Cujo Gets his Chance

If 2008 has been the Year of the Backup then Curtis Joseph is probably looking forward to 2009!  It’s been a rough go this season for Cujo, his second stint as a Leaf, as he has put up some very un-Cujo like statistics (4.12 GAA, .843 SV% and .000 winning % vs. career numbers of 2.79 GAA, .906 SV% and .559 winning %)

Cujo is getting a chance to show he's not done yet.

Cujo is getting a chance to show he's not done yet.

Leaf coach Ron Wilson is giving Joseph back-to-back starts in an opportunity for Cujo to gain some confidence by getting some real playing time.  These games will be his first consecutive starts since backstopping Canada to the Spengler Cup last December.

Cujo makes a save in the first of consecutive starts.

Cujo makes a save in the first of consecutive starts.

Nice guys may not always finish last but Cujo (who by all reports sounds like he’s one of the nicest guys in pro sports) is still searching for the big win to call his own.  Despite some gold medals in international hockey (World Championship in ’97 and Olympics in ’02) Joseph has never been thought of as being in the same category as Dominek Hasek, Patrick Roy or Marty Brodeur.  He led the Leafs to a couple Conference Finals but never to the Cup; he joined a Wings team that had just won the Cup but then bowed out early in his first two seasons there (I was at the loss to Anaheim and it was NOT Cujo’s fault).  And now in what looks likely to be his last season he has to endure Leaf fans calling for Justin Pogge to be brought up on a permanent basis.

UPDATE:  The Leafs-Thrashers game just finished and Cujo made 29 saves to pick up his first win of the season as well as the 450th of his fantastic career, ahead of names like Plante, Esposito, Hall and Fuhr.

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