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Fantasy Pool Look: Pool hodgepodge

Some thoughts, from a fantasy angle, now that each team has played at least three games:

Three of the top four teams in shots taken (after Wednesday) were down in their series – Detroit, Carolina, and Tampa Bay. This is more of a statement of the goaltending of their opponent than an indicator of poor shooting ability. Dwayne Roloson, Cristobal Huet, and Ray Emery have all played quite well. In the cases of Roloson and Huet, they make nice dark horses. The terrible eye injury to Montreal's Saku Koivu will hurt Huet's chances of getting into Round 2, but then again that is what being a dark horse is all about, isn't it? Defying the odds…

Eric Staal is a sleeping giant the Habs probably did not want to wake up. After going pointless in back-to-back games (including the last game of the regular season), Staal has five in his last two. Goaltender Cam Ward's stellar play between the pipes, in my opinion, seals Montreal's fate. Carolina will go to Round 2 and will no doubt face New JerseyÂ…

Maxim Afinogenov is another sleeping giant who has awakened. The 26-year-old Buffalo right winger picked up his first two points of the playoffs Wednesday night against Philadelphia. Of the six times in the regular season Afinogenov went pointless in back-to-back games, each and every time he followed it up with points in the following two gamesÂ…

New Jersey is the only NHL team to have four players in the playoffs averaging less than seven minutes of ice time per game. They're rolling only three lines, plain and simple. This may not bode well for future roundsÂ…

Eight players are sitting at minus-4 or worse in these playoffs, and two of them are rookies: Dion Phaneuf, Calgary; and Mike Richards, PhiladelphiaÂ…

Farm Report: Minnesota farmhand Roman Voloshenko has just one point in four playoff games for the Houston Aeros of the American League. The 19-year-old has one weakness offensively, and that's consistency. On 10 different occasions this year, Voloshenko went consecutive games without a pointÂ…Do not forget Aleksey Morozov in your pool next year. The 29-year-old led the Russian League in scoring this year with 49 points in 51 games for Ak-Bars Kazan. Wunderkind Evgeny Malkin wound up with 47 points in 46 games for Magnitogorsk.

Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Hockey 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 Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Also, get the top 250 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN's Fantasy section.

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