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Friday, October 10, 2003
Updated: October 15, 11:50 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.

THURSDAY'S NEWSMAKER

Jose Theodore
Goalie

Profile
Canadiens Clubhouse

Thursday's Line
GA
SOG
SV
W-L-T
5
28
23
0-1-0
Dominik Hasek's return in Detroit was big fantasy news -- the Dominator was solid but unspectacular in stopping 21-of-23 shots -- but another pair of comeback attempts carry equal importance. Both Jose Theodore and Evgeni Nabokov suffered through miserable 2002-03 seasons, and neither did much in their debut this season to engender hope for a fantasy revival. With a pair of talented Finns behind him in Vesa Toskala and Mikka Kiprusoff, Nabokov is likely in the most immediate danger of losing his job. Nabokov allowed five goals on 28 shots in the opener against Edmonton, after posting just four wins and a 2.99 GAA in the second half last season.

SURFIN' THE SCOREBOARD
Milwaukee's Man: Michael Redd missed some shots on Thursday, but he didn't miss an opportunity to make a statement. Playing 42 minutes while battling Desmond Mason for a starting job, Redd totaled 21 points, five assists, three steals and three 3-pointers against Minnesota. No matter where he is at tip, Redd will play plenty this season. And with more sausage options than scoring options in Milwaukee these days, Redd is going to be counted on for a lot of points and lot of 3-pointers.

More Numbers

  • NHL Scoreboard:
    All the box scores

  • NBA Scoreboard:
    All the box scores
  • Philadelphia Freedom: We're not sure if he can do George W. Bush, but Philadelphia goalie Jeff Hackett does a solid impersonation of Roman Cechmanek. Hackett blanked Buffalo on Thursday, facing just 17 shots. Cechmanek made a fantasy living by relying on stifling defensive play around him, but Hacket's 2.93 career GAA will be the ultimate test for Philly's defense and coach Ken Hitchcock's style of play. The Sabres aren't much of a test, and Robert Esche will get his starts in net, but Hacket's fantasy future has never looked this bright.

    Good Gig: Hackett's not the only veteran who is making the most of new surroundings. Imagine going to sleep in your studio apartment and waking up in a mansion next to Jessica Alba, and you have some idea what life is like for Ray Whitney in Detroit. Whitney collected two assists -- including a nifty pass to Steve Yzerman on the game-winner -- in Thursday's win. He also logged a fair amount of power-play time on a team not quite as loaded with top-end forwards as in seasons past. After years of toiling for losers in Florida and Columbus, Whitney may finally be able to tally 40-plus assists and a positive plus-minus.

    WEDNESDAY'S BEST LINES

    Jagr
    G
    A
    +/-
    SOG
    PIM
    1
    1
    1
    7
    0
    Garnett
    Pts
    Reb
    Ast
    Stl
    Blk
    30
    6
    2
    0
    0
    Johnson
    Pts
    Reb
    Ast
    Stl
    Blk
    22
    4
    4
    2
    0

    Jaromir Jagr: Just when you thought you could write him off.

    Kevin Garnett: It'd be nice to see him in the Olympics.

    Joe Johnson: Phoenix is more than the big three.

    BETWEEN THE LINES
  • Phoenix is pretty well set at point guard after inking Stephon Marbury to an extension, but there's still reason to like rookie Leandrinho Barbosa's fantasy potential. Barbosa collected six assists in 21 minutes on Thursday, and with Anfernee Hardaway about as durable as sushi, the Suns might try and get away with playing Marbury and Barbosa at the same time.

  • Earl Boykins is at it again. The little man who stole big minutes in Golden State last season has moved on to Denver and totaled 12 points and eight assists in 20 minutes on Thursday. Boykins is a longshot to make a major fantasy impact, but he could seriously derail Andre Miller's chances of a statistical comeback.

  • The Zach Randolph watch is on. One of the preseason's most popular fantasy sleepers did little to diminish his standing on Thursday, chipping in 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes against Sacramento.

    THURSDAY'S BOTTOM LINE

    Garth Snow
    Goalie

    Profile
    Islanders Clubhouse

    Thursday's Line
    GA
    SOG
    SV
    W-L-T
    6
    26
    20
    0-1-0
    A goalie is usually in pretty good shape after making 20 saves in less than 30 minutes on the ice. Unfortunately for the Islanders' Garth Snow, the Capitals had logged 26 shots on net by that point. Buried under a barrage of shots -- and goals -- Snow got a quick hook, and watched Rick DiPietro stop all 11 shots he faced. Snow was a fantasy revelation last season, posting a 2.31 GAA and .918 save percentage in 43 games. But the word fluke comes to mind, considering it was the first time in his career he posted a save percentage better than .902. With DiPietro waiting in the wings, Snow doesn't have this kind of margin for error.