce back from a poor season that saw him post just 40 points in 70 games. Guerin has seven points in eight games so far and is currently riding a five-game point streakÂ…

After kicking off his Islanders career by going pointless in three games, rearguard Tom Poti has four points in his last two contests. Poti's 24:31 in average ice time leads the team. Clearly, he is a Ted Nolan favorite and, as such, his production should be taken seriously in hockey poolsÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: The injury to Ryan Malone (broken right forearm) will ensure winger Michel Ouellet will continue to get premium power play time. Ouellet will now also see time with on Malkin's right side with Recchi moving to the leftÂ…Radim Vrbata has 12 points already this season for the Blackhawks and the injuries to Martin Havlat and Michal Handzus pretty much make him the man in Chicago. Vrbata led all forwards in ice time on Saturday with more than 20 minutesÂ…

Farm Report: John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario League has six goals and seven points in his last four games. The highly touted 16-year-old is not draft eligible until 2009, but the future looks fantastic for him.

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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