Hockey News: 1st Quarter Look

Updated: November 22, 2006, 11:45 AM ET
By Darryl Dobbs | Special to ESPN.com

We're just past the quarter pole of the 2006-07 NHL season and Rod Brind'Amour is hands down the hottest dark horse selection in any hockey pool. Brind'Amour is coming off a huge comeback campaign a year ago, in which he tallied 70 points for the first time in seven years.

He's making last year look like a slump.

Twenty-three games into the season, Brind'Amour is in a dogfight for the NHL scoring lead. While it would be naive to think he will end the season with 110-plus points, the fact remains that if he even gets 50 points in the last 59 games he will have his best season in 10 years. Back then, 80-85 points was expected of him. This season, fantasy owners drafted him late in their pool and hoped for another 70 points.

Those same fantasy owners probably are leading their pool right now. ...

This one's under your radar for sure -- Daniel Cleary has nine points in his last six games for the Red Wings. In fact, he no longer is getting fourth line ice time. The last three games he's seen time on the second line and has been out on the power play quite a bit. The former teenage phenom has pretty much been dropped out of all the keeper leagues by this point. Even the most stubborn owner could not possibly have been holding a spot for him hoping the 27-year-old would come around.

With 10 points in 19 games this season, nobody is even looking at him right now. He may be worth a waiver pick up -- just to see what happens. ...

Colorado rookie Wojtek Wolski is pointless in his last six games. He'll have his ups and downs, but should finish up the season in the low 50s.

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: The Nashville Predators recalled blue-chip prospect Alexander Radulov because Jason Arnott's knee injury is more serious than first thought and he will miss three to six weeks. Radulov could see some quality power play time this go around. ... Jordan Leopold could make his Avalanche debut as early as this weekend. He has been recovering from hernia surgery in the summer.

Farm Report: Jakub Petruzalek, the player Carolina recently acquired from the Rangers for Brad Isbister, is a small forward with an intriguing upside. He is somewhat of a longshot, but in Carolina's system, which is not known for depth on the wing, he may get a long look next training camp.

Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Pool Look appears every Monday and Wednesday only on The Hockey News.com. Want to speak with Darryl about fantasy hockey? E-mail him at dobber@dobberhockey.com.

Material from The Hockey News.
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