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Thursday, October 9, 2003
Updated: October 10, 10:45 AM ET
Out of the Box: FHL and FBA


By Graham Hays
ESPN Fantasy Games

Out of the Box will appear each morning, Monday-Friday, throughout the NBA and NHL seasons. The goal? To give you the inside dirt on yesterday's box scores.

WEDNESDAY'S NEWSMAKER

Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Goalie

Profile
Ducks Clubhouse

Wednesday's Line
GA
SOG
SV
W-L-T
4
22
18
0-1-0
A few more starts like this and the Jean-Sebastien Giguere bandwagon will start looking like the deck of the Titanic. Giguere opened the season by allowing two goals in the first three minutes of Anaheim's game against Dallas, finishing with 18 saves on 22 shots. But before you abandon ship, remember that not only is Giguere's reputation based on more than one game, it's based on more than one great year. Sure, "Jiggy" madness swept the hockey world in last season's playoffs, but Giguere's breakthrough fantasy performance came a year earlier, when he posted a 2.13 GAA and .920 save percentage. The only problem was his teammates couldn't score, resulting in a 20-25-6 record. Two years outweighs one game, so stay patient.

SURFIN' THE SCOREBOARD
Early Injury: Jere Lehtinen has long been one of the league's better defensive forwards, but until last season an injury wouldn't have been big news for fantasy owners. But the Selke winner has emerged as a viable two-way threat -- he took just seven shifts in Wednesday's opener and still recorded an assist -- raising the stakes on something like a "minor" shoulder injury. Assuming he really is fine to return this weekend or soon after, fantasy owners can start getting excited about his time on the top power-play line last night. Lehtinen had just seven power-play points last season.

More Numbers

  • NHL Scoreboard:
    All the box scores

  • NBA Scoreboard:
    All the box scores
  • Seattle Star: Seattle is used to picking up the pieces when another "big thing" leaves town. Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Boeing, dot-com jobs... all gone in recent years. Gary Payton joined that list last season, but Ray Allen isn't alone. Rashard Lewis chipped in 35 points, four 3-pointers and three steals in Wednesday's preseason win. Granted, Houston's starting five was Gabe Muoneke, Bostjan Nachbar, Kelvin Cato, Moochie Norris and Eric Piatkowski, but 13-of-15 shooting is impressive in drills. Lewis quietly averaged 18.1 points last season and has a realistic shot at averaging 20 this season.

    Getting Defensive: Kobe Bryant only wishes the folks he has on defense were as effective as Boston's Jeff Jillson and New Jersey's Scott Niedermayer. Both blueliners netted two goals in Wednesday's 3-3 tie. Niedermayer is a known fantasy commodity, but Wednesday's effort will still have owners dreaming of 1997-98, when he totaled 57 points and 11 power-play goals. Before yesterday's tallies -- both with the man advantage -- he had scored just eight power-play goals in his last 357 games.

    WEDNESDAY'S BEST LINES

    Thibault
    GA
    SOG
    SV
    W
    L-T
    0
    33
    33
    1
    0-0
    Barnes
    G
    A
    +/-
    SOG
    PIM
    2
    0
    2
    5
    0
    Miles
    Pts
    Reb
    Ast
    Stl
    Blk
    13
    7
    8
    1
    1

    Jocelyn Thibault: Great until he wears out in February.

    Stu Barnes: Glad to be out of Buffalo.

    Darius Miles: Who is this LeBron guy?

    BETWEEN THE LINES
  • If the box scores are right -- we'll admit we skipped this one on the dish -- Speedy Claxton scored 20 points in nine minutes for Golden State, hitting 9-of-11 shots. The point guard managed just one assist, but apparently he was busy shooting the ball. Claxton's fantasy value would soar if the Warriors deal Nick Van Exel, but even as the team's third guard, he's worth watching.

  • LeBron James is getting all the attention, but he's not the only rookie capable of making fantasy rosters. Toronto rookie Chris Bosh stood out in an ugly 76-71 win against Washington, totaling 12 points, eight rebounds and a block in 30 minutes. It's that last number that will likely determine Bosh's fantasy relevance this season.

  • Sergei Zubov was the big fantasy winner among Dallas' defensemen on Wednesday, but he didn't lead the team in ice time. That honor went to new arrival Teppo Numminen, who logged better than 25 minutes without a shot or any power-play time. While it remains to be seen how much of the attack he'll pick up behind Zubov and Phillipe Boucher, don't expect Numminen to stay silent forever.

    WEDNESDAY'S BOTTOM LINE

    Alexandre Daigle
    Forward

    Profile
    Wild Clubhouse

    Wednesday's Line
    G
    A
    +/-
    SOG
    PIM
    0
    0
    0
    4
    0
    If the Minnesota Wild really want Marian Gaborik to back off his contract demands, they may want to consider forfeiting some games. For with every offensive effort like last night's, Gaborik's position just gets stronger. Not to disrespect Daigle, who led the Wild in shots and is actually an intriguing fantasy sleeper based on Wednesday's power-play time, but this team is in trouble if he's the best option. And while not many fantasy owners were relying on the likes of Daigle of Pascal Dupuis to begin with, plenty are counting on wins from goalies Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez.