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Pool team owners shouldn't panic too fast about their slow starts

Things that can't go on forever, don't.

Things, for example, like defending MVP Joe Thornton not scoring in 11 straight games to open the season. Or Vezina Trophy recipient Miikka Kiprusoff winning only once in five games.

You know these things will not go on forever. It's Stein's Law. We're only a dozen games into the NHL season and the struggling stars will soon snap out of it.

However, it is frustrating to watch a top pick like Thornton go game after game without scoring, and see your pool team sink in the standings as a result.

It gets to you.

You notice by the 10th game that in reading the Sharks' summaries your eye is twitching - kind of like Herbert Lom's whenever Inspector Clouseau's name is mentioned in the Pink Panther movies.

Take some comfort in knowing you're not alone, that other poolies are also having spasms over under-performing picks.

Henrik Zetterberg of the Red Wings hasn't a single point in his last eight games. Pavol Demitra, expected to light it up big time in Minnesota, scored just his second goal of the season last weekend. Alex Tanguay, pegged as Calgary's offensive saviour, also has just two goals.

Even worse, Teemu Selanne has but one. The same for Brad Richards, Miroslav Satan, Marc Savard and Shawn Horcoff.

But exercise patience over panic and in the long run you will be rewarded.

Hopefully, you didn't lose your mind and trade Thornton, because on the weekend he scored his first goal of the year in the 12th game of the season. There will be many more to follow.

Things that can't go on forever, don't.

Injury Update

If penalty minutes are rewarded in your pool, you're happy when one of your players drops his gloves and picks you up a quick five. You lose that smile when the guy gets hurt while doing the dance of the dinosaurs.

Ryan Malone of the Penguins was just settling in with new linemate and red-hot rookie Evgeni Malkin when he got in scrap last week. The result: a broken wrist and two months on the sidelines.

The news was worse for Ethan Moreau of the Oilers. He's gone until the playoffs after dislocating his shoulder in a fight with Detroit's Danny Markov.

Even the big boys can suffer at the cement hands of another palooka. Steve Ott of the Stars broke his ankle in a fight last week and Anaheim's Todd Fedoruk needs his face repaired after taking a beating from monstrous Wild man Derek Boogaard.

Waiver Watch

Senators defenceman Joe Corvo had a good week in a game against Toronto, scoring one goal and adding four assists.

He's making everyone in Ottawa forget about Zdeno Chara in a hurry. Another defenceman worth grabbing off the waiver wire is Nashville's Shea Weber who has seven assists and is a plus-three to start the year.

Keep an eye on Taylor Pyatt, the latest to skate with the Sedin twins on the Canucks second line. Pyatt has made himself quite comfortable already, scoring points in five straight games.

Tuomo Ruutu returns from his latest injury this week and because of his considerable skill is worth claiming. He'll get first line duties and first-unit power-play action with the Blackhawks. That is, until he gets hurt again.

Phoenix has signed Yanic Perreault to a one-year deal. He won't be in game shape right away, but will be pressed into duty quickly with the struggling Coyotes. Perreault had 22 goals and 35 assists last year.


Greg Dennis can be reached at cp.pool(at)


(CP) - Some suggestions on players to add or avoid in your hockey pool this week:

Who's Hot

1. RW Jason Pominville, Sabres. A must-start now after goals in five straight games.

2. D Sergei Gonchar, Penguins. The points are expected, but a plus-5 in three

games? Nice.

3. RW Owen Nolan, Coyotes. Old dog proving he still has a nose for the net.

4. D Aaron Ward, Rangers. Five points and plus-three last week isn't too shabby.

5. G Pascal Leclaire, Blue Jackets. Won one of three but with 87 saves and

1.25 GAA.

Who's Not

1. RW Henrik Zetterberg, Wings. Pointless streak reaches an unbelievable

eight games.

2. D Janne Niinimaa, Canadiens. Veteran's better days are clearly way behind


3. G Dan Cloutier, Kings. Winless skid inviting Garon to take over the top job.

4. G Andrew Raycroft. Leafs. Three-game losing streak has hands wringing in Toronto.

5. RW Jeff Friesen, Flames. No points in eight games; no point in owning him.



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