So farewell then, Curtis Joseph - Macleans.ca
 

So farewell then, Curtis Joseph


 

This is a heresy I normally utter only in the presence of trusted intimates, but this is a special occasion: if I had a playoff series to win and I could take any goalie from Edmonton Oiler history, I’d go with 1996-98 Cujo. And yes, I do mean “any”.


 

So farewell then, Curtis Joseph

  1. A lot of goaltenders make good teams great, but Cujo had a career making bad teams good. Hopefully he's taking a well-earned break after such a fantastic career.

    • You can SEE the soul leaving Nieuwendyk's body.

    • And as it turns out, Andy Moog as the Stars goalie that Marchant scored on.

  2. I'll never forget Cujo's playoff performance against the Leafs for St. Louis back in 1993. The Leafs won the series in 7 games but the only reason it was even close was Cujo, who absolutely stood on his head in that series (and was arguably the reason the Blues made it to that series at all, since they had to beat the reigning Conference champions from Chicago to get to the Division final against the Leafs, and Cujo had two shutouts and won the fourth game in OT). It was redonkulous what Cujo did in that series against the Leafs. He stopped 119 of 122 shots in consecutive double overtime games. Read that last sentence again.

    Redonkulous.

  3. Nope, you are smoking crack! I will take Fuhr (who was only snorting the stuff)

    • Fuhr's personal stats aren't actually all that impressive, especially considering the players in front of him.

  4. I wasn't aware that yours is the minority position here. Joseph was easily among the handful of truly elite goalies in the 1990s (along with Hasek, Roy, Brodeur, Belfour and *maybe* Kolzig). Fuhr and Moog were no doubt excellent goalies, but I don't think they're even in the same conversation as CuJo)

    I second that Blues series against Toronto. Wow man, just wow.

    • Hah! Ask Wayne whether he'd take Cujo over Fuhr..i lived in Edmonton in those glory years and saw a lot of Fuhr. He never really had a chance to play for a really good defensive team .Fuhr was the best money goalie the oilers had full stop. Mindyou i was a big fan of Joseph.

      • I'd say Fuhr played behind better Oiler defences than Cujo did. In fact, some of the six-packs on those Oiler teams Cujo got to the playoffs might be worse than the one they have now when they're in 15th.

        • 'I'd say Fuhr played behind better Oiler defences than Cujo did…" Nah…don't think so.
          No arguement from me that Cujo was probably the better all round goalie. But some of those oiler teams didn't even bother to play defence…I don't think Wayne saw the inside of his own blueline for the first half of his career. My contention is the style the oilers played ten left Fuhr facing the kind of two on ones/breakaways that a fan today would find astonishing. Fuhr had an unreal capacity to not give you the one goal you actually needed, even if he'd already let in a couple he shouldn't have…i particularly loved him cuz was a flames killer…

        • I remember driving from Cold Lake to Edmonton, and at some point our vehicle picked up 630 CHED during, I think, game seven against Dallas in the first (or second) round in 1997. Anyway, it was the year of the big upset of the Oilers over the Stars, and we almost drove off the highway.

  5. No question Colby, Curtis Joseph was one of the greatest goaltenders in the modern era. The damage he did to Ottawa fans alone should put him in the Hall of Fame.

  6. Woops, I didn't realize it was posted

  7. Was that the series where Peter Inachuk gloved the puck, spun around and passed it in some weird play in front of the net to score – I remember it being a key goal in the middle of the series, if I am remembering right…

  8. Fourth all-time for wins. I had no idea.

  9. Not a chance Cosh! Roy, Rangers, 1986, game 4 overtime. Stone…stone…stone…stone..

    Oh OH- what about Sandstrom and the wink!

    Cheers,
    Dave

  10. This is what happens when you're writing for a national publication. You mention Cujo and you get a bunch of Leafs fans wanting to talk Leafs. You never should have left the Western Standard.

    As far as the goaltending goes, Roli circa. April/May 2006 would give Cujo a run for his money.

    • Are you calling me a dirty Leafs *spit* fan? Good sir, how dare you impugn my good name!

      (what is the online equivalent to the glove slap prelude to a duel? ;)

  11. He'll be between the pipes in Ottawa within a couple of weeks. Oy.

    • I recently found a list of Senators goalies since rejoining the league…I think I know why they never with those ridiculously stacked teams (hint – it wasn't Jacques Martin ;). It's a damn shame too…even though I'm not a fan, I've always thought they get a raw deal in the Canadian imagination.

  12. And if I had a championship to lose and could pick any goalie, I'd probably go with CuJo.

  13. Hold on! How many cups did he win? Huh? How many?

    • The best modern era goalie never to win the cup…there, that oughta satisfy CC?

  14. Yeah, that Patrick Roy guy and Martin Brodeur couldn't hold a candle to the likes of Cujo, eh? What a joke.

    It's amazing Cosh how many topics you claim to know something about but your analyses are so obviously blinded by biases.

  15. Unless either Brodeur or Roy ever played for the Oilers in disguise, I think you should read Cosh's post a little more closely and then back slowly and deliberately away from the keyboard.

    • Fair enough, john g. I stand corrected.

      And apologies to Cosh on this one. I should have stuck to my normal habit of ignoring his posts.

      That aside, Cujo's a nice guy and all and a reasonably good goaltender but Fuhr is the dude with all the Cup rings. He may have had Gretzky, Messier, et al. in front of him but he was overall a much better netminder.

  16. Cujo truly was a remarkable athlete.
    With that said, the one thing he lacked was team LOYALTY.
    I'd like to think this is why the hockey gods punished him as a cupless player.

    When he left the Blues, Oilers, and Leafs, these were playoff teams.
    No doubt, these were playoff teams because of what Cujo did for them.
    I'd understand leaving if it was a basement team, but this was not the case.
    What happened to him was just desserts.

    Frankly – in pro sports – there are too many players that have the Cujo attitude of looking out for #1.

  17. Thinking about this one made me recall how lucky the oilers have been to have goalies play great for them. Cujo had some success elsewhere, but Ranford, Roloson, even Salo had a couple great years here. Cujo was great in those series against Dallas, but I can't bring myself to say I'd take him over Fuhr. I was just reading about the '87 Canada Cup – Fuhr was an amazing winner.

    • I just watched some of that. Fuhr let in some he shouldn't have…but it's tough to criticize him, since he also regularly made saves that left me speechless, and always at the right time. One thing that stuck me, wow, the goalie equipment is way bigger now.